On Wednesday, the Arizona Department of Health Services reported 6,058 cases of COVID-19 and 54 deaths related to the disease.
Arizona is still seeing daily case reports in the top ten, albeit narrowly. The 7-day moving average for cases fell to 6,293, compared to the 7,772 high reached on December 14.
COVID-19 deaths in Arizona continue to increase. Although Wednesday’s report is not among the highest, it is high enough to keep the 7-day average of deaths at 92.7, the second highest recorded.
A worrying consequence of the high number of cases that Arizona continues to see comes in the form of COVID-19 hospital records. 972 patients are admitted to the ICU, 70% of them under ventilation, according to the figures released by the health department. The state’s ICU beds are 93% occupied, a record since the report began on March 27. COVID-19 “Hospitalization” or general acute care hospitalizations also recorded a record of 4,163.
What can the Christmas holiday bring?
With Christmas and the New Year fast approaching, we should expect to see some below-normal “COVID-19” reports for cases and deaths in the coming weeks, which may paint an artificially low picture of what is happening at the site. This is because the cases of COVID-19 and the notification of deaths require research by state epidemiologists, many of whom will take time off on holidays.
Hospitalizations do not require research because they are self-reported by hospital systems. We must continue to increase for COVID-19 hospitalization use, as University of Washington projections show that the peak of hospitalizations is not expected to reach the beginning of January.
Any impact Christmas and New Year have on Arizona’s COVID-19 pandemic is likely to remain unknown for some time to come.
It usually takes about two weeks for the reported data to fully reflect what happened in a certain period of time, and since many people’s routines will change not only at Christmas, but in the following week until the Day of Years, we may have to wait until January 15 to find out if COVID-19 is continuing to slow down in Arizona or if it will resume