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Coronavirus in Arizona on July 15: More than 3,200 new cases, 97 new deaths reported Wednesday

There have been 131,354 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 2,434 deaths reported in Arizona as of Wednesday morning.

PHOENIX — Editor's note: Here is the live blog for July 16.

The number of coronavirus cases and deaths in Arizona continues to rise. 

In an effort to track the changes, 12 News has started a daily live blog.

Here is the live blog for Wednesday, July 15.

Major updates: 

  • There have been 131,354 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 2,434 deaths reported in Arizona as of Wednesday morning.
  • 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 131,354 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Arizona and 2,434 coronavirus-related deaths, according to the state's latest numbers.

That is an increase from 128,097 cases and 2,337 coronavirus-related deaths reported as of Tuesday.

A week ago, there were 108,614 cases and 1,963 deaths reported in Arizona.

LEER EN ESPANOL: Coronavirus en Arizona el 15 de julio: Casos y muertes siguen en aumento

More than 3,200 new cases, 97 deaths reported Wednesday

The Arizona Department of Health Services reported more than 3,200 new cases and 97 new deaths on Wednesday.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases topped 131,000, more than a week after reaching the 100,000 mark.

Arizona reached 50,000 coronavirus cases on June 21. The state reached 1,000 coronavirus deaths on June 5.

But there was some good news: Arizona's Rt, pronounced r-naught, was at .97 on Wednesday.

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 5,371 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 June 30, when 55 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 to bring in nearly 600 out-of-state nurses to help hospital surge

The Arizona Department of Health Services will bring in nearly 600 critical care and medical-surgical nurses from out of state to support expanded capacity within Arizona hospitals.

Hospitals in need of critical staffing support may get the nurses for up to six weeks as they enhance their internal surge plans to fill staffing gaps.

COVID-19 hospitalizations in Arizona have increased, with hospitals reporting nearly 3,500 COVID-19 inpatients and more than 900 patients in intensive care units, the department said Wednesday.

Hospitals have also reported the ability to activate additional beds in their facilities with access to more nursing staff. 

Arizona announces plans for coronavirus testing surge

Health officials plan to boost Arizona’s coronavirus testing with free screenings in two low-income Phoenix neighborhoods.

State officials said Tuesday the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will test up to 5,000 people per day beginning Friday in South Phoenix and Maryvale. 

Both are areas where people have reported hours-long waits in the scorching heat for tests. 

The surge testing is scheduled to last 12 days. 

The above article is from The Associated Press. 

Testing to be hosted at Metrocenter Mall

Family Tree Healthcare in partnership with the City of Phoenix will be hosting a free COVID-19 testing event on Saturday, July 18 from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m.

The event will take place at the Metrocenter Mall parking lot across from Red Lobster. 

People will stay in their cars and face masks are required while being tested. An appointment is also required. People are encouraged to bring water and a pen to fill out paperwork.

There is a limited number of tests. 

You can sign up at familytreehealthcare.com

Gilbert to allow Maricopa County's mask mandate to take over

In a statement on Wednesday, Gilbert Mayor Jenn Daniels said the city's mask mandate would expire at 5 p.m. Sunday and instead Maricopa County's mask mandate would take over. 

This would not change anything for residents.

Scroll down for more information on mask mandates across Arizona. 

Tempe taking new steps to stop COVID-19 spread

The City of Tempe is taking new steps to try and stop the coronavirus from spreading to more vulnerable areas.

The city is launching a new community outreach program that targets people who may need the most help. 

Tempe has been tracking the outbreak by testing wastewater and by using COVID-19 testing data from the state Department of Health Services. 

The city says it is targeting the purple area on the map below, which spans from Rural Road to about Smith Road, along Apache Bouelvard. 

While this part of the city does not have the highest concentration of COVID-19, there are other concerns because it is home to the city's most vulnerable residents. 

More than 3,200 students live here, and a majority of kids live in poverty, which can mean less access to protective gear. There are also more than 200 businesses in the area, which can mean heavier foot traffic. 

In an effort to help keep the community safe, the city says it will hand out masks and health information to people who live in the area. Businesses will also get free signage for their shops and information about city programs. 

57% percent chance of getting COVID-19 in a group of 10

In Arizona's most populous county, Maricopa County, there is a 99% chance of at least one COVID-19 positive person at an event of 100 people as of Tuesday, according to the map.

The same is true in Coconino County, Navajo County, Pinal County, and Yuma County.

For an event of 10 people, the risk of a COVID-19 positive person in attendance is 71% in Yuma County, 57% in Maricopa County and 52% in Navajo County.

RELATED: This map shows the risk of encountering COVID-19 at an event in counties across the U.S. The results aren't great for Arizona

Walmart, Sam's Club to require all shoppers to wear face masks

Walmart and Sam's Club have announced that customers will soon be required to wear masks or face coverings when entering any of their stores.

The new requirement will take effect Monday, July 20 across the U.S, Walmart COO Dacona Smith and Sam's Club COO Lance de la Rosa said in a joint statement. 

RELATED: Walmart and Sam's Club will soon require all shoppers to wear face masks

Navajo Nation reports 47 more virus cases, no new deaths

The Navajo Nation reported 47 new cases of the coronavirus Tuesday and no additional deaths. 

The latest positive cases of COVID-19 on the sprawling reservation bring the total number to 8,290. 

The death toll remains at 401 people. 

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said that while data is improving, residents need to be mindful that many towns and cities near the reservation have seen significant increases in new COVID-19 cases. 

He says he's cautiously optimistic the recent July 4th weekend will not result in a spike of cases. 

The reservation includes parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. 

The above article is from The Associated Press. 

Masks required in public

Gov. Doug Ducey allowed individual Arizona cities to create their own policies about face-covering requirements and enforcement.  

A face covering has proven to be effective at limiting the spread of COVID-19, according to the CDC. The virus is primarily spread by in-person contact through sneezes and coughs.

Many cities, including Phoenix, have adopted their own mask requirement that is now in effect.

RELATED: Does wearing a mask pose any health risks?

RELATED: These are the Arizona cities, counties and communities that have mask requirements

RELATED: Arizona mask requirement frequently asked questions

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 131,354 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Arizona and 2,434 coronavirus-related deaths.

That is an increase from 128,097 cases and 2,337 coronavirus-related deaths reported as of Tuesday.

That's an increase of 3,257 new cases reported on Wednesday, a decrease from the 4,273 new cases reported on Tuesday. 

There were 97 new deaths reported on Wednesday, a slight increase from the 92 deaths reported on Tuesday. 

There were 5,371 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 June 30, when 55 people died. That is subject to change.

In total, 15,636 new tests were reported on Wednesday, a decrease from the 20,647 new tests reported on Tuesday.

There have been a total of 936,277 PCR and Serology tests reported to the state as of Wednesday. 

12% of those tests have been positive, a slight increase from the 11.9% on Tuesday. 

Here's a county breakdown:

  • Maricopa: 86,483
  • Pima: 12,406
  • Pinal: 6,118
  • Coconino: 2,532
  • Navajo: 4,529
  • Apache: 2,644
  • Mohave: 2,045
  • La Paz: 422
  • Yuma: 8,851
  • Graham: 221
  • Cochise: 1,131
  • Santa Cruz: 2,226
  • Yavapai: 1,229
  • Gila: 479
  • Greenlee: 38

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.

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