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Coronavirus in Arizona on Jan. 7: 9,913 new cases, record-high 297 new deaths reported Thursday

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

PHOENIX — Editor's note: Here is the live blog for Jan. 8.

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 Thursday, Jan. 7.

Major updates: 

  • There have been 584,593 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 9,741 coronavirus-related deaths reported in Arizona as of Thursday.
  • 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 has highest COVID-19 case rate in the country, data shows

RELATED: Multiple Arizona COVID-19 records broken in December, graphs show

COVID-19 cases reported in Arizona on Thursday

There have been 584,593 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 9,741 coronavirus-related deaths reported in Arizona, according to the state's latest numbers.

That's an increase from the 574,680 confirmed cases and 9,444 coronavirus-related deaths reported on Wednesday.

A week ago, there were 520,207 cases and 8,864 deaths reported in Arizona.

LEER EN ESPANOL: Coronavirus en Arizona el 7 de enero: 9,913 nuevos casos, 297 muertes se reportan el jueves

9,913 new cases, 297 new deaths reported Thursday

The Arizona Department of Health Services reported 9,913 new cases and 297 new deaths on Thursday.

Thursday also had the highest amount of COVID-19 deaths reported in Arizona since the start of the pandemic. The previous record, 253, was marked on Tuesday.

Most of the deaths reported Thursday were due to death certificate matching, the department said.

The surge has stressed Arizona’s health care system, and the state’s coronavirus dashboard reported a record high of 4,920 COVID-19 patients occupying inpatient hospital beds Wednesday.

Arizona’s cases, deaths and hospitalizations have been 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 500,000 coronavirus cases on Dec. 28, 400,000 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 9,000 coronavirus deaths on Jan. 1, 8,000 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 1.10 on Tuesday, down from 1.11 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 11,024 cases reported on the collection date of Dec. 28, the day with the most collected diagnoses so far. The day with the second-most collected diagnoses so far was on Dec. 29, with 10,456 cases. That is subject to change.

Health officials said the day with the highest number of deaths was Dec. 17, when 109 people died. The day with the second-highest number of deaths was Dec. 18, when 108 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 reporting fewer vaccinations due to data error

The Arizona Department of Health Services says the state is reporting fewer vaccinations than before after a miscalculation was corrected.

The state has reported 113,993 vaccine doses administered so far. That’s a lower pace than originally predicted, according to ADHS director Cara Christ.

But the discrepancy isn’t due to any shortage.

As medical front-line workers and long-term care residents receive their second dose of the vaccine, ADHS says it’s led to some patients being double-counted.

The issue has been corrected, and, as a result, the state is reporting fewer vaccinations.

“We continue to work with local public health officials to ensure that vaccines are going into the arms of Arizonans,” Christ said. “Many counties will move into phase 1B next week, opening up the eligibility for even more to receive the vaccine.”

The rollout of the vaccine has been frustratingly slow across the country as the world desperately seeks an end to the pandemic.

Gov. Doug Ducey recently issued an executive order to provide health services more resources to speed things up, and the nation’s top pandemic expert Dr. Anthony Fauci expects up to 1 million doses could be administered daily on a national level in the near future.

See the vaccination rate in your county on the ADHS website.

RELATED: Fauci: US could soon give 1 million vaccinations a day

Arizona deemed 'hot spot of the world' amid virus surge

Five months after President Donald Trump hailed Arizona as a model for how it dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic, public health experts warned that the state has become “the hot spot of the world.” 

Some say health restrictions the governor has been hesitant to impose could have tamped down the crisis. 

State health officials reported Wednesday a triple-digit number of new virus-related deaths for the second day in a row and more than 7,200 daily cases, with hospitals strained by a record number of patients. 

The head of the Arizona Public Health Association predicts Arizona will soon look like Los Angeles, where a COVID-19 surge has created an oxygen shortage and ambulances being turned away.

The above article is from The Associated Press.

Surge in Arizona, world 'hot spot,' puts focus on governor

Since early in the pandemic, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has resisted instituting restrictive measures to try to keep the coronavirus cases from rising. 

All of those choices by the Republican governor are now getting renewed scrutiny as the Grand Canyon state becomes what health officials call the latest “hot spot of the world” because of soaring case loads. 

