Arizona COVID-19 cases and positivity rates increase
COVID-19 cases in Arizona were near all-time low levels throughout April, but cases now appear to be trending upward again in the state.
The state health department reported 3,911 cases in its weekly update Wednesday. That’s still relatively low compared with the tens of thousands of cases per week the state was reporting during the winter COVID-19 surge, but it is a 60% increase from last week.
The positivity rate among COVID-19 tests in the state has also been climbing for the past three weeks. The Arizona Department of Health Services reports about 6% of recent tests have turned up a new case. A month ago, just 3% of tests were positive.
Dr. Eugene Livar, chief of the health department's bureau of epidemiology and disease control, told KJZZ News the trends are consistent with what’s been happening recently in other states.
“We have seen some increases recorded across the nation, so it’s something that we would expect here in Arizona," Livar said. "One of the big messages that we have is to continue your due diligence with the prevention of COVID-19.”
The health department reported 238 COVID-19 deaths in this week's update — the highest weekly total since early April. But Livar said that number is higher due to reporting delays. Arizona has now surpassed 30,000 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
Livar said COVID-19 hospitalizations in Arizona remain low.