With 419 new cases reported today, the total number of Arizona’s confirmed novel coronavirus cases passed 851,000 as of Wednesday, April 14, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.
Pima County, which reported 81 new cases today, has seen 113,903 of the state’s 851,265 confirmed cases.
With 4 new deaths reported this morning, a total of 17,109 Arizonans have died after contracting COVID-19, including 2,372 deaths in Pima County, according to the April 14 report.
A total of 531 coronavirus patients were in the hospital as of April 13. That’s roughly 22.5% of the number hospitalized at the peak of the winter surge, which reached 5,082 on Jan. 12. 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 984 people visited emergency rooms with COVID-like symptoms on April 13. That number represents 42% of 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 150 COVID-19 patients were in intensive care unit beds on April 13, which roughly 12.5% of the record 1,183 ICU patients 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.
County halts use of J&J vaccine
Pima County Health Department is temporarily pausing the distribution of Johnson & Johnson vaccine on the guidance and recommendation from the CDC and Arizona Department of Health Services on Tuesday.
In a CDC statement, officials with the CDC and FDA said they are reviewing six reported U.S. cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals after receiving the J&J vaccine. According to the CDC, all six cases occurred among women between the ages of 18 and 48, and symptoms occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination. More than 6.8 million doses of the Janssen vaccine have been administered in the U.S. as of Tuesday.
Pima County has distributed 24,600 doses of the Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, primarily at the mobile clinics and said they have received “no reports of adverse reactions” in a statement Tuesday.
“Vaccines available today are safe and effective,” said Pima County Health Department Director, Dr. Theresa Cullen. “And although out of an abundance of caution we have paused the use of J&J, we urge unvaccinated to continue to keep getting vaccinated.”
There is a 1 in a million estimated risk of a blood clot from the Janssen vaccine, but there is a 1 in 100 overall risk of dying if you get COVID-19, said Dr. Deepta Bhattacharya, associate professor of immunobiology at the University of Arizona College of Medicine.
“Let’s say that there is a 10 percent chance that someone will catch COVID-19,” Bhattacharya said. “Then the overall risk for an unvaccinated person catching and dying from COVID-19 is about 1 in 1,000, which is about 1,000 times more likely than having a complication from the J&J vaccine.”
Pima County advises residents should immediately contact their primary care physician if they received the J&J vaccine and experienced severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination.
After the CDC announcement, the Arizona Department of Health Services announced they recommended a pause to the Janssen vaccine administration. They announced people who had appointments to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine can schedule an appointment for the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine online at azdhs.gov/findvaccine, but indicated providers may still administer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine if “they feel it is clinically appropriate after a discussion with their patient.”
The state has received an allocation of 226,300 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, with about 122,000 administered.
The CDC offers an after-vaccination health checker program called V-safe, where those who register can tell the CDC about any side effects after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Register through your smartphone here.
Pima County transitioning to indoor vaccination sites, closing Banner South drive-thru clinic next month
As temperatures rise, Pima County officials are shifting to indoor vaccination sites to avoid making staff and volunteers endure long days in triple-degree temperatures.
Pima County opened a new indoor vaccine site yesterday at the Kino Event Center, where the county had earlier been doing COVID testing. That site is open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Register at azdhs.gov.
The county has also opened an indoor vaccination POD at El Pueblo Center, 101 W. Irvington Road, which is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. No appointment is necessary.
The county is working with TMC to move their drive-thru POD to a walk-through site at the Udall Center at Udall Park, 7200 E. Tanque Verde Road, beginning April 19. Appointments can be made through register.vaccine.pima.gov.
The drive-through POD at Banner-South Kino Stadium, 2500 E. Ajo Way, will offer appointments between 7:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. beginning April 17 and will close permanently on May 14.
As of Monday, April 12, 363,431 people in Pima County had received at least one shot of the virus, accounting for 34.8% of the population. A total of 242,638 people were fully vaccinated.
Anyone 16 and older is now eligible for vaccination at Pima County or state PODs.
You can register for your vaccine appointments at a state POD by visiting pod vaccine.azdhs.gov, and those who need assistance can call 1-844-542-8201.
Register for an appointment at a Pima County POD at pima.gov/covid19vaccineregistration or by calling 520-222-0119.
Many local pharmacies are now receiving vaccine doses. To find one near you, visit the ADHS website.
Get tested: Pima County has free COVID testing
Pima County is continuing to offer a number of testing centers and pop-up testing sites around town, including the northside Ellie Towne Flowing Wells Community Center, 1660 W. Ruthrauff Road. Schedule an appointment at pima.gov/covid19testing.
The University of Arizona’s antibody testing can determine if you have had COVID and now have antibodies. To sign up for testing, visit https://covid19antibodytesting.arizona.edu/home.
—with additional reporting from Austin Counts, Christina Duran, Jeff Gardner and Mike Truelsen