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This is a regularly updated story with the latest information, news and updates about the coronavirus and its impact in Arizona and beyond for Tuesday, Aug. 25.
PHOENIX – Arizona health authorities reported 859 new coronavirus cases and 21 more deaths on Tuesday morning.
That put the state’s documented totals at 199,273 COVID-19 infections and 4,792 fatalities, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.
Multiple key metrics about the severity of Arizona’s pandemic are at or near the lowest they’ve been in a month or more. Coronavirus-related hospitalizations are down to levels not seen since May.
The rolling seven-day average for newly reported cases declined Monday to 629.86, the lowest seen since June 1, according to tracking by The Associated Press.
The seven-day average of newly reported deaths was at 37.86 for the second consecutive day, the second-lowest mark since July 8.
The seven-day average for new cases peaked July 6 at 3,844, and the stat for deaths reached a high of 94 on July 30.
The spread of coronavirus in Arizona has been slowing in the month-plus since the implementation of face mask requirements by local governments in many areas — including all of Maricopa County — and statewide executive orders to close businesses such as bars and gyms and to restrict restaurant occupancy.
Those moves were made after the state became a global hot spot for the coronavirus, which 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.
Arizona’s weekly positive rate for COVID-19 diagnostic tests, which shows how much the virus is spreading, has declined for seven consecutive weeks.
For the 50,013 samples taken last week that have been processed and recorded, the positive rate is 5%, the lowest since the week starting May 10.
Weekly 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 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 hospital data posted each morning, however, is reported the previous evening by the hospitals and shows coronavirus-related hospitalizations at their lowest points since early June.
The number of Arizona’s confirmed or suspected COVID-19 inpatients jumped by 91 overnight to 999 on Monday. It was the first day-to-day-increase since Aug. 3, but just the third time under 1,000 since May 31.
The number of COVID-19 patients in ICU beds fell to 319, the fewest since May 22.
COVID-19 inpatients peaked at 3,517 on July 13, and COVID-19 patients in ICU beds topped out at 970 the same day.
Overall, inpatient beds were 80% full on Monday, 1 point lower than the previous day. The inpatient occupancy rate peaked at 88% on July 9-10.
The ICU occupancy rate was 74%, 1 point lower than the previous day. It topped out at 91% on July 7.
Hospital bed data on the health department website does not include surge beds that have not been activated but can potentially increase capacity.
Below are Tuesday’s latest developments about the coronavirus pandemic from around the state, country and world:
- Health experts worry the coronavirus pandemic could take a toll on kids’ mental health, but a shortage of child psychiatrists in the metro Phoenix is delaying treatment opportunities.
- There were more than 23.6 million coronavirus cases and 814,000 deaths reported globally as of Tuesday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University. For the U.S., there were more than 5.7 million cases and 177,000 deaths.
For all articles, information and updates on the coronavirus from KTAR News, visit ktar.com/coronavirus.