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Coronavirus in Arizona on Aug. 26: 187 new cases, 104 new deaths reported Wednesday

There have been 199,459 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 4,896 coronavirus-related deaths reported in Arizona as of Wednesday.

PHOENIX — Editor's note: Here's the live blog for Aug. 27.

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 Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Major updates: 

  • There have been 199,459 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 4,896 coronavirus-related deaths reported in Arizona as of Wednesday.
  • The state does not record how many people have recovered, but Johns Hopkins University estimates the number of people who have recovered.
  • Scroll down to see how many cases are in each ZIP code and additional information.

COVID-19 cases reported in Arizona on Wednesday

There have been 199,459 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 4,896 coronavirus-related deaths reported in Arizona, according to the state's latest numbers.

That is an increase from 199,273 cases and 4,792 coronavirus-related deaths reported as of Tuesday.

A week ago, there were 195,557 cases and 4,634 deaths reported in Arizona.

LEER EN ESPANOL: Coronavirus en Arizona el 26 de agosto: 187 casos nuevos y 104 decesos

187 new cases, 104 new deaths reported Wednesday

The Arizona Department of Health Services reported 187 new cases and 104 new deaths on Wednesday.

The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases neared 200,000 on Wednesday. The state's total death toll also neared 4,900 on Wednesday.

Arizona reached 100,000 coronavirus cases on July 6 and 50,000 cases on June 21. The state reached 4,000 coronavirus deaths 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 0.88 as of Tuesday, up from 0.75 on Monday. 

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 5,485 cases reported on the collection date of June 29, the day with the most collected diagnoses so far. That is subject to change.

Health officials said the day with the highest number of reported deaths was July 17, when 95 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.

ASU health experts say Arizona COVID-19 trend is a positive one

Joshua LeBaer, executive director of ASU's Biodesign Institute, said Wednesday that Arizona is continuing to improve. 

LeBaer added that the "trend we are seeing is exactly the trend you want to see. We want to see a deacceleration of cases."

He said it was the result of a lot of practices from a few weeks ago.

LeBaer added that "overall the trend is heading in the right direction from a positive percent standpoint."

3 counties could meet benchmarks for reopening businesses

Three major Arizona counties are on pace to meet benchmarks for businesses to reopen on Thursday, the Arizona Department of Health Services said.

ADHS says Maricopa, Pima, and Pinal counties will likely qualify to reopen in the moderate range this week.

"This would allow certain establishments in these counties to reopen if they attest to complying with all requirements, including limiting occupancy and enforcing mask requirements," according to ADHS.

RELATED: Maricopa, Pima, Pinal counties could meet benchmarks for reopening businesses this week

ASU reports 161 positive COVID-19 cases

Arizona State University’s president said Tuesday night that 161 students and staff members have tested positive for coronavirus.

The school says that figure is out of a total of about 100,000 people across its four campuses. 

University President Michael M. Crow says the college has implemented an extensive testing policy ahead of the fall semester that kicked off last Thursday.

RELATED: ASU reports 161 positive COVID-19 cases across entire staff, student body

Arizona issues order to require schools to report COVID-19 outbreaks

The Arizona Department of Health Services issued an emergency measure on Monday requiring schools, child care centers and shelters to report outbreaks of COVID-19 to their local health departments. 

The measure applies to public schools, charter schools and private schools with students from kindergarten through 12th grade, as well as child care establishments and shelters. 

They must report the outbreaks to their local public health department within 24 hours of identifying it. 

Students asked to quarantine after worker tests positive

Several Peoria Unified School District students have been asked to quarantine after a district employee tested positive for coronavirus.

The district says four students and their families were told they were possibly exposed to the virus last week after contact tracing where the employee had been.

RELATED: Peoria Unified students asked to quarantine after district worker tests positive for coronavirus

Harkins to reopen all locations Friday

Harkins Theatres will reopen all its Arizona locations this week, the company announced.

