Arizona passes 2 million COVID cases but pace continues to slow

Mar 30, 2022, 11:15 AM

(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)...

(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

PHOENIX — Arizona surpassed two million COVID-19 cases in Wednesday’s weekly update of the state’s dashboard, but the pace of infections continues to slow.

The Arizona Department of Health Services added 10,143 cases and 385 deaths to its tally, putting the state’s documented pandemic totals at 2,007,180 cases and 29,268 deaths.

The caseload was higher than in previous weeks, but that was mainly due to a reporting partner adding cases and tests dating to October.

Over the past week, Arizona reported 2,054 cases. Last week’s update had 4,566 cases and 336 deaths.

The seven-day averages from the latest update, including the backlog of cases, come out to 1,449 per day for cases and 55 for deaths.

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

The daily average of hospital inpatients with COVID was 429 for the latest week, down 18% from 523 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 113 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 9.6% from the previous week’s mark of 125.

Arizona’s weekly percent positivity for diagnostic COVID testing was at 3% for the third 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.

The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday authorized an extra dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine for Americans 50 and older and for certain younger people with severely weakened immune systems.

Arizona’s top pandemic adviser Dr. Richard Carmona recommends a second COVID-19 vaccination booster shot for those eligible, even with case numbers and transmission on the decline.

“There is certainly very strong information that your immunity starts to drop after several months [following vaccination],” Carmona told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News on Wednesday.

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Arizona passes 2 million COVID cases but pace continues to slow