COVID-19 in Arizona: Nearly 1,800 new cases announced as ADHS winds down daily updates

The Arizona Department of Health Services will transition to weekly COVID reports


Petra Wessman

The U.S. daily average surpassed 806,000 cases on Jan. 14, but this number has steadily fallen nationwide in recent weeks along with deaths and hospitalizations.

The latest statistics published by the Arizona Department of Health Services on Friday added 1,773 new COVID-19 cases and 55 deaths to the state’s register.

Arizona’s seven-day death rate owing to COVID is one of the highest in the United States, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. Close to 28,000 Arizonans have died from COVID-related illness over the course of the pandemic, which will mark its two-year anniversary on March 11.

Public health officials believe the omicron variant wave peaked in Arizona last month, and the ADHS reports that 69.6 percent of Arizonans have received at least one vaccine dose. Around 60 percent of Arizonans are fully vaccinated, but the national average is nearly 65 percent.

The state also lags behind the national average for COVID booster doses. As of Thursday, 42.3 percent of fully vaccinated Arizonans over the age of 18 had received a booster. The national average for this age group is 46.8 percent.

Meanwhile, Saturday will be the final day the ADHS plans to publish daily updates on its COVID-19 Data Dashboard. The agency is moving toward weekly summaries instead, the first of which will be published March 2 and every Wednesday thereafter.

“Changing such a widely used resource isn’t something to be done lightly. But now, with all COVID-19 metrics steadily declining and many other states doing the same, I join with the hospital representatives below in sharing that it’s the right time for a change,” former U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona wrote.

Carmona, who has acted as a Special Adviser to Gov. Doug Ducey during the pandemic, said Arizona will join a number of states that have already transitioned away from daily reporting.

“At least 34 states don’t do daily COVID-19 data reporting, according to the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, and this new weekly cadence will align with other disease reporting in Arizona,” he said. “Weekly updates also will reduce understandable confusion that happens when variability in data inputs and-or processing result in an unusually high or low number of cases, deaths, or other information added to the dashboard on a given day.”