PHOENIX - Arizona reported 4,748 new known coronavirus cases and 209 deaths on Jan. 26, the one-year anniversary of when the state confirmed its first coronavirus case in the outbreak that has since claimed thousands of lives statewide.
The latest numbers reported by the Department of Health Services increased the state’s pandemic totals to 732,643 known cases and 12,448 deaths.
The outbreak has seen Arizona become a national hot spot during both the surge last summer and the even deadlier one this fall and winter.
The Department of Health Services announced the state’s first case on Jan. 26, 2020, saying the infected person was a Maricopa County resident who had recently returned from travel to Wuhan, China, a city that was at the epicenter of the outbreak.
Arizona in recent weeks was the U.S. state with the worst COVID-19 diagnosis rate, which is a state’s population divided by the number of new cases over the past week. As of Tuesday, Arizona’s rate was second-worst, behind Rhode Island, with one person infected in the past week out of every 145 residents.
Recently, as the state continues to ramp up its vaccination program, there have been indications that the outbreak is slowing in Arizona after spikes partly attributed to travel and laxity toward public health guidance during fall and winter holidays.
The number of newly reported cases has dropped over the past two weeks, with Arizona’s seven-day rolling average of daily new cases dropping from 9,428.4 on Jan. 11 to 6,944.7 on Monday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University and The COVID Tracking Project.
Meanwhile, the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients continued to drop from the pandemic high of 5,082 on Jan. 11, with 4,229 occupying inpatient beds as of Monday, according to the state’s coronavirus dashboard.
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.
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.
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.
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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