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Coronavirus in Arizona on March 18: 284 new cases, 59 new deaths reported Thursday

There have been 834,607 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 16,645 coronavirus-related deaths reported in Arizona as of Thursday.

PHOENIX — Editor's note: Here's the live blog for March 19.

12 News continues to track the changes with the coronavirus outbreak and vaccination efforts in Arizona with our daily live blog.

Here is the live blog for Thursday, March 18.

RELATED: COVID-19 vaccine in Arizona: Frequently Asked Questions

Major updates: 

  • There have been 834,607 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 16,645 coronavirus-related deaths reported in Arizona as of Thursday.
  • There have been 2,691,126 total vaccines administered 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.

COVID-19 cases reported in Arizona on Thursday

There have been 834,607 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 16,645 coronavirus-related deaths reported in Arizona, according to the state health department data.

That's an increase from the 834,323 confirmed cases and 16,586 coronavirus-related deaths reported on Wednesday.

A week ago, there were 830,465 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 16,464 deaths reported in Arizona.

LEER EN ESPANOL: Coronavirus en Arizona el 18 de marzo: 284 nuevos casos, 59 muertes se reportan el jueves

284 new cases, 59 new deaths reported Thursday

The Arizona Department of Health Services reported 284 new cases and 59 new deaths on Thursday.

Thursday also marked six straight days that the department reported fewer than 1,000 new cases each day.

Arizona has administered 2,691,126 total vaccines COVID-19 vaccine doses as of Thursday.

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.

There were 12,413 cases reported on the collection date of Jan. 4, the day with the most collected diagnoses so far. The day with the second-most collected diagnoses so far was on Jan. 5, with 11,768 cases. That is subject to change.

Health officials said the day with the highest number of deaths was Jan. 18, when 171 people died. The day with the second-highest number of deaths was Jan. 13, when 169 people died. That is subject to change.

Arizona reached 800,000 coronavirus cases on Feb. 17, 700,000 on Jan. 22, 600,000 on Jan. 9, 500,000 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 16,000 coronavirus deaths on on March 2, 15,000 on Feb. 17, 14,000 on Feb. 6, 13,000 on Jan. 29, 12,000 on Jan. 22, 11,000 on Jan. 15, 10,000 on Jan. 9, 9,000 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.

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

Thousands of COVID-19 vaccine appointments available Thursday

The Arizona Department of Health Services said 5,000 COVID-19 vaccine appointments were open Thursday at two state-run sites in the Valley.

The department said State Farm Stadium in the West Valley had 3,000 appointments and Chandler-Gilbert Community College in the East Valley had 2,000.

Arizonans 55 and older can register at http://podvaccine.AZDHS.gov or, starting starting at 8 a.m., 844.542.8201.

MORE: 12News.com/Vaccine

More vaccine appointments in Arizona will be available on Friday

The Arizona Department of Health Services said tens of thousands of new COVID-19 vaccine appointments would be ready to be scheduled at the end of the week.

Appointments can be scheduled at the ADHS website starting at 11 a.m., Friday, March 19.

The appointments will happen at state-run mass vaccination sites from March 22 to 28.

ADHS announced that more vaccine appointments will consistently be available every Friday morning.

MORE: 12News.com/Vaccine

RELATED: Tens of thousands of vaccine appointments in Arizona will be available on Friday

Maricopa County inmates receive COVID-19 vaccines

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office said some county inmates began receiving a COVID-19 vaccine Thursday morning.

Correctional Health Services gave Johnson & Johnson vaccines to inmates age 55 and over who wanted to receive the vaccine. 

CHS received 400 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine earlier this week. There are currently 318 inmates in county jails who are 55 and older. 

“Providing the Covid-19 vaccine to our incarcerated population is yet another step to help keep our inmates, staff and medical personnel safe and healthy,” Sheriff Paul Penzone said in a statement. 

“We are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel and are appreciative for the partnership with CHS and Public Health as we continue working towards restarting jail programs, expanding resources, and turning the page on this pandemic.” 

The sheriff's office said it is providing support to CHS to help them administer more vaccines.

Arizona bill would shield businesses from COVID-19 lawsuits

Arizona lawmakers have advanced legislation shielding businesses from lawsuits related to COVID-19.

Republicans backed the measure Wednesday in a party-line vote in the House Judiciary Committee, setting up a vote in the full House. 

The measure has already been approved in the Senate. 

The bill would raise the bar for successful pandemic-related lawsuits against businesses, health care providers, nursing homes, nonprofits, governments, churches and schools. 

