ARIZONA, USA — Health officials in Arizona on Sunday reported 69 more deaths from COVD-19 as the omicron variant continued to spread.
The state also reported 15,850 additional confirmed infections. That followed Saturday’s total of 88 deaths and 16,504 cases, the most reported Arizona cases in one day in a year.
The latest numbers pushed Arizona’s totals since the pandemic began to 1,477,483 cases with 24,773 known deaths.
The state health department’s COVID-19 dashboard showed 7,749 cases with 61 deaths on Wednesday, 10,679 cases and 16 deaths Thursday and 14,888 cases with 30 deaths Friday.
According to Johns Hopkins University data, Arizona’s seven-day rolling average of daily new cases tripled over the past two weeks from 2,945.6 on Dec. 23 to 9,091.6 on Thursday.
Dr. Joshua LaBaer, executive director of the Arizona State University Biodesign Institute, held a briefing updating how COVID is affecting the state last week.
LaBaer said the omicron variant is overwhelmingly taking over the amount of COVID cases in Arizona. Over 90% of the cases in the state are from the omicron variant.
There has been a large number of breakthrough cases regarding omicron, leading health experts to believe that the first two doses of the vaccine are not enough to provide protection. Protection from COVID goes from 25% with just the first two vaccination doses to over 75% with the booster shot, studies have shown.
About 65-66% of Arizonans are fully vaccinated while the state's booster rate is at only 30%.
With these figures it can be concluded that the severity of the virus may not reach high levels in the state with so many vaccinated, however, because so little have the booster shot, the number of those infected will rise, LaBaer said.
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