The number of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 in Arizona again reached a new record, as the state reported more than 5,200 new cases of the virus and 78 new known deaths on Wednesday.
Arizona’s seven-day new case average ranks second highest in the nation, and public health experts expect the virus to spread further due to personal contact during the holidays.
Only California had a higher rate over the past week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID Data Tracker.
Hospitals in the Phoenix area have begun to temporarily close incoming emergency transportation and hospital transfers due to the overwhelming number of patients. Hospital leaders say they are in the worst position since the pandemic began.
The state’s dashboard data shows that 90% of all ICU beds and 92% of all inpatient beds in Arizona were in use on Tuesday, with 61% of ICU beds and 53 % of non-ICU beds occupied by COVID-19 patients.
Statewide, there were 178 ICU beds and 698 beds available outside the ICU.
The number of patients hospitalized in Arizona for known or suspected cases of COVID-19 was 4,526 on Tuesday, up from 4,475 on Monday and a new record. By comparison, the highest number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in a single day during the summer surge was 3,517 on July 13.
The number of suspected or known COVID-19 patients in Arizona ICUs was 1,076 on Tuesday, a new record. During the summer surge in mid-July, ICU beds in use for COVID-19 peaked at 970.
Arizonans with confirmed and suspected COVID-19 on ventilators totaled 750 on Tuesday, a record for most ventilators in use for COVID-19. The previous single-day record was set on Monday, with 720 fans in use. During the summer surge, July 16, with 687 patients, was the peak day for ventilator use.
Tuesday marked a record for emergency room visits for COVID-19 in a single day, with 2,341 positive or suspected COVID-19 patients seen in emergency departments across the state.
New cases in Arizona have dwarfed 4,000 in 26 of the past 30 days.
California has been the nation’s worst hot spot, with a seven-day average rate of 95.3 cases per 100,000 people through Tuesday, according to CDC figures. By comparison, Arizona’s rate was 84.6 per 100,000 residents. The national average was 54.2.
Wednesday’s 5,267 new cases brought the total number of COVID-19 cases identified in the state to 512,489. As of Wednesday, 8,718 Arizonans are known to have died from the disease, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services data panel.
Leaders of six major medical and public health groups in Arizona earlier this month called on Governor Doug Ducey to take more aggressive action against the spread of COVID-19, including a ban on eating indoors, limiting public gatherings. to no more than 25 people and the implementation of an enforceable mask and mandate.
A team of researchers from the University of Arizona wrote in a memo to the state Department of Health Services that without additional public health interventions, Arizona “runs the risk of a catastrophe on the scale of the worst natural disaster the state has ever experienced. It would be similar to facing a large forest fire without evacuation orders. “
Dr. Marjorie Bessel, clinical director of Phoenix-based Banner Health, said the state’s largest healthcare system already has two patients sharing rooms in multiple ICUs, and could reach 150% of its authorized bed capacity in january.
Arizona hospital officials are concerned about finding enough staff, not PPE or beds, to treat a surge of new COVID-19 patients as hospitals compete for hired workforce amid a pandemic affecting the whole country.
The percentage positivity, which refers to the percentage of COVID-19 diagnostic tests that are positive, has generally increased, which many health experts consider an early indicator of an increase in disease.
Arizona’s positivity rate also continues to rise. The previous week it stood at 22%. For the full two weeks before that, it was 18%, depending on the state, which has a unique way of calculating percent positivity. The percentage of positivity was 4% for several weeks during August, September and October, according to state data.
Johns Hopkins University calculates Arizona’s seven-day moving average of positive percentage at 14.7% as of Wednesday. It shows that the state’s positivity percentage peaked at 24.2% earlier this month, but may now be declining overall.
A positivity rate of 5% is considered a good benchmark that the spread of the disease is under control.
Arizona began its first COVID-19 vaccines for Phase 1A the week of December 14. Healthcare workers, first responders, residents of long-term care facilities and other vulnerable populations will be prioritized in the early phases, as will teachers, according to Ducey. He said the vaccine will be free to anyone who needs it once it becomes more available.
What to know about Wednesday’s numbers
Cases reported in Arizona: 512,489.
Cases increased by 5,267, or 1.04%, from the 507,222 cases identified Tuesday since the outbreak began. These daily cases are grouped by the date they are reported to the Arizona Department of Health Services, not by the date the tests were administered.
Cases by county: 314,464 in Maricopa, 68,437 in Pima, 27,191 in Pinal, 27,115 in Yuma, 12,108 in Mohave, 11,196 in Navajo, 11,101 in Yavapai, 10,982 in Coconino, 7,336 in Apache, 7,324 in Cochise, 5,857 in Santa Cruz, 4,419 in Gila, 3,180 in Graham, 1,387 in La Paz and 392 in Greenlee, according to state figures.
