More than half of Arizona's 7 million residents have been tested for COVID-19

Posted at 9:38 PM, Feb 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-19 12:07:33-05

Arizona has hit some major milestones in the COVID-19 battle this week, but one milestone quietly snuck under the radar: the number of Arizonans tested.

There are more than seven million people in Arizona, and as of this week, more than half of us know what it is like to be tested for COVID-19.

As of Feb. 18, 4,085,719 individuals in Arizona have received a COVID-19 test, with a total of 7,862,061 tests so far being administered in Arizona.

It's not a flashy milestone, but one that illustrates the human experience of a pandemic.

"You think of other things that we test for, or other sort of diseases, you don't hear of half of a population getting a test for something... so it's pretty incredible when you think about it," says ABC15 data analyst Garrett Archer.

Still, testing in Arizona is dropping off quickly. It's down more than 50% off-peak.

For example, the week of Jan. 3, 2021, Arizona tested 200,000 people.

This week, Arizona is only testing about 90,000 people.

And it's true: fewer tests mean fewer cases.

So that means: the Rate of Positive tests (and how quickly it changes) is once again, arguably, a more telling metric.

Archer says, "I think at this point, positivity is a key benchmark. Now, we are getting back to the time when we can observe this happening and we should be seeing several counties in the next few weeks getting under that 10% rate of positivity."

One other note: as most metrics drop, it becomes more important to track your community's numbers, not statewide totals.

"Now we are getting back to where we can observe those different localities - those different cities and see if there are hot spots that will pop up now and then. For several weeks, every locality, every zone, was in the red zone and so looking at community profiles was not really a useful endeavor," Archer explains.