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Sun, Jan. 24

Arizona reports over 11,000 virus cases, nearly 200 deaths

Arizona, which has the highest COVID-19 diagnosis rate in the nation, reported more than 11,000 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, Jan. 8. Dr. Cara Christ, the Arizona health director, is shown. (File photo by Howard Fischer/For the Miner)

Arizona, which has the highest COVID-19 diagnosis rate in the nation, reported more than 11,000 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, Jan. 8. Dr. Cara Christ, the Arizona health director, is shown. (File photo by Howard Fischer/For the Miner)

PHOENIX - Arizona, beset by the worst CODID-19 diagnosis rate among U.S. states, on Friday reported over 11,000 additional known COVID-19 cases and nearly 200 more deaths.

The state reported 11,658 additional cases and 197 deaths, increasing the state's pandemic totals to 596,251 cases and 9,938 deaths.

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.

Arizona had one person of every 115 people diagnosed with COVID-19 from Dec. 30 to Wednesday. The diagnosis rate is obtained by dividing a state's population by the number of additional cases.

With the surge stressing Arizona hospitals, 4,907 COVID-19 patients occupied inpatient beds on Thursday, including a pandemic record 1,122 in intensive care beds, according to the state's coronavirus dashboard.

Arizona's vaccination program was entering a new phase as several counties expanded eligibility, newly offering shots to police, teachers, child care workers and people 75 or older.

Those eligible in the first phase that began last month included health care workers and residents and staff of long-term care facilities.

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