ARIZONA — Arizona is seeing an increase in coronavirus cases, deaths and hospitalizations as fall — and flu season — begins.
The Arizona Department of Health Services reported 1,113 new cases and 17 confirmed deaths Thursday. It is the highest number of daily cases reported by the state since Sept. 17 and Sept. 18, when the health department began including antigen tests in its tally.
According to the latest data from the state, 10 percent of tests are coming back positive. The World Health Organization recommended states remain at 5 percent or lower for at least 14 days in order to safely reopen.
Today, 1,113 #COVID19 cases and 17 deaths are being added to the ADHS dashboard. Do your part to prevent the spread of COVID-19: Wear a mask in public, physically distance, wash hands thoroughly, and stay home when sick. https://t.co/Fy3yJcOxO0 #AZTogether pic.twitter.com/G53jB04ETt
— AZ Dept of Health (@AZDHS) October 15, 2020
The number of patients hospitalized with the coronavirus or coronavirus-like symptoms was 726, according to the state data dashboard. The number was higher than 3,000 when Arizona was hit hardest by the virus in July.
The state's total number of cases is now 228,748 and there have been 5,789 deaths from the virus in Arizona since the start of the pandemic.
And as of Oct. 1, restaurants, movie theaters, gyms and other businesses could begin reopening due to the level of virus transmission.
“The choices Arizonans have made in the interest of public health have gotten us to this milestone,” Dr. Cara Christ, director of the health department, previously said.
There have been more than 366,400 new coronavirus cases in the United States reported in the past week, which is about 50,000 more than the week before. That growth has not been seen since the country's peak in late June, according to a USA Today analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University.
The Arizona Department of Health Services encouraged people to stay the course with precautions as the pandemic stretches into its seventh month, and barrels towards flu season and the holidays.
"Do your part to prevent the spread of COVID-19: Wear a mask in public, physically distance, wash hands thoroughly, and stay home when sick," the department said in a tweet.