Arizona confirms 854 new COVID-19 cases, 9 new deaths

Arizona’s daily new COVID-19 case count is continuing a week-long upward trend with 854 known cases reported on May 14 along with nine deaths.

The state Department of Health Services’ latest figures come as some cities and counties wrestle with whether to follow new guidance and allow the fully vaccinated to mostly cease mask-wearing.

Since Saturday, daily case numbers in Arizona have ping-ponged within the 400 to 600-plus range.

Arizona’s total cases and related deaths since the pandemic’s onset now stand at 872,022 and 17,447, respectively.

The number of patients hospitalized due to COVID-19 rose slightly to 594. The number of those in an ICU dipped to 193.

Coronavirus in Arizona: Latest case numbers

More than 5.4 million vaccine doses have been administered so far in the state. More than 3 million, or 43% of the eligible population in Arizona, have received at least one dose. Over 2.5 million people are estimated to be fully vaccinated.

Public health officials expect the demand for doses to rise with 12-15-year-olds eligible as of Thursday. The seven state-run sites in metro Phoenix, Tucson, Yuma, and Flagstaff gave out over 6,000 doses, according to the state.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday eased mask-wearing restrictions for fully vaccinated people. Officials advised that those who received their shots should still wear masks in crowded indoor spaces such as public transport, hospitals and homeless shelters.

RELATED: Arizonans react as CDC officials say fully vaccinated Americans no longer need to wear a mask

The announcement has prompted some municipalities like Pima County to re-evaluate mask mandates. The Pima County Board of Supervisors plans to hold a special meeting Friday afternoon on the matter.

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

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.

RELATED: Is it the flu, a cold or COVID-19? Different viruses present similar symptoms

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.

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