Arizona sees biggest rise in virus cases, deaths in months

Arizona's coronavirus outbreak worsened Oct. 31 as the state reported about 1,900 new cases and 45 deaths, the biggest spikes in months.

The rise in the number of confirmed infections was the largest single-day increase since Aug. 1, following increases that have been growing over the past few days — from 1,044 on Oct. 28 to 1,315 on Oct. 29 and 1,565 on Oct. 30.

The deaths were the most reported in one day since Sept. 3.

The state Department of Health Services has reported a total of 245,946 cases and 5,979 deaths since the pandemic began. The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected without feeling sick.

Coronavirus in Arizona: Latest case numbers

Gov. Doug Ducey warned Thursday that “there is a storm ahead of us.” He urged residents to wear masks and take other precautions like avoiding large groups.

The state was a national COVID-19 hot spot in June and July. Infections and related hospitalizations declined before beginning to gradually increase again in September.

Hospitalization rates in late October have started to reach levels last recorded in late May, with 880 people hospitalized for COVID-19 as of Friday and nearly 200 of them in intensive care.

MAP: Arizona Coronavirus cases by zip code

The seven-day rolling average for new daily cases, deaths and the rate of positive tests all have risen in Arizona in the past two weeks, according to Johns Hopkins University data analyzed by The Associated Press.

The rolling average of new daily cases rose from 772 on Oct. 16 to 1,166 on Friday, while daily deaths went from 8.6 to 9.9 and the positivity rate increased from 8.2% to 10.5%.

For most people, the 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

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The Arizona COVID-19 numbers were reported a day after Gov. Doug Ducey defended his administration’s handling of the outbreak but warned that “there is a storm ahead of us.”