Arizona reports 682 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, 8 deaths

Arizona health officials are reporting 682 new confirmed COVID-19 cases and eight more deaths.

The state Health Department of Services released the latest pandemic figures on April 27, bringing the total number of Arizona cases to 860,169 and deaths to 17,276.

The number of patients hospitalized statewide for virus-related reasons increased slightly to 615 with 185 of those in the ICU.

MORE: Medical expert says reported Arizona COVID-19 deaths are likely much higher

More than 2.1 million people, or around 40% of Arizona’s population, have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

More than 2.8 million residents have had at least one vaccine shot, according to the state’s coronavirus dashboard.

MORE: CDC: Fully vaccinated Americans can do some outdoor activities without mask

Meanwhile, state health officials said appointments are recommended, but no longer required at state-run vaccination sites in metro Phoenix, Tucson, Yuma and Flagstaff.

"The appointment numbers clearly suggest that we've accomplished a large share of Arizonans who are able to schedule appointments well in advance," said AZDHS Director Dr. Cara Christ. "State-run sites continue to vaccinate many thousands every day, and there is now room for those who simply want to walk in at their convenience."

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.

Tune in to FOX 10 Phoenix for the latest news:

Get breaking news alerts in the FOX 10 News app. It is FREE! Download for Apple iOS or Android.