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Arizona reports 198 new coronavirus cases, no new deaths

(AP Photo/Anupam Nath)

This is a regularly updated story with the latest information, news and updates about the coronavirus and its impact in Arizona and beyond for Monday, Sept. 7.

PHOENIX – Arizona health authorities reported 198 new coronavirus cases and removed two deaths from the count while reporting no new fatalities on Monday morning.

That put the state’s documented totals at 205,964 COVID-19 infections and 5,219 deaths, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Multiple key metrics about the severity of Arizona’s pandemic are at or near the lowest they’ve been in a month or more, including coronavirus-related hospitalizations.

The rolling seven-day average for newly reported cases was 586.43 on Sunday, one of the lowest totals seen since June 1, according to tracking by The Associated Press.

The seven-day average of newly reported deaths was 32 on Sunday, among the lowest marks since the start of July.

The seven-day average for new cases peaked July 6 at 3,844, and the stat for deaths reached a high of 94 on July 30.

The spread of coronavirus in Arizona has been slowing in the month-plus since the implementation of face mask requirements by local governments in many areas — including all of Maricopa County — and statewide executive orders to close certain businesses and 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 COVID-19 diagnostic tests, which shows how much the virus is spreading, had declined for seven consecutive weeks but may be leveling off.

For the 42,154 samples taken last week that were processed and recorded, the positive rate was 4%.

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 and the results are documented by the state.

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 at or near their lowest points in several months.

The number of Arizona’s confirmed or suspected COVID-19 inpatients dipped to 658 on Sunday, one of the lowest totals since April 26.

The number of COVID-19 patients in ICU beds dropped to 221, the lowest total since April 8, the first day bed usage by coronavirus patients was reported by AZDHS.

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, inpatient beds were 80% full on Sunday, 1% lower than Saturday. Only 8% of beds, were taken by COVID patients.

The inpatient occupancy rate peaked at 88% on July 9-10, when more than 40% of beds were filled with COVID patients.

The ICU occupancy rate was 77% on Sunday, one percent lower than the previous day. COVID patients took up just 13% of the ICU beds, the lowest percentage since April 8.

ICU occupancy rate topped out at 91% on July 7, when more than half of the state’s ICU beds were filled with COVID patients.

Hospital bed data on the health department website does not include surge beds that have not been activated but can potentially increase capacity.

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