PHOENIX (AP) - Arizona is back to reporting more than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases in a day a brief dip.
The Arizona Department of Health Services released the latest statistics Monday and tabulated 1,034 confirmed cases but no new deaths.
This brings the state’s pandemic total to 909,282 cases. The number of deaths remains 18,117.
The state’s dashboard calculated over 1,000 cases for four consecutive days last week until Sunday, when the number was 980.
They said it marked the longest stretch of quadruple-digit case reports since a five-day run March 2-7 when the vaccine supply was limited and doses were being rationed.
Delta variant a concern for experts
Health experts attribute the recent surge in cases increases to low vaccination rates, the fast-spreading Delta variant and July Fourth gatherings.
Hospitalizations due to the virus have also been trending upward. The number generally ranged between 500 and 600 during May and June, but rose in the past week. There were 814 as of Sunday.
According to figures, 92% of Arizonans who tested positive for COVID-19 in June were not fully vaccinated, and 99% of those who died of COVID-19 were not fully vaccinated. Hospital officials also say the vast majority of severe COVID-19 patients are under the age of 50 and not vaccinated.
"Certainly, those few patients we were caring for a few weeks ago were not as severely ill. We weren’t seeing a lot of people on a ventilator, but that is slowly shifting. People are now becoming more ill, and now requiring that specialized care we haven’t been seeing over the last few weeks," said Dr. Michael White, Chief Clinical Officer for Valleywise Health.
With nearly 51% of Arizonans having received at least one vaccine dose, health officials said there’s less chance of another major surge in cases or a significant strain on the health care system. The climb in cases is similar to what’s being seen in most states.
As parents prepare to send their kids back to the classroom in the coming weeks, health officials are calling on the Governor to allow schools the freedom to implement restrictions.
"We don’t want to be back where we were a year ago, so it’s very important that we are able to implement those mitigation strategies when needed," said Dr. Miriam Anand, President of the Arizona Medical Association.
"So, if it were my children and I were sending them back to school, I would highly encourage them to wear a mask in school," said Dr. White.
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CDC Website for COVID-19
https://espanol.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html (In Spanish/En Español)
AZDHS Website for COVID-19
https://www.azdhs.gov/covid19/es/index.php (In Spanish/En Español)
AZDHS Website for COVID-19 Vaccination
https://www.azdhs.gov/covid19/es/vaccines/index.php (In Spanish/En Español)