Record number of new COVID-19 cases in Arizona reported Tuesday




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Arizona health officials reported a record 12,314 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, and the past month has seen more new cases than July, when cases peaked in Arizona and across the country, data shows. 

The previous single-day record was 10,322 cases, set on Dec. 1.

In July, when COVID-19 cases were surging, Arizona recorded 94,782 cases. In the past month, the number of new cases reached 108,459, according to researchers at John Hopkins University

Since the pandemic began in March, Arizona has reported more than 378,000 cases. More than one in four of those — almost 29% — have come in the past month.

So far, 6,973 Arizonans have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began. July still holds the record for the deadliest month for the virus, taking the lives of over 2,000 Arizonans. In the past month, 803 have died from the illness.

Almost 70% of the 12,000 cases are in Maricopa County, which has 72.7 cases per 100,000 people, according to data from COVID Act Now

As cases continue to rise, intensive care unit beds have been in shorter supply, with Arizona’s unused beds dwindling to just 8% on Monday. 

Ventilator usage has also begun to reach levels the state has not seen since July, with 950 ventilators currently in use across the state; 487 of those are in use by COVID or suspected COVID patients. 

The majority of those hospitalized are 65 years of age and older. Arizonans between the ages of 20 and 44 are the second largest group. 

The state has been facing substantial community spread of the illness for nearly a month. In response, Gov. Doug Ducey has made it easier for restaurants to expand outside dining, but has resisted calls from top hospital officials and city leaders to impose a statewide mask mandate and shut down indoor dining

Following Tuesday’s record-breaking COVID-19 report, Ducey took to Twitter to tell Arizona residents to wear masks and stay physically distant. 

In a Dec. 3 video, ADHS Director Dr. Cara Christ said the state’s surge line can help coordinate with overburdened hospitals to free up beds across the state. The state is also funneling additional funds to hospitals across the state, Christ said.