PHOENIX (AP) - The number of new coronavirus cases in Arizona has hit an alarming new daily high of nearly 2,400 — almost double the previous record, health officials said Tuesday.
The state Department of Health Services reported 2,392 new cases and 25 additional deaths. Hospital intensive care units were hovering around 80% capacity with 1,307 people with the virus as of Monday.
Arizona has seen a total of 39,097 cases and 1,219 deaths. It’s unclear how many of the new cases are due to expanded testing.
Gov. Doug Ducey has said hospitals would possibly forego elective surgeries if capacity was 80% or greater to save space for a COVID-19 surge. So far, though, there have been no indications that elective surgeries will be delayed.
St. Vincent de Paul, in a joint effort with CVS Health, has started offering rapid, free virus testing for uninsured people by appointment at the nonprofit’s clinic in Phoenix. The goal is to allow people from low-income and other disproportionately affected communities to be tested, with results provided on the spot.
Licensed health care providers who work for CVS are staffing the testing operation. CVS also announced last week it added 14 more retail drive-through testing locations to 35 others already open in Arizona.
The number of new cases has leaped over the past two weeks. Ducey’s stay-at-home order expired more than a month ago.
Arizona has drawn national attention as one of several emerging virus hot spots. Some experts have criticized Ducey and his administration for not doing more to stop the spread such as enforcing face masks and increasing contact tracing.
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.
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