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Coronavirus in Arizona on March 31: 733 new cases, 26 new deaths reported Wednesday

There have been 841,811 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 16,967 coronavirus-related deaths reported in Arizona as of Wednesday.

PHOENIX — Editor's note: Here's the live blog for April 1. 

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 Wednesday, March 31.

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

Major updates: 

  • There have been 841,811 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 16,967 coronavirus-related deaths reported in Arizona as of Wednesday.
  • There have been 3,358,642 total vaccines administered 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.
  • 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 continues to see decreasing COVID-19 metrics, graphs show

COVID-19 cases reported in Arizona on Wednesday

There have been 841,811 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 16,967 coronavirus-related deaths reported in Arizona, according to the state health department data.

That's an increase from the 841,078 confirmed cases and 16,941 coronavirus-related deaths reported on Tuesday.

A week ago, there were 837,849 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 16,842 deaths reported in Arizona.

LEER EN ESPANOL: Coronavirus en Arizona el 31 de marzo: 733 nuevos casos, 26 muerte se reportan el miércoles

733 new cases, 26 new deaths reported Wednesday

The Arizona Department of Health Services reported 733 new cases and 26 new deaths on Wednesday.

Of the 733 additional cases, the Department of Health Services said 202 were cases newly reported for Apache and Navajo counties in northeastern Arizona after officials reviewed records provided by neighboring New Mexico. 

Department spokesman Steve Elliott said the cases involved Arizona residents who were tested or treated at facilities in New Mexico.

Wednesday marked the 19th day in a row that the department reported less than 1,000 new cases each day.

Arizona has administered 3,358,642 total vaccines COVID-19 vaccine doses as of Wednesday.

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 12,416 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 11,755 cases. That is subject to change.

Health officials said the day with the highest number of deaths was Jan. 18, when 177 people died. The day with the second-highest number of deaths was Jan. 13, when 172 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.

State planning for additional staff at vaccination sites to meet demand

The Governor's office and the Arizona Department of Health Services announced on Wednesday that there will be a staffing surge at state-run vaccination sites to help meet the high demand.

ADHS says the mobilization of additional staff and other process improvements reduced wait times at state vaccination sites already, saying wait times at state sites were under 30 minutes on Wednesday. 

ADHS says more state staff are stepping up to existing staff and volunteers and additionally, 90 more National Guard personnel will also join the vaccination effort on Thursday. 

“Arizona is deploying all available resources to ensure that Arizonans continue to experience short wait times and receive excellent service while getting vaccinated,” Governor Ducey said in a release. “The State Farm Stadium site is among the highest-performing mass vaccination sites in the U.S. This past weekend alone, we administered more than 10,000 doses per day. We’re committed to keeping up the pace.”

ADHS says it is in the process of implementing the follow changes to help speed up vaccination sites:

  • Closely monitoring throughput and wait times to rapidly implement adjustments and countermeasures;
  • Adding 30 additional paid staff per shift;
  • Moving to a paid staffing model for the majority of staff;
  • Working to reduce no-shows of people signed up to volunteer and stabilize volunteer participation levels;
  • Opening more slots for volunteers to improve volunteer yield;
  • Reducing volunteer shifts from 8 hours to 6 hours when the new overnight hours of operation begin at State Farm Stadium on April 4 at 5 p.m.;
  • Partnering with companies and organizations to increase volunteer yield;
  • Requiring patients to arrive closer to their scheduled appointment time — the site will no longer accept patients arriving more than 2 hours prior to their scheduled appointment times; 
  • Improving traffic control in and around the state vaccine site; and
  • Adding a new separate entrance for staff and volunteers

After Arizona opened up the COVID-19 vaccine to the general population, interest in volunteering has dropped off.

RELATED: Arizona experiencing shortage of volunteers for COVID-19 vaccine sites

At 11 a.m. every Friday, ADHS makes appointments available at state-run sites of the following week. Registration for these and many other sites is available at podvaccine.azdhs.gov or by calling 844-542-8201 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Arizona county keeps mask mandate in defiance of governor

Pima County officials say they will continue to enforce a mask mandate to contain the spread of COVID-19 despite Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey's attempt to block public health measures by local governments.

Leaders of the state's second-largest county said Tuesday they expect their decision will be challenged but they believe they are on solid ground. 

Officials say health inspectors will continue enforcing mask requirements in restaurants, and other businesses face potential fines up to $500 or the loss of their operating permits. 

Ducey lifted his remaining coronavirus restrictions, prompting a backlash from hospital executives and some local officials. 

A spokesman for Ducey did not immediately comment. 

The above article is from The Associated Press. 

RELATED: Pima County keeps mask mandate in defiance of Ducey

Lawmakers OK Arizona business pandemic liability shield

The Arizona Senate has joined the House in voting to give businesses, nursing homes and others a broad shield from lawsuits related to COVID-19.

Senate Republicans approved the measure on a 16-14 party-line vote Tuesday, a day after House OK-ed the measure on a 31-29 party-line vote. 

The measure now heads to Republican Gov. Doug Ducey for his expected signature. 

Backers say businesses struggled during the pandemic and shouldn't have to worry about the potential for frivolous lawsuits. 

Democrats say the measure would reward bad actors who flouted health guidance and endangered their workers or the public.

The above article is from The Associated Press. 

Navajo Nation reports 12 new cases, 1 recent death

The Navajo Department of Health reported 12 new COVID-19 positive cases for the Navajo Nation and one recent death on Tuesday.

The total number of positive COVID-19 cases is now 30,097, including three delayed reported cases.

The total number of deaths is now 1,247 as of Tuesday. 

Reports indicate that 16,396 individuals have recovered from COVID-19, and 253,994 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 3.3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered as of Wednesday.

Who can get a COVID-19 vaccine?

The state and Maricopa County has expanded vaccine eligibility to Arizonans 16 and older. Other counties are offering vaccines to people in Phase 1B. Gila County has extended vaccines to some people in Phase 1C and Mohave County opened vaccines to all adults. 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 Wednesday

There have been 841,811 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 16,967 coronavirus-related deaths reported in Arizona.

That's an increase from the 841,078 confirmed cases and 16,941 coronavirus-related deaths reported on Tuesday.

There were 733 new cases reported on Wednesday, an increase from the 586 new cases reported on Tuesday. 

There were 26 new deaths reported on Wednesday, an increase from the 23 new deaths reported on Tuesday.

There were 12,416 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 11,755 cases. That is subject to change.

Health officials said the day with the highest number of deaths was Jan. 18, when 177 people died. The day with the second-highest number of deaths was Jan. 13, when 172 people died. That is subject to change.

In total, 25,269 new diagnostic tests were reported on Wednesday, an increase from the 13,460 new tests reported on Tuesday.

There have been a total of 8,533,893 diagnostic tests reported to the state as of Wednesday. 

10.8% of those tests have been positive as of Wednesday, the same as Tuesday.

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

  • Maricopa: 524,386
  • Pima: 112,677
  • Pinal: 49,475
  • Coconino: 17,076
  • Navajo: 15,703
  • Apache: 10,959
  • Mohave: 22,122
  • La Paz: 2,443
  • Yuma: 36,751
  • Graham: 5,365
  • Cochise: 11,600
  • Santa Cruz: 7,818
  • Yavapai: 18,327
  • Gila: 6,546
  • Greenlee: 563

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.