Arizona reports 7,635 new coronavirus cases, with another 142 deaths

Mesa Fire Department Captain Jeff Stieber receives the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for COVID-19 at the Arizona State Department of Health Services Laboratory from Nurse Machrina Leach on Wednesday, December 16, 2020, in Phoenix. (Photo by AP / Ross D. Franklin)

This is a regularly updated story with the latest information about coronavirus and its impact in Arizona and not just for December 18, 2020.

PHOENIX – Health officials in Arizona reported 7,635 new coronavirus cases and 142 additional deaths on Friday, while state hospitals continued to fill.

It was the third day in a row, with at least 100 deaths reported. Until Thursday, there were never three-digit days back.

The state’s documented total has risen to 442,671 COVID-19 infections and 7,819 deaths, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

As the release of the vaccine began this week, several COVID-19 values ​​in Arizona were at or near the highest levels of the pandemic.

The number of patients admitted to COVID-19 hospital confirmed or suspected was up to 3,931 on Thursday, the seventh consecutive day of setting records.

The number of patients confirmed or suspected by Arizona with COVID-19 in intensive care beds was 915, most since July 16, and the July 13, 970 registration closed.

Nationally, patients suspected or confirmed of COVID-19 took a record 46% of all hospital beds, as well as 52% of all ICU beds.

Overall, hospital beds were 93% full, breaking the previous day’s record, and ICU beds were also 93% full, a new record. The number of remaining hospital beds (618) and intensive care beds (128) were both at record lows for the pandemic.

Arizona’s weekly positive test for the diagnosis of COVID-19, an indicator of how widespread the virus is in the community, shows signs of leveling.

Through 63,019 tests this week, the positivity rate was 17%. The rate, which was 18% in the last two weeks, reached a maximum of 21% at the end of June.

Official positivity rates are based on the time of sampling, not the time they are reported, so the percentage in recent weeks may fluctuate as laboratories are tested and the results are documented by the state.

The seven-day average for the health department’s recently reported cases was 6,786.71 on Thursday, according to a follow-up by The Associated Press, the second-largest in history.

The seven-day average of recently reported deaths rose this month. It was at 74.71 for Thursday, tripling from December 1 to the highest level since August 2. The average weekly death toll reached a high of July 30 at 94.

The Arizona Department of Health’s daily reports show case, death, and test data after the state receives statistics and confirms them, which can remain for a few days or more. It is not the actual activity of the last 24 hours.

Hospitalization data posted each morning is reported electronically the previous evening by 100 hospitals across the state, as required by the executive order.

COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, has no impact on some and is severely debilitating or fatal to others. Asymptomatic infected people – which include, but are not limited to, cough, fever, and difficulty breathing – are able to spread the virus.

Information on test locations can be found on the Arizona Department of Health Services website.

Below are the latest developments on Friday about the coronavirus pandemic across the country, country and world:

  • Dr. Will Humble, former director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, said KTAR News 92.3 FM Gaydos and Chad that emergency approvals for more coronavirus vaccines will help the state vaccinate more people at a faster rate.
  • Three Valley firefighters were among the first Arizonans to receive the coronavirus vaccine, and hope other front-line workers will roll up their sleeves.
  • Arizona Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ says Arizonans are safer at home this holiday as coronavirus cases increase.
  • Vice President Mike Pence was vaccinated for COVID-19 in a live television event to reassure Americans that the vaccine is safe.
  • Globally, there have been approximately 75.13 million COVID-19 cases and 1.66 million deaths since Friday morning, according to research from Johns Hopkins University. The figures for the US were about 17.21 million cases and 310,000 deaths.

For all articles, information and updates on coronavirus in KTAR News, visit