Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Southern AZ COVID-19 AM Roundup for Tuesday, Jan 5: AZ Has Highest Rate of Transmission in the World; 253 New COVID Deaths Today, 5900+ New Cases; Hospital Pressure Higher Than Ever; Pima County Remains Under Curfew; Test Sites Open

Posted By on Tue, Jan 5, 2021 at 9:26 AM

With more than 5,900 new cases reported today, the number of Arizona’s confirmed novel coronavirus cases topped 567,000 as of Tuesday, Jan 5, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Pima County, which reported 621 new cases today, has seen 75,584 of the state’s 567,474 confirmed cases.

A total of 9,317 Arizonans have died after contracting COVID-19, including 1,137 deaths in Pima County, according to the Jan. 5 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. 4, a record 4,789 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 1,984 people visited emergency rooms on Jan 4 with COVID symptoms, down from the record high of 2,341 set on 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 1,096 COVID-19 patients were in intensive care unit beds on Jan. 4. The summer’s record number of patients in ICU beds was 970, set on July 13. The subsequent low was 114 on Sept. 22.

A website that tracks COVID infections across the globe reports that Arizona now has highest rate of COVID infection in the world.

As reported yesterday by ABC-15’s Garrett Archer
, the website 91-divoc.com, which uses data from Johns Hopkins University, reports that Arizona is seeing 121.8 infections per 100,000 people on a seven-day average, compared to 64.5 infections per 100,000 for the United States as a whole.

The Pima County Health Department reported that in the first four days of 2021, Pima County hospitals reported 70 COVID deaths. Other Pima County Health Department stats from Jan. 4:

• Hospitals reported 25 COVID deaths January 3, 2021, the most reported mortalities since Dec. 1.

• There were 17 COVID-19 mortalities reported today.

New records today:

• Highest number of COVID-19 positive inpatients with 694 in Pima County hospitals

• Highest number of ICU beds in use by COVID-19 positive patients with 218 in use; 62% of ICU beds are in use by COVID-19 positive patients.

• Highest number of ventilators in use (253) and highest number of COVID-19 positive patients using ventilators (159); 63% of ventilators in use are in use by COVID-19 positive patients.

• There were 68 patients waiting for inpatient beds Monday morning, 60 were COVID-19 positive.

• More than 5,000 people in Pima County have tested positive for COVID since Jan.1, including 2,214 on Jan. 3, a single-day record.

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 pima.gov/covid19testing.

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 Austin Counts, Jeff Gardner, Nicole Ludden and Mike Truelsen

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