New Arizona COVID-19 cases over 7,600 due to holiday lag

Arizona’s latest number of daily new COVID-19 cases appears extraordinarily high only because of a lag in reporting over the Christmas holiday.

The state coronavirus dashboard reported 7,641 new confirmed cases but no deaths on Dec. 27. This comes after a tally of only 344 cases and no deaths a day earlier.

Steve Elliott, state Department of Health Services spokesman, says no virus data was processed on Christmas Day. That’s why the number of cases on Sunday was so low. The daily case counts will likely be high for the next few days as the dashboard catches up.

Since the pandemic started, Arizona has seen 1,362,693 cases and 23,982 deaths.

As of Sunday, there were 2,327 patients with COVID-19 hospitalized statewide. Of those, 630 were in intensive care.

MORE: Coronavirus in Arizona: Latest case numbers

—In other developments:

Pima County leaders are trying to figure out ways to decrease their jail population in anticipation of several corrections officers and staff refusing to get vaccinated.

Friday is the deadline for county employees to meet a vaccine mandate or be fired. Around 36% of the 420 corrections staff are still not vaccinated, the Arizona Daily Star reported. Pima County Attorney Laura Conover hopes to whittle down the number of inmates from 1,639 to 1,300.

Strategies the county will use include temporarily not charging people for simple drug possession and granting a monitored release to non-violent offenders awaiting trial.


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

More COVID-19 in Arizona news

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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