(AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias)
This is a regularly updated story with the latest information, news and updates about the coronavirus and its impact in Arizona and beyond for Saturday, Oct. 3.
PHOENIX – Arizona health authorities reported 636 new coronavirus cases and 12 additional deaths on Saturday morning.
That put the state’s documented totals at 220,399 COVID-19 infections and 5,705 fatalities, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.
Multiple key metrics about the severity of Arizona’s pandemic are near the lowest they’ve been in months.
The number of Arizona’s confirmed or suspected COVID-19 hospital inpatients rose to 605 on Friday, 19 more than Thursday.
The number of COVID-19 patients in ICU beds was 127 on Friday, the most since Sept. 17 but not much above the pandemic-low mark of 114.
COVID-19 inpatients peaked at 3,517 on July 13, and COVID-19 patients in ICU beds topped out at 970 the same day.
Arizona’s weekly percent positivity for COVID-19 diagnostic testing is on pace to be at 4% for the fifth consecutive week, with 36,653 tests recorded so far this week.
The positivity rate, an indicator of how much the virus is spreading in the community, had been as high as 20% at the end of June.
Weekly rates are based on when the samples are taken, not when they are reported, so the percentage for recent weeks can fluctuate as labs get caught up on testing and the results are documented by the state.
The Arizona health department’s daily reports present case, death and testing data after the state receives statistics and confirms them, which can lag by several days or more. They don’t represent the actual activity over the past 24 hours.
The hospitalization data posted each morning, however, is reported the previous evening by the hospitals.
The rolling seven-day average for the state health department’s newly reported cases was 485.14 through Friday, according to tracking by The Associated Press, and has been relatively stable for the past week.
The seven-day average of newly reported deaths was at 15.14 through Friday, the third time under 17 since June 10.
The seven-day case average peaked at 3,844 on July 6, and the death average topped out at 94 on July 30.
As cases skyrocketed in June, local governments in many parts of Arizona — including all of Maricopa County — implemented face mask requirements, and Gov. Doug Ducey issued statewide executive orders to close certain businesses and restrict restaurant occupancy.
The spread of COVID-19 soon slowed and has been steadily falling since the peak of the pandemic. Much of the state has hit benchmarks established by the health department that allow certain businesses to reopen under capacity restrictions and other regulations.
COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, has no impact on some people and is seriously debilitating or fatal for others. Infected people without symptoms – which include but are not limited to cough, fever and difficulty breathing — are capable of spreading the virus.
For all articles, information and updates on the coronavirus from KTAR News, visit ktar.com/coronavirus.