Pace of new COVID cases, deaths in Arizona slows in latest weekly update

Mar 23, 2022, 10:53 AM
A health worker waits at an empty Covid-19 testing center at the Washington State Convention Center...
A health worker waits at an empty Covid-19 testing center at the Washington State Convention Center on March 9, 2022 in Seattle. Once crowded, testing sites are mostly now devoid of patients. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Arizona reported declines of 26% in new deaths and 11% in additional cases in Wednesday’s weekly update of the state’s COVID-19 dashboard.

The Arizona Department of Health Services added 4,566 cases and 336 deaths to its tally. That put the state’s documented pandemic totals at 1,997,037 infections and 28,883 fatalities.

Last week’s update had 5,153 new cases and 457 additional deaths.

The seven-day averages from the latest update come out to 652 per day for cases and 48 for deaths.

Hospitalizations also continue to fall, while the percent positivity for diagnostic is holding steady at a pandemic-low level.

The daily average of hospital inpatients with COVID was 523 for the latest week, down 21% from 663 the previous week. At the peak of the omicron wave about two months ago, Arizona was averaging more than 3,000 COVID inpatients per day.

The daily average for COVID ICU patients was 125 for the latest week, the lowest level in 18 months and the second-lowest mark of the pandemic (dashboard data for hospitalizations goes back to April 2020). The latest COVID inpatient update was down 21% from the previous week’s mark of 159.

Arizona’s weekly percent positivity for diagnostic COVID testing was at 3% for the second straight week, the lowest level on record.

The weekly report format, which debuted March 2 after about two years of daily updates, includes lags of four weeks for deaths and two weeks for hospitalizations so the data can be more complete before being released.

Globally, the World Health Organization on Wednesday reported a 7% increase in COVID-19 cases, fueled by a spike in the Western Pacific, and a 23% decline in deaths from the virus.

Cases had been falling steadily worldwide since January but rose again last week, due to the more infectious omicron variant and its subvariant BA.2, in addition to the suspension of COVID-19 protocols in numerous countries in Europe, North America and elsewhere.

Health officials have said repeatedly that omicron causes milder disease than previous versions of the coronavirus and that vaccination, including a booster, appears highly protective against severe disease.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Pace of new COVID cases, deaths in Arizona slows in latest weekly update