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Arizona sees daily high of nearly 2,400 new coronavirus cases, almost twice its record

A CVS pharmacy technician shows how COVID-19 tests are processed
Berto Cortez, a pharmacy technician, shows how coronavirus tests are processed at St. Vincent de Paul medical clinic in Phoenix.
(Ross D. Franklin / Associated Press)

The number of new coronavirus cases in Arizona has hit an alarming new daily high of nearly 2,400 — almost double the previous record, health officials said Tuesday.

The state Department of Health Services reported 2,392 new cases and 25 additional deaths. Hospital intensive care units were hovering around 80% capacity with 1,307 people with the virus as of Monday.

A day earlier the state recorded 1,104 new cases and eight additional deaths. The number of hospitalizations was slightly higher with 1,449 patients. The number of hospitalizations each day has been at least 1,000 for more than two weeks straight.

Arizona has seen 39,097 cases and 1,219 deaths. It’s unclear how many of the new cases are showing up due to expanded testing.

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Gov. Doug Ducey has said hospitals would possibly forgo elective surgeries if capacity was 80% or greater to save space for a COVID-19 surge. So far, though, there have been no indications that elective surgeries will be delayed.

The St. Vincent de Paul Society, in a joint effort with CVS Health, has started offering rapid free virus testing for uninsured people by appointment at the nonprofit’s clinic in Phoenix. The goal is to allow people from low-income and other disproportionately affected communities to be tested, with results provided on the spot.

Licensed healthcare providers who work for CVS are staffing the testing operation. CVS also announced last week it added 14 more retail drive-thru testing locations to 35 others already open in Arizona.

The number of new cases has leaped over the last two weeks. Ducey’s stay-at-home order expired more than a month ago.

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Arizona has drawn national attention as one of several emerging virus hot spots. Some experts have criticized Ducey and his administration for not doing more to stop the spread such as enforcing protective mask rules and increasing contact tracing.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.


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