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Arizona pandemic toll tops 12,000 deaths, over 700,000 cases

The death toll in Arizona from COVID-19 passed the 12,000 mark on Friday, Jan. 22. (File photo by Howard Fischer/For the Miner)

The death toll in Arizona from COVID-19 passed the 12,000 mark on Friday, Jan. 22. (File photo by Howard Fischer/For the Miner)

PHOENIX - Arizona, a COVID-19 hot spot with the worst diagnosis rate among U.S. states, on Friday reported that its pandemic death toll now exceeds 12,000 and that the number of known cases has topped 700,000 since the coronavirus outbreak began.

The Department of Health Services reported 8,099 additional known cases and 229 additional deaths, increasing the state's pandemic totals to 708,041 cases and 12,001 deaths.

The current surge has crowded hospitals statewide, particularly after the winter holidays. But the numbers of additional reported cases and of people hospitalized for COVD-19 have dropped recently. Arizona was also a hot spot during last summer's surge.

Arizona is ramping up its vaccination program by opening additional sites but, like other states, has had difficulty get enough doses to meet demand.

There were 4,495 COVID-19 patients occupying Arizona inpatient hospital beds as of Thursday, down from the pandemic record of 5,082 on Jan. 11, according to the state's coronavirus dashboard.

One person in every 141 Arizona residents was diagnosed with COVID-19 over the past week.

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

According to data from Johns Hopkins University and The COVID Tracking Project, the seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Arizona declined over the past two weeks, dropping from 9,198 new cases per day on Jan. 7 to 7,271.7 new cases per day on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the state's seven-day rolling average of daily deaths in Arizona continued to increase, rising from 125.3 per day on Jan. 7 to 153 on Thursday.

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