Arizona reports over 16k cases, 88 more virus deaths; hospitalizations climb
PHOENIX - Arizona on Saturday reported 88 deaths from COVID-19, while virus-related hospitalizations continued to climb.
The state also reported 16,504 additional confirmed infections, the most reported in one day in a year, as the spread of the omicron variant resulted in lines of cars on streets near testing sites as drivers awaited their turn to leave specimens.
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.
The number of COVID-19-related hospitalizations rose for the seventh straight day, with 2,597 virus patients occupying inpatient beds statewide as of Friday.
MORE: Coronavirus in Arizona: Latest case numbers
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.
More COVID-19 in Arizona news
- 6-year-old with epilepsy battling COVID-19 at Phoenix Children's for two weeks
- COVID-19 protocols: ASU will require masks indoors and a test to return to campus
- Virus-related ER visits in Arizona up as more seek COVID-19 tests
- Phoenix Sky Harbor closing two Terminal 4 security checkpoints due to COVID-19 impact on TSA workers
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