Arizona reports more than 15,000 new COVID-19 cases for second day in a row

Health officials in Arizona on Sunday reported 15,850 new cases and 69 more deaths from COVID-19 as the omicron variant continued to spread.

That followed Saturday’s total of 88 deaths and 16,504 cases, the most Arizona cases reported in one day in a year.

The latest numbers pushed the state’s totals since the pandemic began to 1,477,483 with 24,773 known deaths.

The health department’s COVID-19 dashboard showed 7,749 cases with 61 deaths on Wednesday, 10,679 cases and 16 deaths Thursday and 14,888 cases with 30 deaths Friday.

According to Johns Hopkins University data, Arizona’s seven-day rolling average of daily new cases tripled over the past two weeks from 2,945.6 on Dec. 23 to 9,091.6 on Thursday.

The state’s rolling average of daily deaths dropped from 60.9 to 55.3 during the same period.

The omicron variant spreads even more easily than other coronavirus strains, and has already become dominant in many countries. It also more easily infects those who have been vaccinated or had previously been infected by prior versions of the virus.

Though early studies show omicron is less likely to cause severe illness and hospitalization than the previous delta variant, hospitals statewide remain crowded.

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