Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Southern AZ COVID-19 AM Roundup for Tuesday, March 23: State opens vaccinations to all residents 16 and older; 53 new deaths; Here’s how to set up vaccine appointments, COVID tests

Posted By on Tue, Mar 23, 2021 at 9:38 AM

With 507 new cases reported today, the total number of Arizona’s confirmed novel coronavirus cases topped 837,000 as of Tuesday, March 23, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Pima County, which reported 38 new cases today, has seen 111,950 of the state’s 837,244 confirmed cases.

With 53 new deaths reported this morning, a total of 16,798 Arizonans have died after contracting COVID-19, including 2,334 deaths in Pima County, according to the March 23 report.

A total of 650 coronavirus patients were in the hospital as of March 22. That’s roughly 13% 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.

A total of 879 people visited emergency rooms with COVID-like symptoms on March 22. That number represents 38% 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 175 COVID-19 patients were in intensive care unit beds on March 22, which roughly 15% 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.

State opens vaccinations to anyone 16 and older starting Wednesday

Gov. Doug Ducey announced on Tuesday that Arizona's state-run vaccine sites in Maricopa, Pima and Yuma counties will be open to all Arizonans 16 and older beginning at 8 a.m. Wednesday.

“Our goal has been and remains to get vaccine into the community as quickly, widely and equitably as possible,” said Gov. Ducey. “Given a thorough review of vaccination data, anticipated vaccine supply, and current demand among prioritized groups, now is the time to take this critical next step.”

The governor's announcement means that anyone 16 and older can schedule appointments at state distribution pods and private pharmacies. Pima County runs separate vaccination clinics and has not yet followed suit with Ducey's announcement.

You can register for your vaccine appointments at a state point of distribution by visiting pod vaccine.azdhs.gov, and those who need assistance can call 1-844-542-8201.

Pima County is providing vaccination appointments to people 55 and older as well as frontline workers, educators, first responders and healthcare workers. Those who qualify in Pima County’s priority group of eligible vaccine recipients can register for a vaccine at www.pima.gov/covid19vaccineregistration or by calling 520-222-0119.

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

More than 1.2 million Arizonans are now fully vaccinated against COVID as of today, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services. More than 1.9 million Arizonans have at least one shot of the vaccine.

A total of 300,166 Pima County residents have received at least one vaccine shot and 177,131 residents are fully vaccinated as of today, according to ADHS.

ADHS will now announce on Wednesdays via Twitter, @AZDHS, and Facebook the approximate number of first-dose appointments available. The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) will release those new COVID-19 vaccination appointments every Friday.

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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