Arizona see 20% drop in number of COVID-19 tests since last week

Posted at 3:09 PM, Dec 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-01 19:28:57-05

PHOENIX — Arizona on Wednesday reported over 3,100 additional confirmed COVID-19 cases as virus-related hospitalizations remained near the current surge’s peak.

State health officials are attributing a drop in COVID-19 testing numbers to the Thanksgiving holiday.

ABC15 finding that testing is down 20% from a week ago, and that number is likely because of many of the testing sites closing for the holiday.

ADHS said in August, they saw a slight decrease in testing, which could be attributed to easier access to at home kits.

“The best gold standard is still the PCR test, the at-home tests are useful really for a screening tool, if they’re positive then you have it,” said Dr. Shad Marvasti.

Embry Health has over 100 testing locations across the state and they say testing has been consistent for months with around 10,000 tests being given a day.

However, on Thanksgiving there were 3,000 tests given in total at the select locations that were open.

“I do believe costs plays a small role in it, but it's the consistency and the availability in our locations, with very few exceptions our network stays open day after day,” said Raymond Embry, CEO of Embry Health.

The 3,163 additional cases and 43 deaths reported Wednesday by the Department of Health Services’ coronavirus dashboard raised the state’s pandemic totals to nearly 1,273,000 cases and 22,350 deaths.

As of Tuesday, 2,661 virus patients occupied inpatient hospital beds, down slightly from the surge’s peak of 2,676 on Monday.

With many patients also hospitalized for reasons other than COVID-19, only 6% of inpatient beds statewide were available and not in use.

That percentage is a pandemic low first reached in mid-November.