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With 2,296 new cases reported today, the total number of Arizona’s confirmed novel coronavirus cases surpassed 767,000 as of Wednesday, Feb. 3, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Pima County, which reported 392 new cases today, has seen 102,712 of the state’s 767,379 confirmed cases.

A total number of 13,576 Arizonans have died after contracting COVID-19, including 1,831 deaths in Pima County, according to the Feb. 3 report.

The number of hospitalized COVID cases statewide has declined in recent weeks, with 3,456 in the hospital as of Feb. 2. That number peaked at 5,082 on Jan. 11. The summer peak was 3,517, which was set on July 13, 2020. The subsequent lowest number of hospitalized COVID patients was 468, set on Sept. 27, 2020.

A total of 1,639 people visited emergency rooms on Feb. 2 with COVID symptoms, down from the record high of 2,341 set on Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020. That number had peaked during the summer wave at 2,008 on July 7, 2020; it hit a subsequent low of 653 on Sept. 28, 2020.

A total of 955 COVID-19 patients were in intensive care unit beds on Feb. 2, down from a peak of 1,183 set on Jan. 11. The summer’s record number of patients in ICU beds was 970, set on July 13, 2020. The subsequent low was 114 on Sept. 22, 2020.

How to get a vaccine

Currently, Pima County is providing vaccination shots to people 75 and older as well as educators, first responders and healthcare workers. Those who currently qualify in Pima County’s 1B priority group of eligible vaccine recipients can register for a vaccine at www.pima.gov/covid19vaccineregistration or by calling 520-222-0119.

State preparing to set up a 24-hour vaccination site in Pima County

After some communication troubles between Pima County and the state, Arizona Department of Health Services Director Cara Christ said plans are in the works to set up a 24-hour vaccination site in the county.

Although County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry has requested the state’s help in setting up a 24-hour point of distribution site at Rillito Park, it’s not clear where the state-run site would be set up.

Christ wrote in a letter to Huckelberry on Jan. 29 that “ADHS will work with the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs (DEMA) to select the vaccination site and discuss logistics.”

If the state sets up the POD, the vaccines supplying it would be taken out of Pima County’s total state allocation.

As of Tuesday, the state’s allocated Pima County 165,950 doses, and the county has administered 119,585 vaccines.

“Any remaining doses of vaccine will be passed on to the county for further allocation. We will notify the Pima County Health Department once details are finalized,” Christ wrote in the letter.

Huckelberry responded to the letter on Monday requesting the state follow Pima County’s accelerated vaccination plan to ensure those most vulnerable to COVID-19 receive vaccines first and that “disadvantaged populations” have equal access to vaccinations. More details here.

Vaccinations continue in Pima County

Pima County has administered 114,165 COVID-19 vaccines as of Feb. 1 but has only completed 18,691 series of the two doses needed to be fully immunized.

This week, the county’s vaccine allocation from the state rose to 165,950, up from 140,425 doses last week, according to Arizona Department of Health Services data.

While Pima County struggles to vaccinate nearly 150,000 currently eligible—the 75+ population, educators, childcare providers and protective service workers—Maricopa County’s two 24-hour state-run PODS are receiving nearly 35,000 doses more than the entirety of Pima County, according to data from ADHS.

The two PODs—one at the State Farm Stadium in Glendale that opened on Jan. 11 and a second at the Phoenix Municipal Stadium on that opened Monday—have been allocated 200,850 vaccine doses.

Maricopa County has been allocated 461,375 vaccines on top of its state-run PODs and has administered 297,469 doses as of Monday.

Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry made the case for allocating more vaccines to Pima County in a Jan. 29 memo.

“While population is one measure, another measure would be the percent of the population that is more vulnerable to COVID-19 than other population components within the County,” he wrote.

The county administrator compared racial groups, individuals over 65, those living below the federal poverty level and those in the state’s Medicaid program in Pima and Maricopa counties. These populations are expected to be most impacted by the pandemic.

Of Pima County’s population, 38% are Hispanic, 20% are above age 65, 14% live below the poverty level and 31% are enrolled in Arizona’s Medicaid program, according to the memo.

In Maricopa County, 31% are Hispanic, 16% are above 65, 12% live below the poverty level and 28% are enrolled in state Medicaid.

Despite struggling for the county’s fair share of vaccines, Huckelberry also announced the next group to be eligible for the vaccine, those over 65, could be able to register for vaccines by “early February.”

After working out the many kinks of the county’s registration site, Huckelberry now believes the website will be able to handle the surge of new registrants. More details here.

Vaccine available now in Marana and Oro Valley area

MHC Healthcare is currently scheduling COVID-19 vaccine appointments for those above 75 in the Marana and Oro Valley areas.

On Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, appointments will take place at MHC Healthcare Marana Main Health Center at 13395 N. Marana Main St.

Beginning this week, vaccinations will take place every Thursday at the James D. Kriegh Park at 23 W Calle Concordia in Oro Valley.

Appointments will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and residents of Oro Valley, Marana, Dove Mountain, Catalina, Avra Valley, Picture Rocks and Summer Haven can register at mhchealthcare.org.

Vaccinations at both locations will be administered in a drive-thru setting using the Moderna vaccine.

As of Monday, MHC had received 2,300 vaccines from the Pima County Health Department and administered 1,714.

Get tested: Pima County has free COVID testing

Pima County offers a number of testing centers around town.

You’ll have a nasal swab test at the Kino Event Center (2805 E. Ajo Way) the Udall Center (7200 E. Tanque Verde Road) and downtown (88 E. Broadway).

The center at the northside Ellie Towne Flowing Wells Community Center, 1660 W. Ruthrauff Road, involves a saliva test designed by ASU.

In addition, the Pima County Health Department, Pima Community College and Arizona State University have partnered to create new drive-thru COVID-19 testing sites at three Pima Community College locations. At the drive-thru sites, COVID-19 testing will be offered through spit samples instead of nasal canal swabs. Each site will conduct testing from 9 a.m. to noon, and registration is required in advance. Only patients 5 years or older can be tested.

Schedule an appointment at these or other pop-up sites at pima.gov/covid19testing.

The University of Arizona’s antibody testing has been opened to all Arizonans as the state attempts to get a handle on how many people have been exposed to COVID-19 but were asymptomatic or otherwise did not get a test while they were ill. To sign up for testing, visit https://covid19antibodytesting.arizona.edu/home.

—with additional reporting from Austin Counts, Jeff Gardner, Nicole Ludden and Mike Truelsen 

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