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Health

Arizona reports 645 new COVID-19 cases, 16 additional deaths Saturday – KTAR.com

A person holds a mask while walking outside in Philadelphia, Friday, May 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

PHOENIX – Arizona public health officials on Saturday reported 645 new coronavirus cases and 16 additional deaths from COVID-19.

The latest documented totals were 876,411 COVID-19 infections and 17,547 fatalities, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services’ COVID-19 dashboard.

The dashboard also showed that 5,686,724 vaccine doses have been administered in the state, with 3,202,882 people (44.6% of the state’s population) having received at least one shot and 2,716,984 people fully vaccinated.

Since plummeting from January peaks and as vaccines have become widely available, hospitalizations related to COVID-19 have plateaued over the last two months, with relatively minor daily fluctuations.

The number of confirmed or suspected COVID-19 inpatients in the state’s hospitals decreased by eight overnight to 573 on Friday. The number of ICU beds used by COVID-19 patients decreased by seven to 160, the fewest since April 19.

The state health department’s daily updates present case and death 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 numbers posted each morning are reported electronically the previous evening by hospitals across the state.

COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 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.

Diagnostic testing is available at hundreds of locations across Arizona and should be sought out by anybody with symptoms or who may have been exposed to an infected person. Information about locations, schedules and registration can be found on the Department of Health Services website.

For details about statewide COVID-19 vaccine availability, the ADHS website has a vaccine-finder page showing locations and registration information.

For information about metro Phoenix vaccine availability, Maricopa County Public Health has a locator page that lists pharmacies, government-run sites, health clinics and pop-up distribution events.

The minimum age to receive the Pfizer shot has been reduced to 12, but it’s still 18 for the other approved versions, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.

Appointments may be required depending on the provider, but many, including state-run mass vaccination sites, accept walk-ins.

Spots at the state-run sites can be secured at https://podvaccine.azdhs.gov/ or by calling 844-542-8201. A new batch of appointments for the following week at those locations, which use the Pfizer vaccine, are released every Friday.

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