AZDHS to start reporting COVID-19 data on weekly basis

Arizona health officials will soon go from releasing new state COVID-19 statistics every day to every week.

Former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Richard Carmona, who has been a special adviser to Gov. Doug Ducey, announced the change Friday on the state Department of Health Services’ website.

In a blog post, Carmona said it was the right time to cut down to updating the state dashboard weekly "with all COVID-19 metrics steadily declining."

He says the daily reporting requires a lot of work and time from hospitals and state health officials. The post also had sign-offs from chief clinical officers of Arizona’s major hospital systems including Banner Health and Tucson Medical Center.

The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials indicates at least 34 states no longer report virus data daily, Carmona added.

Feb. 26 will be the last day for daily updates. The state will then release new data every Wednesday beginning March 2.

While COVID-19 patient counts drop statewide, Arizona hospitals remain crowded this week. Patient beds overall remain nearly full because more non-COVID-19 patients are hospitalized, according to the state’s coronavirus dashboard.

As of Thursday, 1,867 virus patients occupied inpatient beds. That’s down from the six-month peak of 3,559 on Jan. 27.

The state also reported 115 additional deaths, bringing its pandemic-long total to 27,513.

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