Arizona reports over 70 more COVID-19 deaths for 2nd day in a row

Arizona on Wednesday reported over 70 additional COVID-19 deaths for the second consecutive day and the fifth time this month.

The 2,106 additional cases and 74 deaths increased the pandemic totals to 1,072,863 cases and 19,658 deaths, according to Arizona’s coronavirus dashboard.

The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations remained below 2,000 for the fifth straight day, with 1,897 virus patients occupying hospital beds on Tuesday, the dashboard reported.

While the pace of additional cases has dropped over the past two weeks, the rate of additional deaths rose, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

The seven-day rolling average of daily deaths rose from 38 on Sept. 6 to 40 on Monday while the rolling average of daily new cases dropped from 3,267 to 2,467 during the same period.

Chief medical officer Dr. Michael White with Valleywise Health says the COVID positivity rate among those who are tested within their hospital system has dropped to roughly 10% - down from the 15-20% that doctors were seeing two to three weeks ago.

White also said COVID hospitalizations have plateaued, and that near 90% of those in their hospital being treated for the virus remain unvaccinated.

Staffing remains a challenge at Valleywise.

"We're running about 15 to 20 nurses short on a daily basis," White said. "It continues to impact the ability to get folks through the emergency department and into the hospital beds that need care."

Dr. White is urging people to get the COVID-19 vaccine and flu vaccine as the flu season approaches. He added that he is awaiting news from the FDA on whether the COVID vaccine will be approved for kids ages 5 to 11.

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.

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