Arizona reports 6,616 new cases of coronavirus, 115 more deaths

Community paramedic Karin Casciano assesses a patient, 83, during a home health check on December 23, 2020 in White Plains, New York. The patient, a former American marine, said the Christmas stockings were for his adult children, although he does not see them this Christmas because of the pandemic. (Photo by John Moore / Getty Images)

This is a regularly updated story with the latest information on coronavirus and its impact in Arizona and beyond on December 25, 2020.

PHOENIX – Arizona health officials reported 6,616 new cases of coronavirus and 115 additional deaths on Christmas Day, while a record number of COVID-19 patients are spending the holiday at the hospital.

The state’s documented totals increased to 486,935 COVID-19 infections and 8,409 deaths, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services panel.

Multiple COVID-19 metrics in Arizona were at or near pandemic levels.

The number of patients admitted to confirmed or suspected COVID-19 hospitals in Arizona rose to a maximum of 4,226 on Thursday, the 12th daily record in the past 14 days.

The number of COVID-19 patients in the state’s ICU beds increased to 976, setting a record for the second time in the past three days.

Suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients across the state occupied 50% of all hospital beds, linking the record defined the previous day, and 55% of all ICU beds.

Overall, the hospitalization beds were 91% filled and the ICU beds were a pandemic record 93% filled. The state had 131 unused ICU beds on Thursday, one less than the day before.

Arizona’s weekly positivity percentage for the COVID-19 diagnostic test, an indicator of how much the virus is spreading in the community, was 23% through 51,929 tests this week. If that holds true, it will break the record of 21% for the week that started on June 28th.

Official positivity rates are based on when samples are collected, not when they are reported, so the percentage of the past few weeks may fluctuate as laboratories update tests and results are documented by the state.

The seven-day rotating average for cases recently reported by the health department was 6,469 on Thursday, according to The Associated Press tracking, the highest ever this week.

The seven-day average of COVID-19 deaths recently reported was 88.14 for Thursday, decreasing for the second consecutive day, but still the fifth highest of all time.

The daily updates present data on cases, deaths and tests after the state receives the statistics and confirms them, which can take several days or more. They do not represent actual activity in the past 24 hours.

Hospitalization data published every morning is reported electronically the night before by 100 hospitals across the state, as required by the executive order.

COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, has no impact on some people and is severely debilitating or fatal for others. Infected people without symptoms – which include, but are not limited to, cough, fever and difficulty breathing – are able to spread the virus.

Information about the test locations can be found on the Arizona Department of Health Services website.

Below are Friday’s latest developments on the coronavirus pandemic across the state, country and world:

  • After throwing a grenade that threatens to blow up a huge COVID government relief and funding bill, President Donald Trump spent his Christmas Eve playing golf in Florida.
  • Globally, there were about 79.25 million cases of COVID-19 and 1.74 million deaths on Friday morning, according to research by Johns Hopkins University. The figures for the US are around 18.66 million cases and 329,000 deaths.

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