FILE – In this Wednesday, March 11, 2020 file photo, a technician prepares COVID-19 coronavirus patient samples for testing at a laboratory in New York’s Long Island. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
This is a regularly updated story with the latest information, news and updates about the coronavirus and its impact in Arizona and beyond for Tuesday, Aug. 4.
PHOENIX – Arizona health authorities reported 1,008 new coronavirus cases and 66 additional deaths on Tuesday morning.
That brought the state’s documented totals to 180,505 COVID-19 infections and 3,845 fatalities, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.
Dr. Cara Christ, the state health director, revealed the latest numbers on KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News before the regular daily update on the department’s website.
“We’re actually trending down with the number of newly reported cases,” she said. “That seems to be continuing our trend and showing that our mitigation measures are working.”
The seven-day average for newly reported cases was 2,238.57 on Monday, the lowest since June 20, according to tracking by The Associated Press.
The seven-day average of newly reported deaths fell Monday to 67.86, the lowest it’s been since July 16.
The spread of coronavirus in Arizona has been slowing in the weeks after the implementation of face mask requirements in many areas — including all of Maricopa County — and statewide executive orders to close businesses such as bars and gyms and to restrict restaurant occupancy.
Those moves were made after the state became a global hot spot for the coronavirus, which has no impact on some people and is seriously debilitating or fatal for others. Infected people without symptoms – which include but are not limited to cough, fever and difficulty breathing — are capable of spreading the virus.
Arizona’s weekly positive rate for diagnostic PCR tests, which indicates how much the virus is spreading, has fallen each of the past four weeks.
The positive rate was 11% for the 42,506 tests given and processed last week, the lowest registered since it was 9% the week starting May 24.
Weekly rates are based on when the samples are taken, not when they are reported, so the percentage for recent weeks can fluctuate as labs get caught up on testing backlogs.
The weekly positive rate was 5% in early May and started climbing after Arizona’s stay-at-home order expired. It peaked at 21% the week starting June 28.
The Arizona health department’s daily reports present case, death and testing data after the state receives statistics and confirms them, which can lag by several days or more. They don’t represent the actual activity over the past 24 hours.
The hospitalization data posted each morning, however, is reported the previous evening by the hospitals.
After nearly two weeks of daily declines, the number of Arizona’s confirmed or suspected COVID-19 inpatients increased by seven on Monday to 2,024, the second-lowest total since June 21.
The number of COVID-19 patients in ICU beds ticked up by 10 to 638, the first increase in 10 days but still the second-lowest number since June 25.
The number of COVID-19 inpatients peaked at 3,517 on July 13, and the number of COVID-19 patients in ICU beds topped out at 970 the same day.
Overall, Arizona inpatient and ICU bed usage rates remain on the low end of the range seen since June.
Inpatient beds were 81% full Monday, the second time since June 15 it’s been that low. The inpatient occupancy rate peaked July 9-10 at 88%.
The ICU occupancy rate was 83% Monday for the second consecutive day, the lowest it’s been since June 16. It topped out at 91% on July 7.
Hospital bed data on the health department website does not include surge beds that have not been activated but can potentially increase capacity.
Below are Tuesday’s latest developments about the coronavirus pandemic from around the state, country and world:
The decision over whether to open schools for students is weighing heavily on a superintendent of a small school district in southeastern Arizona that’s been impacted by COVID-19.
There were more than 18.3 million coronavirus cases and 694,000 deaths reported globally as of Tuesday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University. For the U.S., there were more than 4.7 million cases and 155,000 deaths.
For all articles, information and updates on the coronavirus from KTAR News, visit ktar.com/coronavirus.