(Photo by Ezra Acayan/Getty Images)
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. 11.
PHOENIX – Arizona health authorities reported 1,213 new coronavirus cases and 45 additional deaths on Tuesday morning.
That brought the state’s documented totals to 188,737 COVID-19 infections and 4,199 fatalities, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.
Multiple key metrics about the severity of Arizona’s pandemic, including coronavirus-related hospitalizations, are at or near the lowest they’ve been in a month or more.
The rolling seven-day average for newly reported cases was 1,146.57 on Monday, the lowest since June 10, according to tracking by The Associated Press.
The seven-day average of newly reported deaths dipped to 53.57, the lowest since July 11.
The spread of coronavirus in Arizona has been slowing in the weeks after the implementation of face mask requirements by local governments 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.
On Monday, state officials released a roadmap for closed business to resume operations once certain countywide data benchmarks that measure the prevalence of COVID-19 are reached. Only two counties – Yavapai and La Paz – met the benchmarks for the first phase of reopening.
Arizona’s weekly positive rate for diagnostic PCR tests, which shows how much the virus is spreading, has been falling for five consecutive weeks and was at 8% for the 50,666 samples taken last week that have been processed.
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 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 hospital data posted each morning, however, is reported the previous evening by the hospitals and shows coronavirus-related hospitalizations trending down for the past month.
The number of Arizona’s confirmed or suspected COVID-19 inpatients fell to 1,574 on Monday, just one below the previous day but the fewest since June 15.
The number of COVID-19 patients in ICU beds ticked up by four overnight to 510, still the second fewest since June 15.
COVID-19 inpatients peaked at 3,517 on July 13, and COVID-19 patients in ICU beds topped out at 970 the same day.
Overall, Arizona inpatient and ICU bed usage rates hit their lowest levels in two months.
Inpatient beds were 79% full on Monday, the lowest since June 8. The inpatient occupancy rate peaked at 88% on July 9-10.
The ICU occupancy rate fell to 81%, the lowest since June 13. 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:
There were more than 20.1 million coronavirus cases and 737,000 deaths reported globally as of Tuesday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University. For the U.S., there were more than 5 million cases and 163,000 deaths.
For all articles, information and updates on the coronavirus from KTAR News, visit ktar.com/coronavirus.