Arizona reports more than 5,100 new COVID-19 cases, 3 deaths

Arizona health officials have reported 5,158 new cases of COVID-19 and three additional deaths.

The latest figures released Jan. 4 by the Arizona Department of Health Services come as the number of people hospitalized due to the virus hits a new high.

Officials say 54% of in-patient hospitalizations across the state are COVID-19 related. Those in intensive care units because of the virus is also at a record high for Arizona. According to state health officials, only 7% of ICU beds remain available. Arizona health officials have reported 5,158 new cases of COVID-19 and three additional deaths.

In total, Arizona has now seen 561,542 COVID-19 cases and 9,064 deaths since the pandemic began.

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

The crush of COVID-19 patients has caused some Phoenix and Tucson-area hospitals to suspend elective surgeries and turn away ambulance patients or transfers from other hospitals, while still accepting walk-patients needing emergency care.

Hospital officials have discussed triage protocols that the state could order to decide which patients get access to limited resources.

Meanwhile, Gov. Doug Ducey rejected a call from State Superintendent Kathy Hoffman to have all Arizona schools cease in-person learning for two weeks. The governor’s office said that is a decision that should be left to local officials.

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.

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.

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