Arizona reported 661 new COVID-19 cases and eight new known deaths on Sunday.
Arizona’s seven-day case rate per 100,000 people ranked 45th on Saturday among all states and territories after ranking first and second for much of January, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID Data Tracker.
The states with a lower case rate over the past seven days were New Mexico, Alabama, Kansas, Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Hawaii and California. Arizona ranked 51st among 60 states and territories on March 28, but its rank has fluctuated.
Arizona’s seven-day death rate per 100,000 people ranked 24th in the nation as of Saturday, according to the CDC.
Percent positivity, which refers to the percent of COVID-19 diagnostic tests that are positive, varies somewhat based on how it’s measured.
Last week, Arizona’s percent positivity remained at 6% for the second week in a row, following six weeks at 5%, according to the state, which has a unique way of calculating percent positivity. Weekly percent positivity statewide peaked at 25% in December.
The state’s overall COVID-19 death and case rates since Jan. 21, 2020, still remain among the worst in the country.
The COVID-19 death rate in Arizona since the pandemic began is 236 deaths per 100,000 people as of Saturday, according to the CDC, putting it sixth in the country in a state ranking that separates New York City from New York state. The U.S. average is 171 deaths per 100,000 people as of Saturday, the CDC said.
New York City has the highest death rate, at 385 deaths per 100,000 people, followed by New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Mississippi.
Arizona’s case rate per 100,000 people since the pandemic began also ranks sixth nationwide as of Saturday.
Arizona’s newly reported eight deaths brought the known COVID-19 death count to 17,268. The state surpassed 17,000 deaths on April 7, after passing 16,000 deaths on March 2, 15,000 deaths on Feb. 17, 14,000 deaths on Feb. 6 and 13,000 deaths on Jan. 29, just one week after it passed 12,000 and two weeks after 11,000 deaths. The state exceeded 10,000 known deaths on Jan. 9. Arizona’s first known death from the disease occurred in mid-March 2020.
Many of the reported deaths occurred days or weeks prior because of reporting delays and death certificate matching.
A total of 858,737 COVID-19 cases have been identified across the state. March and April have seen relatively lower case reports. Forty-five of the past 48 days’ reported cases have been under 1,000.
The Arizona data dashboard shows 86% of all ICU beds and 88% of all inpatient beds in the state were in use Saturday, with 11% of ICU beds and 7% of non-ICU beds occupied by COVID-19 patients. Statewide, 239 ICU beds and 1,028 non-ICU beds were available.
Hospitalizations for the disease generally dropped for about 13 weeks and recently appear to have plateaued somewhat, with slight increases over the past few days.
The total number of patients hospitalized in Arizona for known or suspected COVID-19 cases was 591 on Saturday, one less than on Friday and far below the record 5,082 inpatients on Jan. 11. By comparison, the highest number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in a single day during the summer 2020 surge was 3,517 on July 13.
The number of patients with suspected or known COVID-19 in ICUs across Arizona was at 185 on Saturday, up from 174 on Friday but far below the record high of 1,183 on Jan. 11. 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 tallied 90 on Saturday, up slightly from 79 on Friday and well below the record high 821 reached on Jan. 13. During the summer surge, July 16 was the peak day for ventilator use, with 687 patients.
Saturday saw 993 patients in Arizona emergency rooms for COVID-19, well below the Dec. 29 single-day record of 2,341 positive or suspected COVID-19 patients seen in emergency departments across the state.
Arizona began its first COVID-19 vaccinations for health care workers, long-term care facilities and front-line first responders in mid-December. The state in early March shifted to a largely age-based rollout and in late March began allowing anyone 16 and older to start registering for appointments.
The state reported 2.8 million people in Arizona had received at least one vaccine dose as of Saturday, with nearly 2.1 million people fully vaccinated against COVID-19, state data show. Arizona has about 5.6 million adults age 18 and older.
What to know about Sunday’s numbers
Reported cases in Arizona: 858,737.
Cases since the outbreak began increased by 661 or 0.07%, from Saturday’s 858,076 identified cases. These daily cases are grouped by the date they are reported to the state health department, not by the date the tests were administered.
