Southern AZ COVID-19 AM roundup for Monday, Nov. 9: COVID Spiking in AZ With Nearly 5,000 New Cases Over Weekend; AZ Total Number of Confirmed Cases Climbing Toward 260K; TUSD Delays Plans for In-Classroom Instruction

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With close to 5,000 new cases reported since Friday, the number of Arizona’s confirmed novel coronavirus cases was nearing 260,000 as of Monday, Nov. 9, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

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Pima County had seen 30,493 of the state’s 259,699 confirmed cases.

A total of 6,164 Arizonans had died after contracting COVID-19, including 659 deaths in Pima County, according to the Nov. 9 report.

The number of hospitalized COVID cases statewide continues to climb upward as the virus has begun to spread more rapidly. ADHS reported that as of Nov. 8, 1,232 COVID patients were hospitalized in the state, the highest that number has been since Aug. 14. 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 992 people visited emergency rooms on Nov. 8 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 292 COVID-19 patients were in intensive care unit beds on Nov. 8, the highest that number has been since Aug. 26. The number of COVID patients in ICUs peaked at 970 on July 13 and hit a subsequent low of 114 on Sept. 22.

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 Nov. 4 report from the Pima County Health Department.

Pima County is seeing a steady rise in cases in recent weeks. For the week ending Oct. 10, 465 cases were reported; for the week ending Oct. 17, 543 cases were reported; for the week ending Oct. 24, 911 cases were reported; and for the week ending Oct. 31, 1,166 cases were reported.

Deaths in Pima County are down from a peak of 54 in the week ending July 4 to four in the week ending Oct. 3 (WEEK 40), two in the week ending Oct 10, one in week ending Oct. 17, two in the week ending Oct. 24 and one in the week ending Oct. 31.

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 Oct. 3, 20 patients were admitted; in the week ending Oct. 10, 27 people were admitted; in the week ending Oct. 17, 37 people were admitted; in the week ending Oct. 24, 34 people were admitted; and in the week ending Oct. 31, 41 people were admitted. (Recent weeks are subject to revision.)

TUSD cancels plans to return to classroom

With the recent rise of cases, Tucson Unified School District Superintendent Gabriel Trujillo informed parents on Friday that Tucson’s largest school district would not be resuming in-classroom instruction this week as previously planned.

“In my briefings this week with the Pima County Health Department leadership team, I was informed that our county will be in a state of widespread community transmission of COVID-19 at the time of our planned opening,” Trujillo wrote. “Out of an abundance of caution, our leadership team has made a commitment to only initiate ‘hybrid’ instruction when Pima County is in a state of moderate transmission or better.”

TUSD now tentatively plans to launch hybrid in-classroom instruction after winter break in January 2021.

Other local school districts such as Amphi, Marana, Catalina Foothills and Sunnyside have had “hybrid” in-class instruction programs running since sometime in October.

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.



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