COVID-19 cases rise, but increases may end soon

Posted at 5:39 PM, Jun 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-08 20:39:37-04

The Arizona Department of Health added 14,677 new COVID-19 cases and 40 deaths this week, bringing the state’s totals to 2,077,346 cases and 30,372 deaths. This marks the seventh consecutive week of rising cases, but the data strongly indicates that weekly case increases may be coming to an end soon.

The state’s weekly case dashboard, which tracks the actual week that tests come back positive, show 13,607 of the new cases occurred last week. COVID-19 cases rose at a rate of 19% in two weeks. In early May, cases doubled in the same time frame.

There are continuing signs of community spread. In early February, COVID-19 tests came back positive at a rate of 22%. The positivity rate dropped to only 2.5% in late March but has since risen back to 22%.

Rising cases also mean Arizona is still seeing rising COVID-19 hospitalization numbers. COVID-19 inpatient figures reported daily by the US Department of Health and Human Services hit a low of around 200 occupied beds in the first week of May. Yesterday the HHS data reported an occupied bed number of just over 600. Even with this rise, inpatient beds are still well under the nearly 4,000 beds COVID-19 patients were taking up in early January during the Omicron surge. Hospitalizations are down over 80%.

The state health department says that weekly COVID-19 deaths should not be considered fully complete for a month, but even considering that they are under 50 a week and have been since late march. The state is now losing fewer people to COVID-19 weekly than at any point in the pandemic. The low weeks of 2020 had an average of 69 deaths and 61 in 2021. Since April, the state is averaging 41 weekly COVID-19 deaths.