Cases by county: 534,430 in Maricopa, 114,830 in Pima, 50,974 in Pinal, 37,041 in Yuma, 22,560 in Mohave, 18,605 in Yavapai, 17,634 in Coconino, 16,141 in Navajo, 11,881 in Cochise, 11,297 in Apache, 7,910 in Santa Cruz, 6,868 in Gila, 5,542 in Graham, 2,454 in La Paz and 570 in Greenlee, according to state numbers.
The rate of cases per 100,000 people since the pandemic began is highest in Yuma County, followed by Apache, Santa Cruz, Graham and Navajo counties, per state data. The rate in Yuma County is 16,107 cases per 100,000 people. By comparison, the U.S. average rate since the pandemic began is 9,577 cases per 100,000 people as of Saturday according to the CDC.
The Navajo Nation reported 30,435 cases and 1,263 confirmed deaths in total as of Friday. The Navajo Nation includes parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.
The Arizona Department of Corrections reported 12,270 inmates had tested positive for COVID-19 as of Friday, including 2,241 in Tucson, 2,030 in Eyman, 2,014 in Yuma, 1,303 in Lewis and 1,163 in Douglas; 46,330 inmates statewide have been tested. A total of 2,759 prison staff members have self-reported testing positive, the department said. Forty-three incarcerated people in Arizona have been confirmed to have died of COVID-19, with 11 additional deaths under investigation.
Race/ethnicity is unknown for 17% of all COVID-19 cases statewide, but 38% of positive cases have been diagnosed in white people, 30% Hispanic or Latino, 5% Native American, 3% Black and 1% Asian/Pacific Islander.
Of those who have tested positive in Arizona since the start of the pandemic, 16% were younger than 20, 44% were 20-44, 15% were 45-54, 12% were 55-64 and 13% were age 65 or older.
Laboratories had completed 4,217,160 diagnostic tests on unique individuals for COVID-19 as of Sunday, 13.5% of which have come back positive. That number includes both PCR and antigen testing. The percentage of positive tests for the last full week was at 6% for the second week in a row, following six weeks at 5%. The state numbers leave out data from labs that do not report electronically.
The state Health Department includes probable cases as anyone with a positive antigen test, another type of test to determine current infection. Antigen tests (not related to antibody tests) use a nasal swab or another fluid sample to test for current infection. Results are typically produced within 15 minutes.
A positive antigen test result is considered very accurate, but there’s an increased chance of false-negative results, the Mayo Clinic says. Mayo Clinic officials say a doctor may recommend a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test to confirm a negative antigen test result.
Arizona as of Saturday had the sixth-highest overall case rate in the country since Jan. 21, 2020. Ahead of Arizona in cases per 100,000 people since the pandemic began are North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee and Utah, according to the CDC.
Arizona’s infection rate is 11,779 cases per 100,000 people, according to the CDC. The national average is 9,577 cases per 100,000 people, though the rates in states hard hit early in the pandemic may be an undercount because of a lack of available testing in March and April 2020.
Reported deaths in Arizona: 17,268
Deaths by county: 9,836 in Maricopa, 2,391 in Pima, 868 in Pinal (869 was reported Saturday), 830 in Yuma, 711 in Mohave, 525 in Navajo, 501 in Yavapai, 426 in Apache, 329 in Coconino, 284 in Cochise, 226 in Gila, 174 in Santa Cruz, 80 in La Paz, 77 in Graham and 10 in Greenlee.
People age 65 and older make up 12,942 of the 17,268 deaths, or 75%. Following that, 15% of deaths were in the 55-64 age group, 6% were 45-54 and 4% were 20-44 years old.
While race/ethnicity was unknown for 6% of deaths, 50% of those who died were white, 28% were Hispanic or Latino, 8% were Native American, 3% were Black and 1% were Asian/Pacific Islander, the state data show.
The global death toll as of Sunday morning was 3,102,407. The U.S. had the highest death count of any country in the world, at 571,964, according to Johns Hopkins University. Arizona’s death total of 17,268 deaths represents about 3% of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S.
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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Arizona reports 661 new COVID-19 cases, 8 new known deaths on Sunday