PHOENIX - Arizona on Dec. 15 reported more than 60 additional known deaths as the current COVID-19 surge saw hospitalizations set another record and rolling seven-day averages of additional cases and deaths more than double over the past two weeks.
The state Department of Health Services on Tuesday reported 4,134 additional known cases and 64 deaths, increasing the state’s totals to 424,382 cases and 7,422 deaths.
The rolling average of daily new cases rose from 3,499 on Nov. 30 to 7,772.1 on Monday while the rolling average of daily deaths rose from 25 to 58.3, according to data from Johns Hopkins University and The COVID Tracking Project.
Meanwhile, the rolling average of the daily positivity rate from COVID-19 testing nearly doubled during the same period, jumping from 10.2% to 19.5%.
The number of COVID-19-related hospitalizations reached 3,702 on Monday, up from 3,157 a week earlier and including 579 patients on ventilators and 863 in intensive care unit beds, according to the state’s coronavirus dashboard.
Arizona on Friday exceeded the summer surge’s peak of 3,517 COVID-19-related hospitalizations on July 13.
On Dec. 15, Valleywise Health said its ICU's are now at capacity.
The number of infections is thought to be far higher than reported because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.
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In order to protect yourself from a possible infection, the CDC recommends:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- Monitor your health daily
FULL COVERAGE: fox10phoenix.com/coronavirus
Arizona COVID-19 resources, FAQ: azdhs.gov/coronavirus
On CoronavirusNOW.com, you'll find extensive coverage about COVID-19, including breaking news from around the country, exclusive interviews with health officials, and informative content from a variety of public health resources.
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- Coronavirus: Symptoms, testing and how to prepare amid growing COVID-19 outbreak
- How coronavirus differs from flu: Symptoms to watch for
Symptoms for coronavirus COVID-19 include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. These, of course, are similar to the common cold and flu.
Expect a common cold to start out with a sore or scratchy throat, cough, runny and/or stuffy nose. Flu symptoms are more intense and usually come on suddenly, and can include a high fever.
Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear more slowly. They usually include fever, a dry cough and noticeable shortness of breath, according to the World Health Organization. A minority of cases develop pneumonia, and the disease is especially worrisome for the elderly and those with other medical problems such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes or heart conditions.
Right now there's one big difference between flu and coronavirus: A vaccine exists to help prevent the flu and it's not too late to get it. It won't protect you from catching the coronavirus, but may put you in a better position to fight it.
To protect yourself, wash your hands well and often, keep them away from your face, and avoid crowds and standing close to people.
And if you do find yourself showing any of these flu or coronavirus symptoms - don't go straight to your doctor's office. That just risks making more people sick, officials urge. Call ahead, and ask if you need to be seen and where.