COVID-19 cases in Arizona appear to be slowing, according to state data.
The Arizona Department of Health Services updated its COVID-19 data Monday, showing 2,176 new infections but announced no new deaths. The state’s three-day average has fallen to 2,945 using Sunday’s data from the New York Times.
ADHS data does show the state’s hospital systems are still at an elevated emergency room visit rate of 1,573 Sunday, which had fallen from Dec. 1 when nearly 2,000 ER beds were in use. The state’s high watermark for that metric is Dec. 29, 2020, when 2,341 COVID-19 patients flooded emergency rooms throughout the state.
Arizona’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) bed use has fallen from the beginning of the month. Currently, 686 beds are in use by patients suffering from COVID-19 related issues. On Dec. 10, the same figure was at 719. COVID-19 related cases accounted for 28% of inpatient beds and 41% of the state’s ICU beds. The state’s hospitals reported 419 patients successfully discharged Sunday.
In total, Arizona has seen 1,338,982 known or probable COVID-19 infections since March 2020. ADHS attributes 23,519 deaths, at least partially, to the virus.
The state’s vaccination rate is around 68% of all eligible residents, higher than the national average of 61%.
A new report from the Arizona Public Health Association relies on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data to find that COVID-19 related issues have been the most significant recent cause of death in Arizona.
“CDC provisional data indicate that since the start of the COVID pandemic, approximately 36,000 excess deaths have occurred in Arizona due directly or indirectly to the COVID pandemic,” the report said. “In the US, an estimated 902,000 excess deaths have occurred. These pandemic-related deaths have resulted in a decline of 1.5 years in average life expectancy between 2019 and 2020 in the US, the steepest one-year decline since WWII.”