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32 deaths, 1,598 Arizonans reported with CV-19; 237 in Pima County

Nearly 1,600 Arizonans have recorded positive tests for COVID-19. 32 have died, including at least 10 Pima County residents, where about 240 have confirmed cases of coronavirus.

4 new Pima County deaths were reported Wednesday morning; no details were provided by authorities.

There were 1,598 reported cases of Arizona residents who had tested positive for the virus as of Thursday morning, an increase of 185 from Wednesday. In Pima County, there were 237 reported positive tests, up from 217 the day before.

With more data being released about private commercial labs, we have a better picture of the coronavirus testing being done in Arizona: about 22,709 have been tested thus far statewide as of Wednesday morning, an increase from a total of about 21,058 by Wednesday, with 19,300 by Tuesday and 16,800 before Monday. Of those, about 3,282 patients in Pima County have been tested.

While testing is still limited in Arizona — with tests only being run on patients with severe symptoms and known contacts with other confirmed reported COVID-19 cases — the percentage of patients who are being tested who have a positive detection of coronavirus is small. Just 6 percent of Arizonans who are tested are being reported as having a detected case of COVID-19.

The outbreak has grown on the Navajo Nation, which has instituted a nighttime curfew and "Stay at Home" order. There are 214 reported cases there, with 7 deaths.

Another 185 cases were added to the total count of reported diagnosed patients with CV-19 in the state, officials said Thursday morning.

  • Wednesday, 1,413 confirmed cases of the virus had been reported in Arizona, with 217 in Pima County.
  • Tuesday, 1,289 confirmed cases of the virus had been reported in Arizona, with 202 in Pima County.
  • Monday, 1,157 confirmed cases had been reported, with 187 cases in Pima County.
  • Sunday, 919 cases had been reported, with 147 in Pima County.
  • Saturday, there were 773 cases, with 120 here.
  • Friday, 665 Arizona cases had been reported, with 102 Pima cases.
  • Last Thursday, just more than 500 Arizona cases had been reported, with 75 in Pima County.

32 people have died in the state from COVID-19, including at least 10 in Pima County — the latest of those deaths was announced Wednesday morning. 12 people have died in Maricopa County. Officials have said the virus has reached "widespread transmission" across the state, with reported cases in each of Arizona's 15 counties.

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"We need to act like every contact we have is a source of infection," county Chief Medical Officer Dr. Francisco Garcia told the Pima County Board of Supervisors last Thursday, telling everyone to reduce their interactions outside their homes as much as possible.

The rate of reported spread slowed somewhat, but recorded cases still continued to climb. Diagnosed cases had been increasing by 50 percent day after day, but the figures released each morning late last week were about 25 percent larger than the previous day's total.

Monday's reported total was about 25 percent larger, but officials have repeatedly said that there are limits and shortages in testing, and that many presumed positive cases are being instructed to self-isolate and are not being included in the reported count of confirmed cases.

The total number of tests being run on Arizona patients is finally known: 22,709 have been tested since the beginning of the outbreak; a total of 16,759 tests was reported on Monday morning. According to data released over the last four days, about 2,000-3,000 tests are being run each day in the state.

Previously, negative results from commercial labs had not been reported to the press or public. Only positive tests had been disclosed, despite those commercial labs running the vast majority of the tests — one recent day, the State Public Health Laboratory reported running tests for just 2 patients in the state.

Saturday morning, state officials reported that 773 patients in Arizona had tested positive for the disease. Friday morning, state officials reported that 665 patients in Arizona had tested positive. Thursday morning, 508 cases were reported here. Wednesday morning, 401 Arizona residents were reported as positive. Tuesday, there were 326 reported cases, with 235 on Monday. Last Sunday, that figure was 152.

State officials have been releasing daily data summaries just after 9 a.m. each day. County information generally comes later in the day. Most information being made public is based on data provided to authorities by 5 p.m. the previous day.

