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Coronavirus in Arizona on Dec. 19: 5,560 new cases, 118 new deaths reported

There have been 448,231 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 7,937 coronavirus-related deaths reported in Arizona as of Saturday.

PHOENIX — In an effort to track the changes with the coronavirus outbreak in Arizona, 12 News has started a daily live blog.

Here is the live blog for Saturday, Dec. 19.

Major updates: 

  • There have been 448,231 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 7,937 coronavirus-related deaths reported in Arizona as of Saturday.
  • The state does not record how many people have recovered, but Johns Hopkins University estimates the number of people who have recovered.
  • You can find COVID-19 testing sites here.
  • Go to 12News.com/Vaccine to find more information on the COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Scroll down to see how many cases are in each ZIP code and additional information.

RELATED: 157% increase in reported deaths: COVID-19 rates continue to rise in Arizona, graphs show

COVID-19 cases reported in Arizona on Saturday

There have been 448,231 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 7,937 coronavirus-related deaths reported in Arizona, according to the state's latest numbers.

That's an increase from the 442,671 confirmed cases and 7,819  coronavirus-related deaths reported on Friday.

A week ago, there were 402,588 cases and 7,322 deaths reported in Arizona.

5,560 new cases, 118 new deaths reported Saturday

The Arizona Department of Health Services reported 5,560 new cases and 118 new deaths on Saturday.

The department did not say whether the high death number was due to death certificate matching.

Friday also marked the third straight day that Arizona reported more than 100 additional known COVID-19 deaths. 

COVID-19-related hospitalizations in Arizona reached 3,931 on Thursday, the latest in a string of pandemic records started earlier this month. 

Before the current surge, the previous daily hospitalization record was around 3,500 on July 13 during the state’s summer surge. 

Arizona hospitals are nearly at capacity, with only 7% of beds available and not in use.

Arizona’s cases, deaths and hospitalizations were already steadily rising before Thanksgiving, when gatherings and travel were expected to further spread the coronavirus.

The department reports the number of new cases on the day the cases were reported to them by counties and hospitals, not on the day when someone was diagnosed with the virus.

Arizona reached 400,000 coronavirus cases on Dec. 12, 300,000 on Nov. 23, 200,000 on Aug. 27, 100,000 on July 6 and 50,000 cases on June 21. The state reached 7,000 coronavirus deaths on Dec. 9, 6,000 on Nov. 3, 5,000 on Aug. 29, 4,000 on Aug. 6, 3,000 deaths on July 23, 2,000 on July 9 and 1,000 on June 5.

Arizona's Rt, pronounced r-naught, was at 1.15 as of Wednesday, down from 1.9 on Tuesday but still the third-highest state in the nation. 

The Rt is essentially a mathematical number that shows whether more people are becoming infected or less.

The concern is that any Rt over 1, no matter how small, means the virus may grow exponentially.

RELATED: This is the number that health officials are watching closely in the fight against COVID-19 (And you should too)

There were 7,835 cases reported on the collection date of Nov. 30, the day with the most collected diagnoses so far. The day with the second-most collected diagnoses so far was on Dec. 7, with 7,632 cases. That is subject to change.

Health officials said the day with the highest number of reported deaths was July 17, when 103 people died. That is subject to change.

Health officials continued to stress that people should continue social distancing, wearing masks in public, and stay home when possible.

Arizona receiving smaller vaccine shipment

Arizona will receive a significantly smaller than expected shipment of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine next week, the Department of Health Services announced Friday.

Health officials were expecting a shipment of 70,200 doses of the shot for the week of December 20, but only 41,925 doses could be ordered, according to ADHS. That’s 40% less.

Other states have reported a smaller than expected vaccine shipment as well. ADHS says no explanation for the shortfall was given.

RELATED: Arizona receiving 40% fewer COVID-19 vaccine doses than expected

Half of Arizona counties seeing substantial virus spread

State health officials say half of the counties in Arizona are seeing “substantial” spread of COVID-19.

Weekly metrics released Thursday by the Arizona Department of Health Services listed eight counties, including Pima, in southern and eastern Arizona with a substantial number of cases. 

Arizona’s other seven counties, including Maricopa, remained classified as moderate. 

The figures show just over 5,800 new confirmed cases and 147 more deaths throughout the state. 

Gov. Doug Ducey has resisted a return to business closures and a stay-home order he imposed in the early stages of the outbreak, saying it’s up to people to take personal responsibility for slowing the spread. 

The above article is from The Associated Press.

Navajo Nation reports new COVID-19 cases

The Navajo Department of Health reported 235 new cases and three new deaths from the virus today. 

The nation now has a total of 20,810 cases and 745 deaths.

Second COVID-19 vaccine approved

The U.S. added a second COVID-19 vaccine to its arsenal Friday, boosting efforts to beat back an outbreak so dire that the nation is regularly recording more than 3,000 deaths a day.

Much-needed doses are set to arrive Monday after the Food and Drug Administration authorized an emergency rollout of the vaccine developed by Moderna Inc. and the National Institutes of Health.

The move marks the world’s first authorization for Moderna’s shots. The vaccine is very similar to one from Pfizer Inc. and Germany’s BioNTech that’s now being dispensed to millions of health care workers and nursing home residents as the biggest vaccination drive in U.S. history starts to ramp up.

The two work “better than we almost dared to hope,” NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins told The Associated Press. “Science is working here, science has done something amazing.”

RELATED: FDA gives green light to Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, 2nd shot in US arsenal

More information on coronavirus cases from Saturday

There have been 448,231 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 7,937 coronavirus-related deaths reported in Arizona.

That's an increase from the 442,671 confirmed cases and 7,819  coronavirus-related deaths reported on Friday.

There were 5,560 new cases reported on Saturday, an increase from the 7,635 new cases reported on Friday.

There were 118 new deaths reported on Saturday, a decrease from the 142 new deaths reported on Friday. 

There were 7,835 cases reported on the collection date of Nov. 30, the day with the most collected diagnoses so far. The day with the second-most collected diagnoses so far was on Dec. 7, with 7,632 cases. That is subject to change.

Health officials said the day with the highest number of reported deaths was July 17, when 103 people died. That is subject to change.

In total, 21,302 new tests were reported on Saturday, a slight decrease from the 23,138 new tests reported on Friday.

There have been a total of 3,008,877 PCR and Serology tests reported to the state as of Saturday. 

11.4% of those tests have been positive as of Saturday, the same as Friday.

Here's a breakdown of the number of cases in each county:

  • Maricopa: 277,071
  • Pima: 58,046
  • Pinal: 23,483
  • Coconino: 9,857
  • Navajo: 10,197
  • Apache: 6,793
  • Mohave: 9,765
  • La Paz: 1,158
  • Yuma: 24,341
  • Graham: 2,768
  • Cochise: 5,988
  • Santa Cruz: 5,313
  • Yavapai: 9,137
  • Gila: 3,960
  • Greenlee: 354

Click on the links below to find more information from each county's health department: 

COVID-19 is believed to be primarily spread through coughs or sneezes. 

It may be possible for the virus to spread by touching a surface or object with the virus and then a person touching their mouth, nose or eyes, but this is not thought to be the main method of spread, the CDC says. 

You should consult your doctor if you traveled to an area currently affected by COVID-19 and feel sick with fever, cough or difficulty breathing. 

There is no vaccine for the coronavirus, so the best way to prevent COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases is to:

  • Wear face coverings while in public.
  • Practice social distancing while in public.
  • 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.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

You can text FACTS to 602-444-1212 to receive more information on the coronavirus and to ask questions.