UPS employees move one of two shipping containers containing the first shipments of the Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine inside a sorting facility at UPS Worldport on December 13, 2020 in Louisville, Kentucky. The flight originated in Lansing, Michigan. (Photo by Michael Clevenger – Pool/Getty Images)
This is a regularly updated story with the latest information about the coronavirus and its impact in Arizona and beyond for Dec. 14, 2020.
PHOENIX – On the day the first vaccines were given in the United States, Arizona on Monday reported 11,795 new coronavirus cases, one additional death and a record number of COVID-19 hospitalizations.
It was Arizona’s second-highest single-day case report of the pandemic. The highest report, 12,314 cases, came six days earlier.
The state’s documented totals increased to 420,248 COVID-19 infections and 7,358 fatalities, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.
Overall, multiple COVID-19 metrics in Arizona are at or approaching the highest they’ve ever been.
The number of Arizona’s confirmed or suspected COVID-19 hospital inpatients was 3,677 on Sunday, the third consecutive record-setting day.
The number of Arizona’s confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients in ICU beds was 829 on Sunday, two fewer than the previous day and 141 below the July 13 record of 970.
Statewide, 43% of all inpatient beds and 47% of all ICU beds were filled with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients on Sunday, levels last seen in July.
Overall, inpatient beds were 91% filled, as were ICU beds.
Arizona’s weekly percent positivity for COVID-19 diagnostic testing, an indicator of how much the virus is spreading in the community, is showing signs of leveling off after reaching its highest level in five months.
As of Monday’s report, the positivity rate for last week was 18%, same as the previous week.
Official positivity 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 positivity rate peaked at 21% at the end of June and was down to 4% as recently as early October.
The rolling seven-day average for the health department’s newly reported cases was a record 6,309.43 for Sunday, according to tracking by The Associated Press, about 2,500 higher than the July peak of the first wave.
The seven-day average of newly reported deaths has lagged behind the case numbers, but it has more than doubled since the start of December. It was at 58.14 for Sunday, the highest since Aug. 12. The weekly death average peaked July 30 at 94.
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 hospitalization data posted each morning is reported electronically the previous evening by 100 hospitals across the state, as required under executive order.
COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, 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.
Information about testing locations can be found on the Arizona Department of Health Services website.
Below are Monday’s latest developments about the coronavirus pandemic from around the state, country and world:
- The largest vaccination campaign in U.S. history got underway as health workers in select hospitals rolled up their sleeves for shots to protect them from COVID-19 and start beating back the pandemic.
- The head of the Chandler Education Association is calling for additional measures to be taken to curb the spread of the coronavirus in the community.
- Globally, there were about 72.38 million COVID-19 cases and 1.61 million deaths as of Monday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University research. The figures for the U.S. were around 16.26 million cases and 299,000 deaths.
For all articles, information and updates on the coronavirus from KTAR News, visit ktar.com/coronavirus.