Thursday, March 11, 2021

Southern AZ COVID-19 AM Roundup for Thursday, March 11: Congress passes $1.9T COVID relief package; Cases, hospitalizations decline but health officials urge caution: Supplies remain limited but here’s how to set up vaccine appointments, COVID tests

Posted By on Thu, Mar 11, 2021 at 8:54 AM

With 1,835 new cases reported today, the total number of Arizona’s confirmed novel coronavirus cases topped 830,000 as of Thursday, March 11, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Pima County, which reported 141 new cases today, has seen 110,931 of the state’s 830,465 confirmed cases.

With 60 new deaths reported today, a total of 16,464 Arizonans have died after contracting COVID-19, including 2,285 deaths in Pima County, according to the March 11 report.

A total of 879 coronavirus patients were in the hospital as of March 10 That’s roughly 17% of the number hospitalized at the peak of the winter surge, which reached 5,082 on Jan. 11. The summer peak was 3,517, which was set on July 13, 2020. The subsequent lowest number of hospitalized COVID patients was 468, set on Sept. 27, 2020.

The number of people visiting emergency rooms with COVID-like symptoms has bumped up this week, with 1,186 people visiting ERs on March 10 with COVID symptoms. Still, that number is less than half of the record high of 2,341 set on Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020. That number had peaked during the summer wave at 2,008 on July 7, 2020; it hit a subsequent low of 653 on Sept. 28, 2020.

A total of 250 COVID-19 patients were in intensive care unit beds on March 10, which is roughly 21% of the record 1,183 ICU patients set on Jan. 11. The summer’s record number of patients in ICU beds was 970, set on July 13, 2020. The subsequent low was 114 on Sept. 22, 2020.

House of Representatives passes $1.9 trillion COVID relief package

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a $1.9 trillion COVID relief package, sending the legislation to President Joe Biden’s desk.

The legislation passed on a mostly party-line vote, with no Republicans supporting the package and just one Democrat, Maine Rep. Jared Golden, voting against it.

Southern Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-AZ03) said many Americans were still struggling a year into the pandemic.

“Our friends and loved ones have died, millions remain unemployed, our children are missing critical in-person learning opportunities, and countless small businesses have shuttered,” Grijalva said. “The American Rescue Plan recognizes these traumas and direct funds to put money in the pockets of those most impacted, safely return our children to in-person learning, and get shots in the arms of everyone in the country so that we can end the pandemic once and for all. A crisis of this magnitude warrants an equal response, and this legislation gets our families, workers, and small businesses the relief they deserve.” For details on the legislation, click here.

How to get a vaccine

To find out if you are eligible for a vaccine, visit the Arizona Department of Health website.

While supplies remain limited, Pima County is providing vaccination shots to people 65 and older as well as educators, first responders and healthcare workers. Those who qualify in Pima County’s 1B priority group of eligible vaccine recipients can register for a vaccine at www.pima.gov/covid19vaccineregistration or by calling 520-222-0119.

The county plans to expand eligibility to those 55 and older as well as frontline workers once officials estimate that 55% of the currently eligible population has been vaccinated.

A state-run vaccination site at the University of Arizona was not accepting first-dose appointments as of Thursday, March 11. As the state-run POD, or point of distribution, registrations at the UA vaccination site will go through ADHS’s website. When appointments become available, you can make them at pod vaccine.azdhs.gov, and those who need assistance can call 1-844-542-8201. More details here.

Some local pharmacies are now receiving vaccine doses. To find one near you, visit the ADHS website.

Get tested: Pima County has free COVID testing

Pima County is continuing to offer a number of testing centers around town.

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 these or other drive-thru or pop-up sites at pima.gov/covid19testing.

The University of Arizona’s antibody testing can determine if you have had COVID and now have antibodies. To sign up for testing, visit https://covid19antibodytesting.arizona.edu/home.


—with additional reporting from Austin Counts, Christina Duran, Jeff Gardner and Mike Truelsen

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