Arizona coronavirus death toll tops 2,000 as hospitals see surge

Arizona’s death toll from the coronavirus outbreak topped 2,000 on July 9 as state health officials reported new highs for COVID-19 hospitalizations and use of ventilators.

The Department of Health Services reported 75 additional deaths, increasing state’s total to 2,038. The additional 4,057 confirmed cases reported Thursday brought the total to 112,671.

Arizona has emerged as a national hotspot since Republican Gov. Doug Ducey loosened stay-home restrictions in mid-May.

Gov. Ducey orders closure of bars, gyms, movie theaters, water parks, and tubing; delays first day of school

In an effort to stop a massive surge in new coronavirus cases, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey ordered bars, nightclubs, gyms, movie theaters and water parks around the state to be closed for at least 30 days starting at 8 p.m. on June 29.

The state had a record 3,437 patients hospitalized as of July 8, with a record 575 of those on ventilators. The 861 patients in ICU beds and the number of 1,980 emergency room visits for the disease were just short of records set this week, according to Department of Health Services figures.

The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. But for some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

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

MAP: Worldwide interactive Coronavirus case data

MAP: Arizona Coronavirus cases by zip code

FULL COVERAGE: fox10phoenix.com/coronavirus

CDC: How coronavirus spreads, symptoms, prevention, treatment, FAQ

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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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

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.