Volunteers walk as people who have already received vaccinations standby inside vehicles at a mass drive-through COVID-19 vaccination site at a Six Flags Magic Mountain parking lot on February 2, 2020 in Valencia, California. The site in one of five major coronavirus vaccine sites being operated by Los Angeles County. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
This is a regularly updated story with the latest information about the coronavirus and its impact in Arizona and beyond for Feb. 3, 2021.
PHOENIX – Arizona health officials on Wednesday reported 2,296 new coronavirus cases and 214 additional deaths from COVID-19.
It’s the lowest daily case report since Dec. 27 and the third-lowest since November. It’s also the first time since Nov. 16-17 with fewer than 3,000 cases reported for two consecutive days.
The state’s documented totals moved to 767,379 infections and 13,576 fatalities, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services’ COVID-19 dashboard.
While metrics show that the massive Arizona surge that started in November is receding, the virus remains widespread across the state.
COVID-19 hospitalizations are now lower than they were at the July peak of the state’s first wave, but cases and deaths are still higher.
The number of Arizona’s confirmed or suspected COVID-19 inpatients fell to 3,456 on Tuesday, the fewest since Dec. 9. The number of ICU beds used by COVID-19 patients increased by 11 to 955, the second-fewest since Dec. 21.
Statewide, COVID-19 patients took up 40% of all inpatient beds and 53% of all ICU beds on Tuesday. Overall, inpatient beds were at 90% of capacity and ICU beds at 91%.
Arizona’s weekly percent positivity for COVID-19 diagnostic testing, an indicator of how much the virus is spreading in the community, has been receding but remains at a substantial level.
Of the 125,134 people tested last week, 16% received a positive result, the lowest rate since before Thanksgiving and the fourth consecutive weekly decline.
So far this week, the recorded positive rate is 14% for 12,158 people tested.
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.
In Tuesday’s update from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, Arizona fell from first to third in the nation in average cases per capita over the last seven days, behind Texas and South Carolina. Arizona dropped from third to fourth in deaths, behind Alabama, South Carolina and Iowa.
The seven-day average for the state health department’s newly reported coronavirus cases was at 4,634.29 for Tuesday, according to tracking by The Associated Press, the lowest mark since Dec. 3. The seven-day average of newly reported deaths ticked up for the second consecutive day to 130.57.
The state’s 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.
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.
The department also has a vaccine-finder page with a map of locations and information about registration.
Below are Wednesday’s latest developments about the coronavirus pandemic from around the state, country and world:
- Maricopa County Public Health said some unused coronavirus vaccines have been thrown out, but only in order to maintain quality and safety.
- Nothing short of a miracle is how a Valley doctor described the recovery of a COVID-19 patient who spent more than four months in the hospital.
- With increased demand, the city of Phoenix launched its second COVID-19 mobile testing unit.
- President Joe Biden’s administration announced that it is moving to expand access to COVID-19 vaccines, freeing up more doses for states and beginning to distribute them to retail pharmacies next week.
- Globally, there were about 103.98 million COVID-19 cases and 2.26 million deaths as of Wednesday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University research. The figures for the U.S. were around 26.44 million cases and 447,000 deaths.