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Coronavirus in Arizona on Dec. 22: Arizona reaches 8K total COVID-19 deaths as 5,859 new cases, 153 new deaths reported Tuesday

There have been 467,215 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 8,125 coronavirus-related deaths reported in Arizona as of Tuesday.

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 Tuesday, Dec. 22.

Major updates: 

  • There have been 467,215 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 8,125 coronavirus-related deaths reported in Arizona as of Tuesday.
  • 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: Arizona reports more COVID-19 deaths on average than ever before

COVID-19 cases reported in Arizona on Tuesday

There have been 467,215 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 8,125 coronavirus-related deaths reported in Arizona, according to the state's latest numbers.

That's an increase from the 461,345 confirmed cases and 7,972 coronavirus-related deaths reported on Monday.

A week ago, there were 424,382 cases and 7,422 deaths reported in Arizona.

RELATED: More than 8,000 Arizonans dead due to COVID-19 complications

5,859 new cases, 153 new deaths reported Tuesday

The Arizona Department of Health Services reported 5,859 new cases and 153 new deaths on Tuesday.

The department did not say that death certificate matching accounted for the high death numbers.

It was the second-highest day for reported deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. The highest was 172 deaths reported on July 30. 

According to the state coronavirus dashboard, there were 4,019 COVID-19-related hospitalizations as of Monday, the latest in a string of pandemic-highs recorded this month during the fall surge now continuing into winter. 

Maricopa County health officials said they have given out 8,175 COVID-19 vaccines as of Tuesday.

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 8,000 coronavirus deaths on Dec. 22, 7,000 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 1.04 as of Sunday, down from 1.07 on Saturday.

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 8,174 cases reported on the collection date of Dec. 14, the day with the most collected diagnoses so far. The day with the second-most collected diagnoses so far was on Nov. 30, with 7,838 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.

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RELATED: New COVID-19 strain in UK has not been found in Arizona yet

Maricopa County receives first doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine

The Maricopa County Department of Public Health said it received its first doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday morning.  

The county received four boxes that contained about 18,000 doses

The Moderna vaccine will supplement supplies of the existing Pfizer vaccine.

The county is currently in Phase 1A of its vaccine distribution, which means frontline health care workers are able to get the first dose of the vaccine. 

The county said it had distributed more than 8,100 doses of the vaccine as of Tuesday morning. 

The county has five regional points of distribution to give out the vaccine. 

You can find more information here.

Maricopa County faces technical issues with COVID-19 vaccine scheduling site

The Maricopa County Department of Public Health said Tuesday that it is aware of technical issues that may affect COVID-19 vaccine scheduling site for some vaccination locations. 

The two locations that may have been affected by the technical difficulty were the southeast and southwest locations in Chandler and Goodyear. 

The department said it was working to fix the issue.

Arizona Senate to require masks next legislative session

The Arizona Senate has announced a new set of COVID-19 safety guidelines for the upcoming legislative session in January, including requiring masks.

Arizona Senate President Karen Fann told the senators and staff on Monday that anyone who enters the Senate building must have their temperature checked and be wearing masks at all times. 

The guidelines also require 6 feet of social distancing when possible and prohibits handshakes or any physical contact during committee hearings and gatherings. 

Fann warned that failing to comply with the rules could result in an early end of the session. 

Lawmakers shut down their buildings last month and cut the 2020 session short because of the pandemic.

The above article is from The Associated Press. 

Abrazo West begins dispensing COVID-19 vaccine

Officials at the Abrazo West Campus began dispensing COVID-19 vaccines for front line health care workers and first responders on Monday.

It is the vaccination POD for southwest Maricopa County. The county is currently in Phase 1A vaccinations. 

Abrazo Health is part of a county-wide collaboration of health care providers to distribute initial doses of the vaccine. 

Health care workers must pre-register for the vaccine on the county's website before getting a follow up message to schedule a vaccination. 

Pima County health care system could soon be overwhelmed

The Pima County Health Department warned on Monday that its health care system could soon be overwhelmed.

County Health Director Dr. Theresa Cullen also noted that December is on pace to have more COVID-19 infections than all the previous months of the pandemic in Pima County combined.

The county issued a new advisory, urging residents to continue to follow the mandatory mask wearing and the mandatory 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew. 

The advisory also included guidance to ask people to limit gatherings to fewer than 10 people and asks all businesses to reduce their occupancy to 25%. Those limitations are voluntary. 

“We have surpassed critical levels of hospital bed usage due to the high rate of community-wide spread occurring in Pima County,” the advisory stated. 

“In the last week, there have been multiple times when there have been no ICU beds available in Pima County; at different times, hospital medical/surgical beds have also reached capacity,” it continued. 

”Modeling indicates public health and healthcare resources in Pima County will continue to be further stretched and demand for those resources will overwhelm the healthcare system within the next two to three weeks.”

Navajo officials urge vigilance over COVID during holidays

The Navajo Nation reported 158 new coronavirus cases on Monday and two more deaths from COVID-19.

The latest figures from the Navajo Department of Health bring the total number of cases on the reservation that extends into Arizona, New Mexico and Utah to 21,177. 

The Navajo Nation has reported 748 deaths since the pandemic hit. 

Tribal officials are urging residents of the vast reservation to stay vigilant to help stop the spread of the coronavirus amid the holiday season. 

Navajo President Jonathan Nez says a spike in cases occurred after Thanksgiving. 

He encouraged people spend Christmas with only the people in their household.

The above article is from The Associated Press. 

Arizona health department sets up hotline to report businesses

The Arizona Department of Health Services has set up two ways for people to report local businesses that are not following COVID-19 guidelines. 

People can report businesses through a hotline or through an online form:

“There’s a role for the public as well: If you believe a business isn’t following these requirements, which were established for the safety of customers, employees, and the broader public, ADHS encourages you to share your concerns so local and state officials can follow up as needed,” AZDHS said in a statement.

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), a student (or parents on behalf of students), school staff member or who may not be able to purchase one 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 Tuesday

There have been 467,215 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 8,125 coronavirus-related deaths reported in Arizona.

That's an increase from the 461,345 confirmed cases and 7,972 coronavirus-related deaths reported on Monday.

There were 5,859 new cases reported on Tuesday, a decrease from the 7,748 new cases reported on Monday.

There was 153 new deaths reported on Tuesday, an increase from the one new death reported on Monday. 

There were 8,174 cases reported on the collection date of Dec. 14, the day with the most collected diagnoses so far. The day with the second-most collected diagnoses so far was on Nov. 30, with 7,838 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, 15,254 new tests were reported on Tuesday, a decrease from the 17,770 new tests reported on Monday.

There have been a total of 3,065,913 PCR and Serology tests reported to the state as of Tuesday. 

11.6% of those tests have been positive as of Tuesday, the same since Monday.

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

  • Maricopa: 287,646
  • Pima: 61,344
  • Pinal: 24,600
  • Coconino: 10,237
  • Navajo: 10,548
  • Apache: 6,964
  • Mohave: 10,475
  • La Paz: 1,196
  • Yuma: 25,265
  • Graham: 2,873
  • Cochise: 6,412
  • Santa Cruz: 5,482
  • Yavapai: 9,707
  • Gila: 4,096
  • Greenlee: 359

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.