The case rate per 100,000 people is highest in Yuma County, followed by Santa Cruz, Apache and Navajo counties. The rate in Yuma County is 11,791 cases per 100,000 people. By comparison, the U.S. median rate as of Tuesday was 5,793 cases per 100,000 people, according to the CDC.
The Navajo Nation reported 22,526 cases and 781 confirmed deaths in total as of Tuesday. The Navajo Nation includes parts of Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. Tribal leaders have implemented a lockdown on the home and reinstated weekend curfews due to what officials have called the “uncontrolled spread” of COVID-19 in tribal communities.
The Arizona Department of Corrections reported that 6,415 inmates had tested positive for COVID-19 as of Tuesday, including 1,517 in Tucson, 1,199 in Yuma, 984 in Eyman and 853 in Douglas; 42,749 inmates have been screened statewide.
A total of 1,769 members of prison staff have reported testing positive, the department said. Twenty-six people incarcerated in Arizona have been confirmed to have died of COVID-19, and eight additional deaths are being investigated.
While race / ethnicity is unknown in 26% of all COVID-19 cases statewide, 32% of people are White, 29% are Hispanic / Latino, 5% are Native American, 3% are African American and 1% are Asian or Pacific Islander.
Of those who tested positive in Arizona since the onset of the pandemic, 15% were under 20 years old, 45% between 20 and 44 years old, 15% between 45 and 54 years old, 12% between 55 and 64 years old, and 13% were over 65 years old.
Laboratories have completed 2,812,466 diagnostic tests on unique individuals for COVID-19, 12.7% of which tested positive. That number includes both PCR and antigen tests.
The percentage of positive tests had increased since mid-May, but began to decline in July and held steady at around 4% for several weeks, according to the state.
It was at 22% last week and 18% for the previous two weeks. State numbers omit data from labs that do not report electronically.
The state Department of Health has begun to list probable cases such as anyone with a positive antigen test, another type of test to determine current infection. Antigen testing (not related to antibody testing) is a newer type of COVID-19 diagnostic test that uses a nasal swab or other fluid sample to detect a current infection. Results are normally produced in 15 minutes.
A positive result from an antigen test is considered very accurate, but there is a higher chance of false negative results, says the Mayo Clinic. Depending on the situation, Mayo Clinic officials say a doctor may recommend a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test to confirm a negative antigen test result.
Arizona as of Tuesday had the 21st highest overall case rate in the country since Jan.21. Ahead of Arizona, in cases per 100,000 people since the pandemic began are North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, Utah, Tennessee, Rhode Island, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Illinois, Kansas, Indiana, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Arkansas, Alabama, Nevada and Mississippi, according to the CDC.
Arizona’s infection rate is 6,930 cases per 100,000 people, the CDC said. The national average is 5,793 cases per 100,000 people, although rates in the states hardest hit early in the pandemic may be insufficient due to a lack of available evidence in March and April.
Deaths reported in Arizona: 8,718
Deaths by county: 5,051 in Maricopa, 1,039 in Pima, 510 in Yuma, 357 in Pinal, 335 in Navajo, 335 in Mohave, 231 in Apache, 213 in Yavapai, 208 in Coconino, 132 in Gila, 126 in Cochise, 95 in Santa Cruz, 50 in Graham, 33 in La Paz and three in Greenlee.
People 65 and older accounted for 6,404 of the 8,718 deaths, or 73%. After that, 15% of the deaths occurred in the age group 55-64 years, 6% between 45 and 54 years, and 5% between 20 and 44 years.
While race / ethnicity is unknown in 10% of deaths, 45% of those who died whose race / ethnicity was known were White, 29% were Hispanic or Latino, 10% were Native American, 3% were African American, and 1% were Asian / Pacific Islander, state data shows.
The global death toll as of Wednesday morning was 1,793,686 and the United States had the highest death count of any country in the world, at 338,742, according to Johns Hopkins University. Arizona’s total death toll of 8,718 deaths represents 2.6% of COVID-19 deaths in the US as of Wednesday.
The COVID-19 death rate in Arizona was 116 per 100,000 people as of Tuesday, according to the CDC, placing it 16th in the country in a statewide ranking that separates New York City from the state of New York. NY. The United States average is 100 deaths per 100,000 people, the CDC said.
New York City has the highest death rate, with 298 deaths per 100,000 people. After that follows New Jersey, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Connecticut, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Mississippi, Louisiana, Illinois, Michigan, Iowa, Arkansas, Indiana, and Pennsylvania.
Translation Nadia Cantú