Arizona reports 863 new coronavirus cases, 10 more deaths –

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This is a regularly updated story with the latest information, news and updates about the coronavirus and its impact in Arizona and beyond for Thursday, Oct. 8.

PHOENIX – Arizona health authorities reported 863 new coronavirus cases and 10 additional deaths on Thursday morning.

That put the state’s documented totals at 223,401 COVID-19 infections and 5,743 fatalities, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Key metrics about the severity of Arizona’s pandemic have dropped dramatically since peaking during the summer, although coronavirus-related hospitalizations have been trending upward recently.

The number of Arizona’s confirmed or suspected COVID-19 hospital inpatients was up to 728 on Wednesday, the most since Sept. 3.

The number of COVID-19 patients in ICU beds has increased overnight for eight consecutive days and was up to 156 on Wednesday, the most since Sept. 13. On Sept. 22, it was a pandemic-low 114.

The COVID-19 hospitalization numbers are still far below the pandemic peaks of 3,517 inpatients and 970 patients in ICU beds, both recorded July 13.

Arizona’s weekly percent positivity for COVID-19 diagnostic testing has been at 4% for each of the past five weeks, but it was up to 5% this week through 20,947 recorded tests.

The positivity rate, an indicator of how much the virus is spreading in the community, had been as high as 20% at the end of June.

Weekly rates are based on when the samples are taken, not when they are reported, so the percentage for recent weeks can fluctuate as labs get caught up on testing and the results are documented by the state.

The Arizona health department’s daily reports present case, death and testing data after the state receives statistics and confirms them, which can lag by several days or more. They don’t represent the actual activity over the past 24 hours.

The hospitalization data posted each morning, however, is reported the previous evening by the hospitals.

The rolling seven-day average for the state health department’s newly reported cases was 575.86 through Wednesday, according to tracking by The Associated Press. That’s the highest it’s been since Sept. 24, but it’s far below the peak of 3,844 on July 6.

The seven-day average of newly reported deaths was at 11.86, near the lowest since early May. The death average topped out at 94 on July 30.

As cases skyrocketed in June, local governments in many parts of Arizona — including all of Maricopa County — implemented face mask requirements, and Gov. Doug Ducey issued statewide executive orders to close certain businesses and restrict restaurant occupancy.

The spread of COVID-19 soon slowed and has been steadily falling since the peak of the pandemic. All of Arizona’s counties have hit benchmarks established by the health department that allow certain businesses to reopen under capacity restrictions and other regulations.

COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, has no impact on some people and is seriously debilitating or fatal for others. Infected people without symptoms — which include but are not limited to cough, fever and difficulty breathing — are capable of spreading the virus.

Below are Thursday’s latest developments about the coronavirus pandemic from around the state, country and world:

  • Globally, there were more than 36.2 million COVID-19 cases and 1.05 million deaths as of Thursday morning, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The figures for the U.S. were around 7.55 million cases and 212,000 deaths.

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