The company said last week that just three theaters in the state were scheduled to reopen, but Harkins now says all Arizona locations will open Friday.

Harkins says they will enforce social distancing plans inside the theaters after reopening, and workers have made several health changes as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

RELATED: Harkins Theatres to reopen all Arizona locations August 28

Navajo Nation reports 6 more cases, no recent deaths

The Navajo Department of Health reported six new COVID-19 positive cases for the Navajo Nation and no recent deaths. 

The total number of COVID-19 positive cases is 9,573.

The total number of deaths remains 494 as previously reported on Monday. 

Reports indicate that 7,347 individuals have recovered from COVID-19. 

92,751 COVID-19 tests have been administered.

Homeless essential workers face greater risk of COVID-19

Many homeless people work low-wage essential jobs on the front lines of the pandemic, putting them at higher risk of catching and possibly transmitting the virus. 

Many who work with these communities are reluctant to speak about this risk for fear of further stigmatizing homeless people, even though they do the front-line jobs others can avoid. 

Experts say between 25% to 50% of homeless people work. 

The Howard Center for Investigative Journalism found that in the era of COVID-19 that means many homeless employees are working low-wage essential jobs under conditions that put them at risk of catching the coronavirus.

The above article is from The Associated Press. 

Free COVID-19 testing in Phoenix on Saturday

Another free COVID-19 testing event will take place from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday. 

It'll be held at Grand Canyon University. 

People will get results within 72 hours. No ID or insurance needed.

Nasal swab testing is available for children as young as 2 years.

Register now online or call 888-587-3647.

Free masks available for some Arizonans

The Arizona Department of Health Services announced that some Arizonans would be able to get free masks from the state.

The department partnered with Hanes to provide free face masks to Arizona’s most vulnerable populations.

Anyone who is part of a vulnerable population (including, but not limited to, individuals with medical conditions or individuals age 65 or older) is able to get a free mask.

Each other will provide five washable, reusable cloth face masks, one order per household. 

The department hopes to give out two million cloth face masks. 

Anyone with questions can visit the department's FAQs page or contact Hanes at 1-800-503-6698.

Sign up for the free masks here.

Arizona releases ZIP code locations of coronavirus cases, other data

The Arizona Department of Health Services has released expanded data points regarding coronavirus cases in the state. 

The AZDHS website now features the location of confirmed cases in Arizona by zip code. 

You can see the current ZIP code map here and can find yours by clicking around or searching for your ZIP code in the top right of the map.

More information on coronavirus cases from Wednesday

There have been 199,459 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 4,896 coronavirus-related deaths reported in Arizona.

That is an increase from 199,273 cases and 4,792 coronavirus-related deaths reported as of Tuesday.

There were 187 new cases reported on Wednesday, a decrease from the 859 new cases reported on Tuesday.

There were 104 new deaths reported on Wednesday, an increase from the 21 new deaths reported on Tuesday.

There were 5,485 cases reported on the collection date of June 29, the day with the most collected diagnoses so far. That is subject to change.

Health officials said the day with the highest number of reported deaths was July 17, when 95 people died. That is subject to change.

In total, 5,341 new tests were reported on Wednesday, a slight decrease from the 5,451 new tests reported on Tuesday.

There have been a total of 1,427,160 PCR and Serology tests reported to the state as of Wednesday. 

11.7% of those tests have been positive as of Wednesday, the same as Tuesday.

Here's a county breakdown:

  • Maricopa: 132,434
  • Pima: 20,911
  • Pinal: 9,247
  • Coconino: 3,266
  • Navajo: 5,529
  • Apache: 3,315
  • Mohave: 3,541
  • La Paz: 496
  • Yuma: 12,103
  • Graham: 698
  • Cochise: 1,802
  • Santa Cruz: 2,718
  • Yavapai: 2,260
  • Gila: 1,081
  • Greenlee: 58

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.