A majority of cases in Pima and Maricopa counties have been younger than 60.

214 recorded positive patients live on the Navajo Nation, with 40 new cases and reported Wednesday. 7 have died on the reservation. Those positive reported cases are now being included in the daily tallies released by the Arizona Department of Health Services, officials have said, but there is an apparent lag in the data being updated. The number of cases reported by the state in Navajo and Apache counties often lags the reports from the tribe, as it did on Saturday.

That means the number of total tested and confirmed cases in Arizona being reported by state authorities is not always the most recent actual total.

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The entire Navajo reservation has been placed on lockdown by tribal leaders, as has the landlocked Hopi Reservation within the Navajo Nation.

The outbreak has reached all of Arizona's 15 counties. The largest group of cases has been reported in Maricopa County: 961 patients there had been diagnosed by Wednesday night, up from 871 on Monday. Thursday morning, county authorities added several more cases to their published count, bringing it to 964.

"Given widespread transmission, all Arizonans should expect that COVID-19 is circulating in their community," Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, has announced. "COVID-19 is a serious disease that is highly contagious and can be fatal in anyone, especially our elderly population and people with underlying health conditions. Protecting those at highest risk of complications and ensuring that our healthcare system is prepared to deal with a surge in cases is our highest priority. It is imperative that everyone takes precautions to protect themselves and their family from this disease."

237 Pima County residents have now been diagnosed.

Of those reported by Tuesday night, 114 are men and 123 women, with 59 patients older than 65. 97 are ages 41-65, with 74 adults between the ages of 18 and 40. 2 are younger than 18.

Officials said they didn't know the ages of 5 of the Pima cases.

Last Wednesday morning, Pima officials removed the number of people hospitalized and in ICU from their online dashboard. This Wednesday, they added it back. With Thursday's update: 45 patients here have been hospitalized since the beginning of the outbreak, with 15 in ICU.

A majority of patients with reported positive tests in Pima and Maricopa counties are under retirement age, with 25 percent here older than 65, and 23 percent in Maricopa over age 65.

Limited data on limited tests

Health officials have repeatedly said that the number of reported cases is just a fraction of the number of Arizonans who are carrying COVID-19. With limited testing capacity still, only the sickest people with known possible coronavirus contacts have been being tested.

Many people carry the virus without developing symptoms for days, but still spread it to others they come in contact with — which is why doctors and public health experts repeatedly emphasize that people should remain at home as much as possible to help contain the outbreak.

Most of those cases have been diagnosed with tests at private commercial laboratories — 719 of the total positive tests reported by Friday had been at private labs, with 54 positives determined at the Arizona state lab.

Private commercial labs have not been previously required to report the total number of tests they are performing, only the positive cases. That has changed this week, with Gov. Doug Ducey ordering that all tests be reported to state health officials, and data finally being released about a week later.

Monday, officials said that 1,228 of the total positive tests had been done at private commercial labs, with 61 done at the state health lab.

Officials are no longer providing a breakdown of how many total tests are being run at the state lab, and are instead providing only a total of all testing: 21,058 reported total tests on Arizona patients, an increase from Tuesday's reported 19,371 tests since the beginning of the outbreak. Monday, based on numbers from Sunday evening, officials reported 16,759 tests had been run, up from about 13,000 in the previous report.

'Serious disease'

"COVID-19 is a serious disease that can be fatal in anyone, especially our elderly population and people with underlying health conditions," ADHS Director Cara Christ said earlier "We expect to see more cases of COVID-19 in Arizona, and there could be more deaths. It is imperative that everyone takes precautions to protect you and your family from this disease."

The best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

COVID-19 spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Symptoms are thought to appear within two to 14 days after exposure and consist of fever, cough, runny nose, and difficulty breathing. For people with mild illness, individuals are asked to stay home, drink plenty of fluids and get rest. For people with more severe symptoms, such as shortness of breath, individuals are advised to seek healthcare.

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