PHOENIX - Arizona is reporting all-time highs in its use of ventilators and beds in intensive care units for coronavirus patients.
The state Department of Health Services posted that 671 COVID-19 patients were on ventilators and 936 were occupying ICUs as of July 12. Hospitals were hovering around 90% capacity.
Health officials report another 1,357 confirmed COVID-19 cases and eight additional deaths. Arizona has seen 123,824 cases and 2,245 deaths. However, the number of 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.
The state became one of the nation’s coronavirus hot spots in May after Gov. Doug Ducey relaxed stay-home orders and other restrictions. Last week, the governor capped restaurants at half of their capacity but declined to shut them down entirely.
The state reached 1,000 coronavirus deaths on June 5 and 50,000 coronavirus cases on June 21.
Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego and other local officials have called on Ducey to issue a statewide mandate on wearing masks.
Ducey said the state will increase testing with a focus on low-income areas of Phoenix as many people report difficulty finding tests.
The state also is paying for a private lab to greatly increase its daily capacity. Most people have been waiting up to a week or more for test results.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. But 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.
- Coronavirus in Arizona: Latest case numbers
- Coronavirus: Symptoms, testing and how to prepare amid growing COVID-19 outbreak
- How coronavirus differs from flu: Symptoms to watch for
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.