PHOENIX - Arizona on Nov. 20 reported over 4,000 additional known COVID-19 cases for the second day in a row as the coronavirus outbreak saw hospitalizations continue to increase.
The state Department of Health Services reported 4,471 new cases and 43 additional deaths, increasing the state’s totals to 291,696 cases and 6,427 deaths.
The number of reported infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.
COVID-19-related hospitalizations in Arizona have climbed steadily since October and into November, reaching 1,835 as of Thursday, including 431 patients in intensive-care beds.
The additional 4,000-plus daily new cases reported Thursday and Friday are near peaks recorded during Arizona’s summer surge while current hospitalizations are about half those of summer surge levels.
On Friday, new visitor restrictions went into place at several Valley hospitals, including the Arizona General Hospital in Laveen, Chandler Regional and Mercy Gilbert Medical Centers, and St. Joseph's Medical Center. All of the hospitals will only allow "one adult visitor per patient who is not being treated for COVID-19. Visitors will be allowed only between the hours of 4 and 8 p.m.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.
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.
Right now there's one big difference between flu and coronavirus: A vaccine exists to help prevent the flu and it's not too late to get it. It won't protect you from catching the coronavirus, but may put you in a better position to fight it.
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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