Business interests say the measure is necessary to protect against frivolous lawsuits. 

But trial lawyers and consumer advocates say it shields bad actors from consequences. 

They point out that there have been very few lawsuits related to COVID-19.

The above article is from The Associated Press. 

City pushes for reopening of east entrance to Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon National Park officials tentatively plan to reopen the park’s eastern entrance in late May, but some in Page say sooner would be better.

That's a tourist-dependent small city in northern Arizona where many campsites and other facilities remain empty. 

Park officials closed the east entrance last year as a courtesy to the neighboring Navajo Nation, which was hit hard by the pandemic. 

But with the slowing of the outbreak, the tribe is reopening some of its own facilities. 

Park officials say they have several factors to consider and that a tentative date to reopen the park's eastern entrance is May 21.

The above article is from The Associated Press. 

Navajo Nation to reopen 2 casinos in northwestern New Mexico

The Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise is planning to reopen two of its casinos this week with reduced capacity.

The casinos in northwestern New Mexico near Gallup and Farmington will open Friday after being closed for a year amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

The move comes as the tribe eases its restrictions on businesses and sees a downward swing in COVID-19 cases and deaths. 

The casinos will operate at 25% capacity with no food or drink services and allow only residents of the reservation. 

The enterprise will keep two other casinos east of Flagstaff and in northwestern New Mexico closed in the meantime.

The above article is from The Associated Press. 

Navajo Nation reports 10 new cases, 3 more deaths

The Navajo Department of Health reported 10 new COVID-19 positive cases for the Navajo Nation and three more deaths on Wednesday. 

The total number of positive COVID-19 cases is now 29,968, including one delayed reported case.  

The total number of deaths is now 1,222 as of Wednesday. 

Reports indicate that 16,288 individuals have recovered from COVID-19, and 250,106 COVID-19 tests have been administered.

Here is the latest information on COVID-19 vaccines in Arizona

The Arizona Department of Health Services said more than 2.6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered as of Thursday.

Who can get a COVID-19 vaccine?

The state and each county is offering vaccines to people in Phase 1B. Gila County has extended vaccines to some people in Phase 1C. Learn more about the phases here.

How can I sign up for a COVID-19 vaccine?

You can sign up for a vaccine through the state here or find more information about finding up through the counties here.

Where can I get a COVID-19 vaccine?

There are four locations where the state is administering vaccines: State Farm Stadium, Phoenix Municipal Stadium, Chandler-Gilbert Community College and University of Arizona's Tucson campus. All other locations are run through the individual counties or federal programs.

Where can I find more information on a COVID-19 vaccine?

You can find more vaccine information at 12News.com/Vaccine.

COVID-19 data dashboard now includes vaccine information

The Arizona Department of Health Services updated its COVID-19 data dashboard to include information including vaccination numbers and demographic data.

The new information can be found on the dashboard in the tab right next to the summary tab where daily coronavirus cases, deaths, and testing numbers are updated.

You can see the updated dashboard here.

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 834,607 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 16,645 coronavirus-related deaths reported in Arizona.

That's an increase from the 834,323 confirmed cases and 16,586 coronavirus-related deaths reported on Wednesday.

There were 284 new cases reported on Thursday, a decrease from the 445 new cases reported on Wednesday. 

There were 59 new deaths reported on Thursday, an increase from the 12 new deaths reported on Wednesday.

There were 12,413 cases reported on the collection date of Jan. 4, the day with the most collected diagnoses so far. The day with the second-most collected diagnoses so far was on Jan. 5, with 11,768 cases. That is subject to change.

Health officials said the day with the highest number of deaths was Jan. 18, when 171 people died. The day with the second-highest number of deaths was Jan. 13, when 169 people died. That is subject to change.

In total, 29,133 new diagnostic tests were reported on Thursday, an increase from the 22,777 new tests reported on Wednesday.

There have been a total of 8,219,560 diagnostic tests reported to the state as of Thursday. 

11.1% of those tests have been positive as of Thursday, the same since Tuesday.

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

  • Maricopa: 520,784
  • Pima: 111,507
  • Pinal: 48,468
  • Coconino: 16,904
  • Navajo: 15,587
  • Apache: 10,750
  • Mohave: 21,777
  • La Paz: 2,423
  • Yuma: 36,643
  • Graham: 5,346
  • Cochise: 11,453
  • Santa Cruz: 7,702
  • Yavapai: 18,235
  • Gila: 6,465
  • Greenlee: 562

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. 

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.

For the latest news about COVID-19, including doctor responses to questions about the coronavirus, watch our 12 News YouTube Playlist here.