Number of Arizona inpatients with COVID up by nearly 50% since end of 2021

Jan 21, 2022, 10:16 AM | Updated: 10:23 am

PHOENIX – The number of Arizona inpatients with COVID-19 has climbed by almost 50% since the end of 2021, but coronavirus-related ICU use has been relatively stable, according to data released Friday.

Although it’s been nearly a year since Arizona’s hospitals had as many inpatients with COVID as they do now, ICU COVID cases are at pre-Thanksgiving levels, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services pandemic dashboard.

The state’s hospitals had 3,410 COVID inpatients Thursday, the most since Feb. 2, 2021, and 49.4% higher than on Dec. 31.

However, while the highly contagious omicron variant has been fueling an unprecedented spike in new infections, COVID ICU use appears to have plateaued.

Arizona’s ICUs had fewer than 600 COVID patients each of the last three days, the first three-day, sub-600 stretch since Nov. 17.

Still, omicron isn’t something to take likely, health experts say, especially for people who aren’t vaccinated.

“Certainly, if someone is unvaccinated there is still huge risk of severe illness in people,” Dr. Joshua LaBaer, director of the Arizona State University Biodesign Institute, told reporters Wednesday.

Here’s the latest data on the pandemic in Arizona (hospital, case, death, testing and vaccination statistics are based on Friday morning’s update of the Arizona Department of Health Services COVID-19 dashboard; seven-day averages are based on tracking by The New York Times):

COVID-19 cases

  • Documented pandemic total – 1,701,949
  • Daily new reports – Friday: 18,034; One day earlier: 17,724; One week earlier: 20,257; Pandemic high: 24,982 (Jan. 15, 2022)
  • Seven-day average – Thursday: 20,140; One day earlier: 20,261; One week earlier: 16,099; Pandemic high: 20,261 (Jan. 19, 2022)

COVID-19 deaths

  • Documented pandemic total – 25,502
  • Daily new reports – Friday: 73; One day earlier: 13; One week earlier: 66; Pandemic high: 335 (Jan. 12, 2021)
  • Seven-day average – Thursday: 61; One day earlier: 61; One week earlier: 59; Pandemic high: 175 (Jan. 13, 2021)

COVID-19 hospitalizations

  • COVID inpatients – Thursday: 3,410; One day earlier: 3,366; One week earlier: 2,932; Pandemic high: 5,082 (Jan. 11, 2021)
  • COVID ICU patients – Thursday: 597; One day earlier: 595; One week earlier: 630; Pandemic high: 1,183 (Jan. 11, 2021)

Statewide hospital capacity

  • Inpatients beds available – Thursday: 492 (6% of capacity); One day earlier: 467 (5%); One week earlier: 446 (5%)
  • Percentage of inpatient beds with COVID patients – Thursday: 39%; One day earlier: 38%; One week earlier: 33%
  • ICU beds available – Thursday: 127 (8% of capacity); One day earlier: 94 (6%); One week earlier: 75 (5%)
  • Percentage of ICU beds with COVID patients – Thursday: 36%; One day earlier: 36%; One week earlier: 38%

Laboratory diagnostic testing

  • Weekly percent positivity – Samples taken this week: 33%; Last week: 33%; Two weeks ago: 29%; Pandemic high (for a completed week): 33% (Jan. 9-15, 2022)
  • Find a testing site: ADHS (statewide)


  • Percentage of eligible Arizonans fully vaccinated – As of Friday: 59.7%; One day earlier: 59.6%
  • Percentage of eligible Arizonans with at least one shot – As of Friday: 72%; One day earlier: 71.9%
  • Find a vaccine site: ADHS (statewide); Maricopa County Public Health (metro Phoenix)

Additional details

The ADHS daily case and death updates can cover multiple days of reporting because of data processing procedures and aren’t meant to represent the actual activity over the previous 24 hours. The hospitalization numbers posted each morning are reported electronically the previous evening by hospitals across the state.

The actual caseload is likely higher than officially reported because ADHS data is based mainly on electronic laboratory reporting and doesn’t include results from home kits unless individuals report them to their health care providers.

Vaccines have proven to reduce the likelihood of a COVID infection causing serious illness or death, even with the highly contagious omicron variant.

The minimum age for vaccination is 5 for Pfizer and 18 for Moderna or Johnson & Johnson. Boosters are approved, and highly encouraged, for individuals who received their second Pfizer (ages 12 and up only) or Moderna doses at least five months ago or the Johnson & Johnson shot at least two months ago.

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Number of Arizona inpatients with COVID up by nearly 50% since end of 2021