Arizona’s COVID-19 death toll surpasses 26,000, 11th most in nation

Jan 28, 2022, 9:15 AM

PHOENIX – Arizona’s COVID-19 death count surpassed 26,000 on Friday, 15 days after reaching the 25,000 mark.

The 14th-largest state by population, Arizona ranks 11th in the nation for total COVID deaths and is second only to Mississippi for COVID deaths per 100,000 residents.

Daily case reports have been trending lower this week, likely signaling the beginning of the end of Arizona’s omicron variant wave, but hospitalizations and deaths have been rising. The state’s seven-day average for newly reported deaths is the highest seen in the past month.

Dr. Joshua LaBaer, director of Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute, said during a virtual briefing Wednesday that hospital and death trends have lagged cases by about a week in regions where the omicron wave is further along.

“It’s never going to fully go away. We have to be prepared for that,” LaBaer said of COVID.

“What we can hope for is that overall as a community we will have enough immunity to not get severely ill with it and hopefully then we can at least … avoid all the hospitalizations and death and all that. So that’s the thing that we’re hoping for now.”

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 – 1,829,406
  • Daily new reports – Friday: 15,610; One day earlier: 14,293; One week earlier: 18,034; Pandemic high: 27,681 (Jan. 22, 2022)
  • Seven-day average – Thursday: 18,554; One day earlier: 19,045; One week earlier: 20,140; Pandemic high: 20,778 (Jan. 24, 2022)

COVID-19 deaths

  • Documented pandemic total – 26,001
  • Daily new reports – Friday: 69; One day earlier: 33; One week earlier: 73; Pandemic high: 335 (Jan. 12, 2021)
  • Seven-day average – Thursday: 72; One day earlier: 69; One week earlier: 61; Pandemic high: 175 (Jan. 13, 2021)

COVID-19 hospitalizations

  • COVID inpatients – Thursday: 3,559; One day earlier: 3,542; One week earlier: 3,410; Pandemic high: 5,082 (Jan. 11, 2021)
  • COVID ICU patients – Thursday: 636; One day earlier: 647; One week earlier: 597; Pandemic high: 1,183 (Jan. 11, 2021)

Statewide hospital capacity

  • Inpatients beds available – Thursday: 405 (5% of capacity); One day earlier: 476 (5%); One week earlier: 492 (6%)
  • Percentage of inpatient beds with COVID patients – Thursday: 41%; One day earlier: 40%; One week earlier: 39%
  • ICU beds available – Thursday: 92 (6% of capacity); One day earlier: 84 (5%); One week earlier: 127 (8%)
  • Percentage of ICU beds with COVID patients – Thursday: 39%; One day earlier: 39%; 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 Friday: 60%; One day earlier: 60%; One week earlier: 59.7%
  • Percentage of eligible Arizonans with at least one shot – As of Friday: 72.7%; One day earlier: 72.6%; One week earlier: 72%
  • 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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Arizona’s COVID-19 death toll surpasses 26,000, 11th most in nation