COVID-19 deaths in Arizona surpass 14000

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COVID-19 deaths in Arizona surpass 14000

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona reached 779,093 on Saturday, Feb. 6, an increase of 3,471 from the previous day, according to the Arizona

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Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona reached 779,093 on Saturday, Feb. 6, an increase of 3,471 from the previous day, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Meanwhile, the number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 cases in Arizona stands at 14,011 after 63 new deaths were reported. There were 4,241 deaths attributed to COVID-19 in Arizona in January alone, which means 32 percent of the total number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic came last month.

With the COVID-19 vaccine being implemented, Arizona is finally starting to see the number of cases level off. While July saw an average increase of 3,075 new cases a day, Arizona averaged 877 new cases a day in August, averaged 552 new cases a day in September, but the number crept back up to an average of 903 new cases a day in October, 2,600 new cases a day in November, and 6,073 new cases per day in December. Arizona recorded 238,176 new cases in January, an average of 7,683 new cases per day and 31 percent of the total number of COVID-19 cases in Arizona since the start of the pandemic.

But February is showing signs of hope.  The state has recorded 20,689 so far in February, an average of 3,448 cases per day — less than half the average new cases per day of January.

According to Marjorie Bessel, MD, chief clinical officer at Banner Health:

• Arizona continues to have highest number of COVID-19 infections per capita

• Banner continues to treat more COVID-19 patients than it did during the summer surge

• Banner has administered more than 100,000 vaccines

“We are currently caring for more COVID-19 patients in our Arizona hospitals and ICUs than we were during the peak of the summer surge,” Bessel said Wednesday. “Patient care in our hospitals has not yet returned to a state that I would define as usual and customary, and I would caution you against celebrating too early as we slowly work our way out of this surge.”

The numbers can be numbing. And that’s exactly what health officials fear.

Hospital capacity is being stretched to the breaking point, with COVID-19 patients taking up a record 61% of beds in the state’s intensive care units, and health care workers struggling under the strain.

But news of the disease, while prominent, does not command the headlines or the attention it did just months ago.

“The phenomenon some call COVID fatigue is real, and it’s dangerous,” said Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, in a late-November video update.

Health officials are predicting a dark winter for the COVID-19 pandemic, as the number of cases – and deaths – is expected to continue surging across the state and the nation. COVID-19 was already the third-leading cause of death in Arizona before a summer spike in infections was brought under control, but cases began surging again in fall as life moved indoors, people began to travel and let down their guards.

Cronkite News has been tracking the progress of the disease since the first case was reported in the state in late January. This chart, which looks at new cases and deaths reported by the Arizona Department of Health Services, is updated daily.

COVID-19 is a serious disease that can be fatal in anyone, especially our elderly population and people with underlying health conditions. ADHS advises everyone to take precautions:

The best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

• Wear a mask when you are in close proximity to other people.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

• Stay home when you are sick.

• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately throw the tissue in the trash.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

COVID-19 spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Symptoms are thought to appear within two to 14 days after exposure and consist of fever, cough, runny nose, and difficulty breathing. For people with mild illness, individuals are asked to stay home, drink plenty of fluids, and get rest. For people with more severe symptoms, such as shortness of breath, individuals are advised to seek healthcare.

ADHS activated its Health Emergency Operations Center on January 27th after the first case of travel-associated COVID-19 was confirmed in Arizona. The Health Emergency Operations Center remains open to coordinate the State’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak. For more information about the COVID-19 response in Arizona, go online to azhealth.gov/COVID19.

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