Your Southern AZ COVID-19 AM Roundup for Friday, Sept. 25: Total Cases Top 216K; County Test Sites Open

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With 518 new cases reported today, the number of Arizona’s confirmed novel coronavirus cases topped 216,000 as of Friday, Sept. 25, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

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Pima County had seen 25,265 of the state’s 216,367 confirmed cases.

With 28 new deaths today, a total of 5,587 Arizonans had died after contracting COVID-19, including 622 deaths in Pima County, according to the Sept. 24 report.

The number of hospitalized COVID cases continues to decline from July peaks, although it has ticked upward over the last week. ADHS reported that as of Sept. 24, 521 COVID patients were hospitalized in the state. The number of hospitalized COVID patients peaked at 3,517 on July 13.

A total of 721 people visited emergency rooms on Sept. 24 with COVID symptoms. That number peaked at 2,008 on July 7.

A total of 119 COVID-19 patients were in intensive care unit beds on Sept. 23. The number of COVID patients in ICUs peaked at 970 on July 13.

On a week-by-week basis in Pima County, the number of positive COVID tests peaked the week ending July 4 with 2,396 cases, according to a Sept. 17 report from the Pima County Health Department. While a vocal minority continues to insist that masks do no good, the spread of the virus began to decline within weeks of Pima County’s mask mandate, as more people began wearing them in public, although the level of new cases has creeped back up in recent weeks with the return of UA students. For the week ending Aug. 29, 507 new cases were reported; for the week ending Sept. 5, a total of 667 cases were reported; for the week ending Sept. 12, 584 cases were reported. (Recent weeks are subject to revision.)

Deaths in Pima County are down from a peak of 55 in the week ending July 4 to 19 for the week ending Aug. 15, 13 in the week ending Aug. 22, 10 in the week ending Aug. 29 and three in the week ending Sept. 5. (As above, these numbers are subject to revision as recent deaths may not have been reported.)

Hospitalization peaked the week ending July 18 with 237 COVID patients admitted to Pima County hospitals. For the week ending Aug. 29, 38 COVID patients were admitted to Pima County hospitals; in the week ending Sept. 5, 24 patients were admitted to Pima County hospitals; and in the week ending Sept. 12, 16 patients were admitted. (Numbers are subject to revision.)

Get a Flu Shot

The Arizona Department of Health Services is implementing an aggressive plan of action during this flu season by distributing free flu shots vaccination to all Arizonans through doctor’s offices, pharmacies, local health departments and community healthcare centers statewide.

The overlap with COVID produces greater challenges than a typical flu season and preventing the flu is more important than ever. More than 4,000 people were hospitalized with flu symptoms in Arizona last year and roughly 700 people die from the illness each year, according to state health officials.

The state will reimburse Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System providers offering free flu shots to AHCCCS members, while giving AHCCCS members a $10 gift card for their troubles after they've been vaccinated.

Get tested: Pima County has several testing centers, UA offering antibody testing

Pima County has three free testing centers with easy-to-schedule appointments—often with same-day availability—with results in 24 to 72 hours.

You’ll have a nasal swab test at the Kino Event Center, 2805 E. Ajo Way, and the Udall Center, 7200 E. Tanque Verde Road. The center at the northside Ellie Towne Flowing Wells Community Center, 1660 W. Ruthrauff Road, involves a saliva test designed by ASU.

Schedule an appointment at pima.gov/covid19testing.

The centers are also tied into Pima County’s developing contact tracing operation, which aims to be able to identify potential clusters and warn people if they have been in contact with someone who is COVID-positive.

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 https://covid19antibodytesting.arizona.edu/home.

—with additional reporting from Kathleen B. Kunz, Austin Counts, Jeff Gardner and Mike Truelsen


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