(AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
This is a regularly updated story with the latest information about the coronavirus and its impact in Arizona and beyond for Dec. 26, 2020.
PHOENIX – Arizona health officials reported 6,106 new coronavirus cases and 15 additional deaths on Saturday.
The state’s documented totals increased to 493,041 COVID-19 infections and 8,424 fatalities, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services dashboard.
Multiple COVID-19 metrics in Arizona have been at or near pandemic highs.
The number of Arizona’s confirmed or suspected COVID-19 hospital inpatients fell to 4,165 on Friday after an all-time high of 4,226 on Thursday.
However, the number of COVID-19 patients in the state’s ICU beds increased to 983, setting a record for the third time in the last four days.
Statewide, suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients took up 49% of all inpatient beds, down from a record 50% in the two previous days, and 55% of all ICU beds.
Overall, inpatient beds were 89% filled and ICU beds were 91% full. The state had 154 unused ICU beds Friday, 23 more than the previous day.
Arizona’s weekly percent positivity for COVID-19 diagnostic testing, an indicator of how much the virus is spreading in the community, was 22% through 76,331 tests for this week. If that holds up, it will break the record of 21% from the week starting June 28.
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 rolling seven-day average for the health department’s newly reported cases was 6,323 for Friday, according to tracking by The Associated Press, nearly 150 lower than Thursday.
The seven-day average of newly reported COVID-19 deaths was 84.29 for Friday, declining for the third consecutive day but still the ninth-highest ever.
The daily updates 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.
For all articles, information and updates on the coronavirus from KTAR News, visit ktar.com/coronavirus.