GILBERT – Arizona on Saturday set a record for coronavirus-related deaths reported in one day, with 147, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.
This comes on the heels of Thursday’s publication of an internal White House document declaring Arizona a “red zone” for rising cases. States were deemed to be in the red zone if they exceeded 100 new cases per 100,000 residents in a week and the rate for positive tests exceeded 10%.
On Monday, Arizona health officials reported 2,019.5 new cases per 100,000 residents and a 12.4% positive test rate.
As of Sunday, state officials reported that reliance on ventilators was down, with 963 of the state’s available ventilators – or nearly half – being used by COVID-19 patients, leaving nearly 1,000 unused. The last time Arizona had more ventilators on standby than in use was on July 11, when 51% were available.
Meanwhile, 87% of adult ICU beds in the state are in use, a low that hasn’t been seen since June 29.
There is some good news from tribal lands in Arizona, where Navajo officials reported that Sunday marked the 24th consecutive day with 100 or fewer new cases of COVID-19 on the reservation. Of the 72,804 individuals tested on the reservation, results came back positive for 8,593, and about 6,360 have recovered.
As of Monday, July 20, the ADHS reported a total of 145,183 cases of COVID-19 and 2,784 deaths in the state. It said 1,003,987 tests for COVID-19 have been completed in public and private labs in Arizona, and 12.4% of tests have come back positive for the virus that causes the disease.
COVID-19 delays citizenship process for 300,000 immigrants
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services suspended in-person naturalization processes in March, which means approximately 300,000 new Americans may not gain citizenship in time to vote in November’s elections, The Arizona Republic reported. Of those 300,000, about 5,000 hope to remain in Arizona, it said.
NAU staff express worries of students returning to class
The Republic reports some faculty at Northern Arizona University aren’t sure about students returning to class, despite a plan that entails a mix of both in-person and virtual learning. Students who live on campus begin moving in Aug. 6, and classes begin Aug. 12. Masks will be mandatory for students, NAU President Rita Cheng has said.
Apache hotel and casino turned into quarantine center
The San Carlos Apache Tribe is housing all members who have tested positive for COVID-19, and those exposed to it, at the Apache Gold Hotel and Casino in San Carlos, ABC15 reported. David Reede, executive director of the tribe’s health services, acknowledged some complaints about the situation and said health officials are “finding resistance” as they isolate individuals. As of July 18, the tribe had had 90 cases and seven COVID-19 related deaths.
Mesa schools chief questions Aug. 17 reopening date
Andi Fourlis, superintendent of Mesa Public Schools, said the district won’t follow Gov. Doug Ducey’s plan for public schools to reopen Aug. 17. The new school year for nearly 60,000 Mesa students will begin remotely Aug. 4, the East Valley Tribune reports.