Southern AZ COVID-19 AM Roundup for Friday, Feb. 12: AZ Death Toll Closing in on 15K; State Opening Vaccine Distribution Center in Pima County but Pulling Vaccine Doses from Other County Sites; New Cases, Hospitalizations Continue to Decline

With 2,426 new cases reported today, the total number of Arizona’s confirmed novel coronavirus cases topped 793,000 as of Friday, Feb. 12, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Pima County, which reported 685 new cases today, has seen 106,253 of the state’s 793,532 confirmed cases.

With 172 new deaths reported today, a total number of 14,834 Arizonans have died after contracting COVID-19, including 2,053 deaths in Pima County, according to the Feb. 12 report.

The number of hospitalized COVID cases statewide has declined in recent weeks, with 2,396 coronavirus patients in the hospital as of Feb. 11. That’s fewer than half the number who were 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 1,554 people visited emergency rooms on Feb. 11 with COVID symptoms, down from 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 705 COVID-19 patients were in intensive care unit beds on Feb. 11, down from a peak of 1,183 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.

How to get a vaccine

Currently, Pima County is providing vaccination shots to people 70 and older as well as educators, first responders and healthcare workers. Those who currently qualify in Pima County’s 1B priority group of eligible vaccine recipients can register for a vaccine at or by calling 520-222-0119.

A state-run vaccination site opening at the University of Arizona will begin appointments on Feb. 18. The new site will follow the state’s current vaccine eligibility, which includes those 65 and older, educators, childcare workers and protective service workers, according to Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ.

As the state-run POD, or point of distribution, registrations will go through ADHS’s website. Appointments will begin on Feb. 18, and registration will open at 9 a.m. on Feb 16. Online registration will be available, and those who need assistance can call 1-844-542-8201.

More details here.

MHC Healthcare is currently scheduling COVID-19 vaccine appointments for those older than 75 in the Marana and Oro Valley areas.

On Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, appointments will take place at MHC Healthcare Marana Main Health Center at 13395 N. Marana Main St.

Vaccinations will take place every Thursday at the James D. Kriegh Park at 23 W Calle Concordia in Oro Valley.

Appointments will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and residents of Oro Valley, Marana, Dove Mountain, Catalina, Avra Valley, Picture Rocks and Summer Haven can register at

Vaccinations at both locations will be administered in a drive-thru setting using the Moderna vaccine.

Numbers improving in Pima County

Pima County hospitals are seeing a decrease in COVID patients.

For the first time this year, Pima County’s tracking metric for adequate hospital bed space has moved from the “not met” category to the “progress” category.

As a result of the drop in cases, Pima County’s timely case investigation category has also moved from the “not met” column to the “progress” column, according to a press release from the county.

County officials caution that the total number of cases and percent of COVID tests that come back positive still remain high.

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