Ducey has rejected calls from health care leaders to tighten restrictions, arguing it would cause people to be out of work. 

He also dismissed a proposal to have all public schools go to virtual learning for two weeks after the holidays. 

Health officials are urging new measures as cases skyrocket.

The above article is from The Associated Press.

Maricopa County to expand COVID-19 vaccination rollout next week

Maricopa County Public Health announced Wednesday that it would expand its COVID-19 vaccination rollout next week.

The county will open up vaccination scheduling for people in Phase 1B starting Monday. 

People in Phase 1B are K-12 school staff and childcare workers, law enforcement/protective services and adults age 75 and older. 

Any health care workers in Phase 1A who still need to make their first appointments will be able to do so, but they will not be prioritized over people in Phase 1B. 

Appointments will be available at POD sites that are not already fully-booked for second doses to individuals from Phase 1A.

The department said 119,653 Arizonans have received the COVID-19 vaccine as of Tuesday.

Maricopa County health officials said they have given out 62,068 COVID-19 vaccines as of Thursday.

Pima County health officials said they would also move into Phase 1B next week.

Tonto National Forest trying to discourage large gathering

Tonto National Forest officials are trying to discourage the annual January informal gathering known as the Christmas Tree Burn that has attracted thousands of people in the past. 

Forest officials said Wednesday that Arizona’s COVID-19 restrictions prohibit large gatherings and that areas of the forest’s Mesa Ranger District may be closed temporarily for recreation use to ensure that the gathering doesn’t occur. 

Forest officials say thousands of people in the past have gathered on the forest to burn Christmas trees. 

Officials say the gathering last year of some 8,000 people in the Lower Sycamore area left large amounts of trash, abandoned campfires and other damage.

The above article is from The Associated Press.

Mohave County advances COVID-19 vaccine rollout

Mohave County officials announced Thursday that it would be transitioning to Phase 1B of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. 

People who will be able to get the vaccine include people over the age of 75, education and childcare workers and protective services occupations. 

Officials will prioritize those in Phase 1B due to limited vaccine availability. 

Navajo Nation reports 222 new COVID-19 cases, 1 more death

Navajo Nation health officials on Wednesday reported 222 new COVID-19 cases and one more death.

The latest figures increased the tribe’s totals since the pandemic began to 24,247 cases and 838 known deaths.  

Health officials said nearly 211,000 people have been tested for the coronavirus on the reservation and more than 12,500 have recovered. 

The number of infections is thought to be far higher than reported because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick. 

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez says the tribe is beginning to see the results of the recent holidays with the high number of new COVID-19 cases.

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 Thursday

There have been 584,593 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 9,741 coronavirus-related deaths reported in Arizona.

That's an increase from the 574,680 confirmed cases and 9,444 coronavirus-related deaths reported on Wednesday.

There were 9,913 new cases reported on Thursday, an increase from the 7,206 new cases reported on Wednesday.

There were 297 new deaths reported on Thursday, a record-high number and an increase from the 127 new deaths reported on Wednesday. 

There were 11,024 cases reported on the collection date of Dec. 28, the day with the most collected diagnoses so far. The day with the second-most collected diagnoses so far was on Dec. 29, with 10,456 cases. That is subject to change.

Health officials said the day with the highest number of deaths was Dec. 17, when 109 people died. The day with the second-highest number of deaths was Dec. 18, when 108 people died. That is subject to change.

In total, 16,322 new tests were reported on Thursday, a decrease from the 20,938 new tests reported on Wednesday.

There have been a total of 3,384,395 PCR and Serology tests reported to the state as of Thursday. 

12.9% of those tests have been positive as of Thursday, up from 12.8% on Wednesday.

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

  • Maricopa: 360,707
  • Pima: 77,854
  • Pinal: 31,497
  • Coconino: 12,095
  • Navajo: 12,086
  • Apache: 8,045
  • Mohave: 14,347
  • La Paz: 1,719
  • Yuma: 29,715
  • Graham: 3,601
  • Cochise: 8,502
  • Santa Cruz: 6,441
  • Yavapai: 12,668
  • Gila: 4,867
  • Greenlee: 441

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.