Thursday, April 22, 2021

Southern AZ COVID-19 AM Roundup for Thursday, April 22: Ducey's opposition forces county, FEMA to give up on joint vax center; New cases remain on a plateau; Here’s how to set up vaccine appointments

Posted By on Thu, Apr 22, 2021 at 8:38 AM

With 647 new cases reported today, the total number of Arizona’s confirmed novel coronavirus cases continued to climb as of Thursday, April 22, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Pima County, which reported 187 new cases today, has seen 114,625 of the state’s 856,451 confirmed cases.

With 22 new deaths reported this morning, a total of 17,221 Arizonans have died after contracting COVID-19, including 2,388  deaths in Pima County, according to the April 22 report.

A total of 585 coronavirus patients were in the hospital as of April 21. That’s roughly 11.5 % of the number hospitalized at the peak of the winter surge, which reached 5,082 on Jan. 12. 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 1,030 people visited emergency rooms with COVID-like symptoms on April 21. That number represents 44% 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 April 21, 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 opposition sinks Pima County/FEMA joint vax center; New appointments available daily

Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry told the Board of Supervisors this week that the Arizona Department of Health’s contract requirements were too demanding for both FEMA and Pima County, so Pima County officials had given up on the project.

But Huckelberry said the county could still pursue vaccine clinics in low-income and minority neighborhoods with other support from FEMA.

The state of Arizona expects new first-dose appointments to open daily this week at the University of Arizona vaccination site, so they urged those 16 and older who are interested in an appointment to regularly check podvaccine.azdhs.gov.

Meanwhile, as temperatures rise, Pima County officials are shifting to indoor vaccination sites to avoid making staff and volunteers endure long days in triple-degree temperatures.

Pima County has opened a new indoor vaccine site at the Kino Event Center, where the county had earlier been doing COVID testing. That site is open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Register at azdhs.gov.

The county has also opened an indoor vaccination POD at El Pueblo Center, 101 W. Irvington Road, which is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. No appointment is necessary.

The drive-through POD at Banner-South Kino Stadium, 2500 E. Ajo Way, is now offering appointments between 7:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. and will close permanently on May 14.

As of Monday, April 19, 382,615 people in Pima County had received at least one shot of the virus, accounting for 36.6% of the population. A total of 282,339 people were fully vaccinated.

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

Register for an appointment at a Pima County POD at 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.

Get tested: Pima County has free COVID testing

Pima County is continuing to offer a number of testing centers and pop-up testing sites around town, including the northside Ellie Towne Flowing Wells Community Center, 1660 W. Ruthrauff Road. Schedule an appointment 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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