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 With more than 2,659 new cases reported today, the number of Arizona’s confirmed novel coronavirus cases soared past 300,000 as of Monday, Nov. 23, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Pima County, which reported 544 new cases today, has seen 36,659 of the state’s 302,324 confirmed cases.

A total of 6,464 Arizonans have died after contracting COVID-19, including 674 deaths in Pima County, according to the Nov. 23 report.

The number of hospitalized COVID cases statewide continues to climb upward as the virus has begun to spread more rapidly. ADHS reported that as of Nov. 22, 2,008 COVID patients were hospitalized in the state, the highest that number has been since Aug. 3. That number peaked with 3,517 hospitalized COVID patients on July 13; it hit a subsequent low of 468 on Sept. 27. 

A total of 1,372 people visited emergency rooms on Nov. 22 with COVID symptoms. That number peaked at 2,008 on July 7; it hit a subsequent low of 653 on Sept. 28.

A total of 469 COVID-19 patients were in intensive care unit beds on Nov. 22, the highest that number has been since Aug. 13. The number of COVID patients in ICUs peaked at 970 on July 13 and hit a subsequent low of 114 on Sept. 22.

On a week-by-week basis in Pima County, the number of positive COVID tests peaked the week ending July 4 with 2,452 cases, according to an Nov. 20 report from the Pima County Health Department. (Numbers in this report are subject to revision.)

Pima County is seeing a dramatic rise in cases in recent weeks. For the week ending Oct. 24, 935 cases were reported; for the week ending Oct. 31, 1,345 cases were reported; for the week ending Nov. 7, 2,120 cases were reported; and for the week ending Nov. 14, 2,509 cases were reported.

Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry noted that the county had seen 4,620 cases in the first 17 days in November.

“For the first 17 days in July, the worst month of COVID-19 case increases to date, there were 5,057 cases,” Huckleberry said in a Nov. 17 memo. “Therefore, we are on pace to exceed the total number of monthly COVID-19 infections in our previous worst month, July.”

COVID-related deaths in Pima County are down from a peak of 54 in the week ending July 4 but are on the rise. There were three deaths in the week ending Oct 10, one in week ending Oct. 17, six in the week ending Oct. 24, 10 in the week ending Oct. 31 and five in the week ending Nov. 7. 

Hospitalization admission peaked the week ending July 18 with 221 COVID patients admitted to Pima County hospitals, but those numbers have been on the rise in recent weeks. In the week ending Oct. 31, 67 people were admitted; in the week ending Nov. 7, 89 people were admitted; and in the week ending Nov. 14, 124 people were admitted.

 

Get tested: Pima County opening new sites alongside existing spots for free COVID testing

New drive-thru COVID-19 testing sites are opening at three Pima Community College locations. 

The Pima County Health Department, Pima Community College and Arizona State University have partnered to create three new testing sites in an extension of the current ASU testing site at the Ellie Towne Flowing Wells Community Center, according to a county press release. 

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. 

“As cases rise, we are eager to increase available testing for the people of Pima County,” Pima County Public Health Director Theresa Cullen said in the press release. “If you know or suspect you have been exposed to COVID-19, we encourage you to get tested.”

 

Here are the three drive-thru locations that will be offering COVID-19 testing: 

Pima Community College West Campus 

  • 2202 W. Anklam Road
  • Mondays, except national holidays and Dec. 28
  • Testing started: Monday, Nov. 16, 2020.

Pima Community College Desert Vista Campus 

  • 5901 S. Calle Santa Cruz
  • Wednesdays, except national holidays and Dec. 30
  • Testing starts: Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020.

Pima Community College East Campus 

  • 8181 E. Irvington Road
  • Fridays, except national holidays. 
  • Testing starts: Friday, Dec. 4, 2020 

The new sites will join the county’s other four free 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.

Schedule an appointment atpima.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.

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