COVID-19 cases, positivity rates remain high in Arizona
After a slight drop last week, COVID-19 cases increased again in Arizona’s latest report. The state health department added 18,135 infections and 66 deaths to its dashboard Wednesday.
The laboratory TGen, which performs COVID-19 sequencing for the state, reports nearly three-quarters of recent cases in Arizona were caused by the omicron BA.5 sub-variant — that’s thought to be the most infectious strain of the virus yet. It's driving high caseloads around the globe.
Nearly one-third of Arizonans who sought COVID-19 tests at public sites this week had the virus — that’s one of the highest positivity rates the state has ever reported.
Fortunately, hospitalizations and deaths in Arizona are still not climbing to levels seen in previous waves. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports less than 5% of the state’s ICU beds are currently occupied by COVID-19 patients. Last winter, COVID-19 patients filled up to 40% of the state's ICU beds.