PHOENIX - Arizona on Dec. 30 reported over 5,000 additional known COVID-19 cases and 78 additional deaths while related hospitalizations statewide continued to set pandemic records.
The Department of Health Services reported 5,267 additional known cases as the statewide totals during the outbreak reached 512,489 cases and 8,718 deaths.
COVID-19 hospitalizations as of Tuesday reached a pandemic-high record of 4,526, the latest in a string of records set this month and over 1,000 higher than the summer surge’s peak.
The 1,076 COVID-19 patients in intensive care beds also were a record and occupied 61% of all ICU beds, according to the state's coronavirus dashboard.
Some Arizona hospitals burdened by the crush of COVID-19 patients this week resorted to turning down patients through ambulance runs or transfers from other hospitals while still accepting walk-in patients needing emergency care
Arizona had the third-highest COVID-19 diagnosis rate over the past week. behind California and Tennessee. The diagnosis rate is calculated by dividing a state’s total population by the number of new cases.
The number of infections is thought to be far higher than reported because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.
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.
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.
Get breaking news alerts in the FOX 10 News app. It is FREE! Download for Apple iOS or Android.