Monday, January 4, 2021

Southern AZ COVID-19 AM Roundup for Monday, Jan 4: 5100+ New Cases Today; Hospitals See Record Number of Patients; Pima County Remains Under Curfew; Test Sites Open

Posted By on Mon, Jan 4, 2021 at 9:05 AM

With more than 5,100 new cases reported today, the number of Arizona’s confirmed novel coronavirus cases topped 561,000 as of Monday, Jan 4, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Pima County, which reported 855 new cases today, has seen 74,963 of the state’s 561,542 confirmed cases.

A total of 9,064 Arizonans have died after contracting COVID-19, including 1,084 deaths in Pima County, according to the Jan. 4 report.

The number of hospitalized COVID cases statewide continues to soar as the virus has begun to spread more rapidly, putting stress on Arizona’s hospitals and surpassing July peaks. ADHS reported that as of Jan. 3, a record 4,647 COVID patients were hospitalized in the state. The summer peak of 3,517 hospitalized COVID patients was set on July 13; that number hit a subsequent low of 468 on Sept. 27.

A total of 2,001 people visited emergency rooms on Jan 3 with COVID symptoms, down from the record high of 2,341 set last Tuesday, Dec. 29. That number had previously peaked at 2,008 on July 7; it hit a subsequent low of 653 on Sept. 28.

A record number of 1,082 COVID-19 patients were in intensive care unit beds on Jan. 3. The summer’s record number of patients in ICU beds was 970, set on July 13. The subsequent low was 114 on Sept. 22.

The Pima County Health Department reported that in the month of December:

• There was an average of 11 COVID-19 deaths per day.

• There was an average of 130 COVID-19 positive patients admitted per day.

• ICU bed availability averaged 3%. Medical/surgical bed availability averaged 4%

• There was an average of 545 COVID-19 positive inpatients at county hospitals each day.

• An average 154 ICU beds were used by COVID-19 patients each day.

• There was an average of 104 ventilators in use for COVID-19 patients per day.

The health department continues to ask residents to stay home and minimize activities that involve contact with people outside of their households, stay physically distanced and practice mask-wearing and frequent sanitization.

“This isn’t just about COVID anymore and whether you think it’s a real problem or not. The patients filling these hospitals are absolutely real and if you have a heart attack, or if you get into a car accident, or your appendix bursts, there is a real possibility that you may not get the timely care you need to save your life if we don’t get control of this virus,” said Dr. Theresa Cullen, director of the Pima County Health Department. “People are dying yet many of those deaths are preventable if the people of this community stay home, wear their masks and avoid people they don’t live with as much as possible.”

Pima County under curfew

Pima County remains under a mandatory 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew in an attempt to combat Southern Arizona's rising number of coronavirus cases.

Penalties for a nonessential business found violating curfew range from having their business permit suspended or revoked.

The mandatory curfew will stay in place until coronavirus infection rates drop below 100 per 100,000 people, according to county officials.

While businesses will now face losing their operating permits if they don't comply with the curfew, it "carries no penalty associated with the individual, as it would be difficult to enforce a curfew against individuals without the cooperation of law enforcement," Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry wrote in the memo regarding the memo.

More details here.

Get tested: Pima County has free COVID testing

Pima County offers a number of testing centers around town.

You’ll have a nasal swab test at the Kino Event Center (2805 E. Ajo Way) the Udall Center (7200 E. Tanque Verde Road) and downtown (88 E. Broadway).

The center at the northside Ellie Towne Flowing Wells Community Center, 1660 W. Ruthrauff Road, involves a saliva test designed by ASU.

In addition, the Pima County Health Department, Pima Community College and Arizona State University have partnered to create new drive-thru COVID-19 testing sites at three Pima Community College locations. At the drive-thru sites, COVID-19 testing will be offered through spit samples instead of nasal canal swabs. Each site will conduct testing from 9 a.m. to noon, and registration is required in advance. Only patients 5 years or older can be tested.

Schedule an appointment at these or other pop-up sites at

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

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

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