Southern AZ COVID-19 AM Roundup for Thursday, Oct. 29: More Than 1300 New Cases Today; Total AZ Cases Top 242K; Get Tested for COVID

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With 1,315 new cases reported today, the number of Arizona’s confirmed novel coronavirus cases topped 242,000 as of Thursday, Oct. 29, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

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With 105 new cases reported today, Pima County had seen 28,067 of the state’s 241,116 confirmed cases.

With 14 new deaths reported yesterday, a total of 5,905 Arizonans had died after contracting COVID-19, including 638 deaths in Pima County, according to the Oct. 29 report.

The number of hospitalized COVID cases has declined from July peaks but has ticked upward in recent weeks as the virus has begun to spread more rapidly. ADHS reported that as of Oct. 28, 874 COVID patients were hospitalized in the state. That number peaked with 3,517 hospitalized COVID patients on July 13; it hit a subsequent low of 468 on Sept. 27.

A total of 857 people visited emergency rooms on Oct. 28 with COVID symptoms. That number peaked at 2,008 on July 7; it hit a subsequent low of 653 on Sept. 28.

A total of 186 COVID-19 patients were in intensive care unit beds on Oct. 27. The number of COVID patients in ICUs peaked at 970 on July 13 and hit a subsequent low of 114 on Sept. 22.

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 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) the Udall Center (7200 E. Tanque Verde Road) and downtown (88 E. Broadway). 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 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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