This is a regularly updated story with the latest information, news and updates on the coronavirus and its impact in Arizona and beyond for Saturday, October 24.
PHOENIX – Arizona health officials reported 890 new cases of coronavirus and four more deaths on Saturday morning.
That put the state’s documented totals at 236,772 COVID-19 infections and 5,869 deaths, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.
Key indicators on the severity of the Arizona pandemic have dropped dramatically from peaks in the summer, but cases and hospitalizations tend to increase this month.
Saturday ended a four-day streak with at least 900 new cases reported.
Arizona’s number of confirmed or suspected COVID-19 hospital patients edged up to 819 on Friday, up 39.7% from October 1, when it was 586.
The number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care beds rose to 191, 52.8% more than on October 1, when it was 125.
Hospitalizations remain well below pandemic highs of 3,517 inpatients and 970 intensive care patients, both recorded on July 13.
Arizona’s weekly percentage of positivity for diagnostic tests for COVID-19, an indicator of the virus’s spread in the community, is on track to be the highest in more than two months.
For the 49,841 tests recorded since Sunday, the positivity rate was 6%, the highest since it was 8% for the week starting August 2. The rate had reached 20% at the end of June.
Weekly rates are based on when samples are taken, not when they are reported, so the percentage for the past few weeks may fluctuate as labs begin testing and results are documented by the ‘State.
The seven-day moving average of new cases reported by the state’s health department was 913.71 on Friday, according to the Associated Press track, 90.4% higher than the October 1 average of 480 .
However, the seven-day average of new deaths reported is 39.1% lower than it was at the start of the month. It was 8.43 on Friday and has been below 12 each day since October 5. It was 16.43 on October 1.
The seven-day averages remain well below their highs of 3,844 cases on July 6 and 94 deaths on July 30.
Daily reports from the Arizona Department of Health showcase data on cases, deaths, and testing after the state receives and confirms statistics, which can take several days or more. They do not represent actual activity over the past 24 hours.
The hospitalization data displayed each morning are reported the night before by the hospitals.
As cases skyrocketed in June, local governments in many parts of Arizona – including all of Maricopa County – implemented face mask requirements, and Gov. Doug Ducey issued executive orders in statewide to shut down some businesses and limit restaurant occupancy
The spread of COVID-19 has slowed after these measures were taken. All counties in Arizona have since met benchmarks set by the Department of Health that allow closed businesses to reopen under capacity restrictions and other regulations.
COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, has no impact on some people and is severely disabling or fatal for others. People who are infected without symptoms – which include, but are not limited to, cough, fever, and difficulty breathing – are able to spread the virus.
Below are Saturdays latest developments on the coronavirus pandemic statewide, country and world:
For all articles, information and updates on the coronavirus from KTAR News, visit ktar.com/coronavirus.