Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Southern AZ COVID-19 AM Roundup for Tuesday, Oct. 13: Total AZ Cases Close in on 227K; UA Cases in Decline, More In-Person Classes Starting; Free COVID Tests Available

Posted By on Tue, Oct 13, 2020 at 9:24 AM

With 683 new cases reported today, the number of Arizona’s confirmed novel coronavirus cases closed in on 227,000 as of Tuesday, Oct. 13, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Pima County had seen 26,516 of the state’s 226,734 confirmed cases.

A total of 5,767 Arizonans had died after contracting COVID-19, including 633 deaths in Pima County, according to the Oct. 13 report.

The number of hospitalized COVID cases continues to decline from July peaks. ADHS reported that as of Oct. 12, 667 COVID patients were hospitalized in the state. That number peaked with 3,517 hospitalized COVID patients on July 13.

A total of 710 people visited emergency rooms on Oct. 12 with COVID symptoms. That number peaked at 2,008 on July 7.

A total of 155 COVID-19 patients were in intensive care unit beds on Oct. 12. The number of COVID patients in ICUs peaked at 970 on July 13.

On a week-by-week basis in Pima County, the number of positive COVID tests peaked the week ending July 4 with 2,453 cases, according to an Oct. 7 report from the Pima County Health Department. For the week ending Sept. 5, a total of 863 cases were reported; for the week ending Sept. 12, 1,105 cases were reported; for the week ending Sept. 19, 1,219 cases were reported; for the week ending Sept. 26, 582 cases were reported; for the week ending Oct. 3, 472 cases were reported. (Recent weeks are subject to revision.)

Deaths in Pima County are down from a peak of 54 in the week ending July 4 to 10 in the week ending Sept. 5, one in the week ending Sept. 12, three in the week ending Sept. 19, two in the week ending Sept. 26 and one in the week ending Oct. 3. (Recent weeks are subject to revision.)

Hospitalization peaked the week ending July 18 with 221 COVID patients admitted to Pima County hospitals. In the week ending Aug. 29, 37 COVID patients were admitted to Pima County hospitals; in the week ending Sept. 5, 26 patients were admitted to Pima County hospitals; in the week ending Sept. 12, 23 patients were admitted; in the week ending Sept. 19, 14 patients were admitted; in the week ending Sept. 26, 11 people were admitted and in the week ending Oct. 3, 17 patients were admitted. (Recent weeks are subject to revision.)

Cases down near campus, more in-person classes this week

The University of Arizona will allow students to attend in-person classes of 30 students or fewer this week, UA President Robert C. Robbins said in a news conference Monday, Oct. 12.

The change will bring 1,500 more students to campus every week, and classes will continue “if and only if” public health data gauging the spread of coronavirus in the county permits, Robbins said.

The university first predicted 2,500 students would return to class as it moves into Phase 2 of its reopening plan, but fewer students wanted to return than expected.

“Students and their instructors had the opportunity to evaluate what they wanted, and in the spirit of shared governance, make collective decisions about how to proceed at this point,” Robbins said. “There are many, many students who want that in-person interaction . . . but obviously, there are people who don’t want it.”

From Oct. 1-10, UA found 42 positive coronavirus cases after administering 6,963 tests for a positivity rate of 0.6%, down from 2.3% in the previous 10-day period.

“What we’ve been able to show over the last two, four weeks . . . is an ability of how we respond,” Pima County Health Department Director Dr. Theresa Cullen said at the press conference. “We’ve developed this deep collaboration, transparency, sharing of data, sharing resources and a recognition that working together is required for us to combat this pandemic.”

During the past week, the university’s CART team, a collaboration with the UA and Tucson police departments that looks for incidents of noncompliance to COVID-19 precautions, issued five university-related red tags, seven citations and eight code-of-conduct referrals.

Robbins said nine parties CART responded to had more than 10 people, while three parties had about 50.

“It’s important that more and more, we see less and less of these large gatherings, which really are events that you might even term super spreader events when they become too large,” said Richard Carmona, UA Reentry Task Force Director.

Robbins said the university has no recorded cases of COVID-19 transmission within a classroom or laboratory setting.

More details here.

Get tested: Pima County has several testing centers, UA offering antibody testing

Pima County has three free testing centers with easy-to-schedule appointments—often with same-day availability—with results in 24 to 72 hours.

You’ll have a nasal swab test at the Kino Event Center, 2805 E. Ajo Way, and the Udall Center, 7200 E. Tanque Verde Road. The center at the northside Ellie Towne Flowing Wells Community Center, 1660 W. Ruthrauff Road, involves a saliva test designed by ASU.

Schedule an appointment at pima.gov/covid19testing.

The centers are also tied into Pima County’s developing contact tracing operation, which aims to be able to identify potential clusters and warn people if they have been in contact with someone who is COVID-positive.

The University of Arizona’s antibody testing has been opened to all Arizonans as the state attempts to get a handle on how many people have been exposed to COVID-19 but were asymptomatic or otherwise did not get a test while they were ill.

To sign up for testing, visit https://covid19antibodytesting.arizona.edu/home.

—with additional reporting from Nicole Ludden, Austin Counts, Jeff Gardner and Mike Truelsen

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