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73 deaths, 2,500+ Arizonans reported with CV-19; 415 in Pima County

More than 2,500 Arizonans have recorded positive tests for COVID-19. 73 have died, including at least 13 Pima County residents, where about 415 have confirmed cases of coronavirus. Just 7 percent of those tested have positive coronavirus results.

There were 2,575 reported cases of Arizona residents who had tested positive for the virus as of Tuesday morning, an increase of 119 from Monday. In Pima County, there were 415 reported positive tests, with no new cases announced since Monday.

Pima County officials have not released updated info about cases here since Sunday.

With more data being released about private commercial labs, we have a better picture of the coronavirus testing being done in Arizona: about 33,375 have been tested thus far statewide as of Tuesday morning, an increase from a total of about 32,534 completed by Monday and 27,160 total done by Saturday.

Of those, about 4,511 patients in Pima County have been tested — about 35 more than had been done by Monday.

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 7 percent of Arizonans who are tested are being reported as having a detected case of COVID-19. That's a small increase from the 6 percent positive rate reported earlier last week.

The outbreak has grown on the Navajo Nation, which has instituted a nighttime curfew and "Stay at Home" order. There are 384 reported cases there, with at least 15 confirmed deaths. Navajo officials have declared a 57-hour "mandatory curfew" for the weekend "because many people aren't abiding by the stay at home order."

Another 119 cases were added to the total count of reported diagnosed patients with CV-19 in the state, officials said Tuesday morning.

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  • Monday, 2,456 confirmed cases of the virus had been reported in Arizona, with 415 in Pima County.
  • Sunday, 2,269 confirmed cases of the virus had been reported in Arizona, with 372 in Pima County.
  • Saturday, 2,019 confirmed cases of the virus had been reported in Arizona, with 326 in Pima County.
  • Friday, 1,796 confirmed cases of the virus had been reported in Arizona, with 280 in Pima County.
  • Thursday, 1,598 confirmed cases of the virus had been reported in Arizona, with 237 in Pima County.
  • Last Wednesday, 1,413 confirmed cases of the virus had been reported in Arizona, with 217 in Pima County.
  • Last Tuesday, 1,289 confirmed cases of the virus had been reported in Arizona, with 202 in Pima County.
  • Last Monday, 1,157 confirmed cases had been reported, with 187 cases in Pima County.
  • Sunday, March 29, 919 cases had been reported, with 147 in Pima County.
  • Saturday, March 28, there were 773 cases, with 120 here.
  • March 27, 665 Arizona cases had been reported, with 102 Pima cases.
  • March 26, just more than 500 Arizona cases had been reported, with 75 in Pima County.

73 people have died in the state from COVID-19, including at least 13 in Pima County. 35 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.

"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 at a recent meeting, 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. This week, that increase in confirmed reported cases has declined to about 10 percent or less each day — but testing remains limited, with many patients who report being symptomatic being told merely to self-isolate at home.

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: 33,375 have been tested since the beginning of the outbreak. According to data released over the last week, about 2,000-3,000 tests are being run each day in the state. Fewer than 1,000 additional tests were reported Tuesday morning.

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.

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.

384 recorded positive patients live on the Navajo Nation. At least 15 have died on the reservation. Tribal officials have ordered a 57-hour complete lockdown, with police checkpoints, for the weekend, as people have been flouting the previous "Stay at Home" order on the reservation.

Those positive reported cases on the reservation 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.

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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.

The entire Navajo reservation has been ordered to remain at home by tribal leaders, as has the landlocked Hopi Reservation within the Navajo Nation. The Pacua Yaqui Tribe, near Tucson, has also locked down its reservation, imposing a curfew and issuing a "Stay at Home" order after two non-reservation tribal members died from COVID-19 and several reservation residents tested positive.

The outbreak has reached all of Arizona's 15 counties. The largest group of cases has been reported in Maricopa County: 1,495 patients there had been diagnosed by Monday night, up from 871 a week ago Monday.

"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."

415 Pima County residents have now been diagnosed.

Of those reported here by Sunday afternoon, 167 are men and 205 women, with 103 patients older than 65. 128 ages 44-64, with 131 adults between the ages of 20 and 44. 5 are 19 or younger.

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 Sunday's update: 81 patients here have been hospitalized since the beginning of the outbreak, with 24 in ICU.

A majority of patients with reported positive tests in Pima and Maricopa counties are under retirement age, with 28 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.

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

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.

'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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