New Arizona COVID cases trending lower but hospitalizations on rise
PHOENIX – Arizona is starting to see a downturn in the number of new COVID-19 cases, but hospitalizations are heading in the opposite direction.
Today’s #COVID19 dashboard update adds 14,293 cases and 33 deaths. Help reduce the spread by maintaining physical distance of at least 6 feet from those you don’t live with. Learn about other ways to fight COVID-19, including vaccines and boosters, at https://t.co/Kd4hI8vePH. pic.twitter.com/AipgmXxt8Z
— AZ Dept of Health (@AZDHS) January 27, 2022
The state reported fewer than 20,000 new cases for the fourth consecutive day Thursday, and the seven-day average dropped to its lowest point since Jan. 17.
In another sign that the spread of the COVID-19 omicron variant is slowing in Arizona, the positive rate for diagnostic testing for this week is 3 percentage points lower than it was last week, when it reached a pandemic-high 35%.
However, because hospitalizations and deaths generally lag 1-2 weeks behind case trends, it’s too early to say the worst of the Arizona’s omicron wave is over.
The number of inpatients with COVID has been steadily rising since the end of December and on Wednesday reached its highest level in almost a year.
ICU COVID cases had been relatively stable this month but started trending higher this week. On Wednesday, ICU COVID use reached its second-highest level since before Christmas.
And after 275 new deaths were reported Wednesday, the seven-day average jumped to its highest level of 2022.
Here’s the latest data on the pandemic in Arizona (hospital, case, death, testing and vaccination statistics are based on Thursday 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):
- Documented pandemic total – 1,813,796
- Daily new reports – Thursday: 14,293; One day earlier: 18,229; One week earlier: 17,724; Pandemic high: 27,681 (Jan. 22, 2022)
- Seven-day average – Wednesday: 19,045; One day earlier: 19,369; One week earlier: 20,261; Pandemic high: 20,778 (Jan. 24, 2022)
- Documented pandemic total – 25,932
- Daily new reports – Thursday: 33; One day earlier: 275; One week earlier: 13; Pandemic high: 335 (Jan. 12, 2021)
- Seven-day average – Wednesday: 69; One day earlier: 59; One week earlier: 61; Pandemic high: 175 (Jan. 13, 2021)
- COVID inpatients – Wednesday: 3,542; One day earlier: 3,511; One week earlier: 3,366; Pandemic high: 5,082 (Jan. 11, 2021)
- COVID ICU patients – Wednesday: 647; One day earlier: 631; One week earlier: 595; Pandemic high: 1,183 (Jan. 11, 2021)
Statewide hospital capacity
- Inpatients beds available – Wednesday: 476 (5% of capacity); One day earlier: 471 (5%); One week earlier: 467 (5%)
- Percentage of inpatient beds with COVID patients – Wednesday: 40%; One day earlier: 40%; One week earlier: 38%
- ICU beds available – Wednesday: 84 (5% of capacity); One day earlier: 92 (6%); One week earlier: 94 (6%)
- Percentage of ICU beds with COVID patients – Wednesday: 39%; One day earlier: 38%; One week earlier: 36%
Laboratory diagnostic testing
- Weekly percent positivity – Samples taken this week: 32%; Last week: 35%; Two weeks ago: 33%; Pandemic high (for a full week): 35% (Jan. 16-22, 2022)
- Find a testing site: ADHS (statewide)
- Percentage of eligible Arizonans fully vaccinated – As of Thursday: 60%; One day earlier: 59.9%; One week earlier: 59.6%
- Percentage of eligible Arizonans with at least one shot – As of Thursday: 72.6%; One day earlier: 72.5%; One week earlier: 71.9%
- Find a vaccine site: ADHS (statewide); Maricopa County Public Health (metro Phoenix)
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.