Southern AZ COVID-19 AM Roundup for Monday, Oct. 26: More Than 800 New Cases Today; Total AZ Cases Close in on 239K; Free Testing Available

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With 801 new cases reported today, the number of Arizona’s confirmed novel coronavirus cases closed in on 239,000 as of Monday, Oct. 26, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

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In a worrisome trend, the number of cases statewide has climbed by nearly more than 7,000 in the week since Monday, Oct. 19.


Pima County had seen 27,575 of the state’s 238,964 confirmed cases.

With one new death reported yesterday, a total of 5,875 Arizonans had died after contracting COVID-19, including 636 deaths in Pima County, according to the Oct. 26 report.

The number of hospitalized COVID cases has declined from July peaks but has ticked upward in recent weeks. ADHS reported that as of Oct. 25, 837 COVID patients were hospitalized in the state. That number peaked with 3,517 hospitalized COVID patients on July 13.

A total of 770 people visited emergency rooms on Oct. 25 with COVID symptoms. That number peaked at 2,008 on July 7.

A total of 179 COVID-19 patients were in intensive care unit beds on Oct. 25. The number of COVID patients in ICUs peaked at 970 on July 13.

Although President Donald Trump said the “big spike” in Arizona cases was now “gone” during last week’s final presidential debate, Arizona Department of Health Director Cara Christ noted on her blog last week that cases in the state were on the increase.

Christ wrote that while Arizona has not seen as big a surge as other states, “we have recently seen a shift of COVID-19 spread in the wrong direction.”

Christ noted that the statewide positivity results from tests has climbed from 3.9 percent to 5.5 percent in recent weeks.

Christ urged Arizonans to wear masks but noted the numbers across the state still indicated “moderate” spread of the coronavirus and hospitals are not reporting a surge of patients.

On a week-by-week basis in Pima County, the number of positive COVID tests peaked the week ending July 4 with 2,452 cases, according to an Oct. 21 report from the Pima County Health Department.

After a bump following the return of UA students, cases on a week-to-week basis declined but have hit a plateau. For the week ending Sept. 19, 1,221 cases were reported; for the week ending Sept. 26, 599 cases were reported; for the week ending Oct. 3, 526 cases were reported; for the week ending Oct. 10, 462 cases were reported; and for the week ending Oct. 17, 501 cases were reported.

Deaths in Pima County are down from a peak of 54 in the week ending July 4 to 10 in the week ending Sept. 5, one in the week ending Sept. 12, four in the week ending Sept. 19, four in the week ending Sept. 26 and one in the week ending Oct. 3.

Hospitalization peaked the week ending July 18 with 221 COVID patients admitted to Pima County hospitals, but it has been on the rise in recent weeks. In the week ending Sept. 12, 24 patients were admitted; in the week ending Sept. 19, 17 patients were admitted; in the week ending Sept. 26, 15 people were admitted; in the week ending Oct. 3, 20 patients were admitted; in the week ending Oct. 10, 27 people were admitted; and the week ending Oct. 17, 33 people were admitted. (Recent weeks are subject to revision.)

Get tested: Pima County offers free COVID testing, UA offering antibody testing

The Pima County Health Department has four free testing centers around town.

The newest is a downtown testing center 88 E. Broadway Blvd., on the southwest corner of Broadway and Sixth Ave. Testing will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Testing is available without an appointment, or by appointment at pima.gov/covid19testing.

The county’s three other free testing centers offer 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 Nicole Ludden, Austin Counts, Jeff Gardner and Mike Truelsen


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