For Third Time This Week, AZ Adds 3,000+ Coronavirus Cases

Danny Wicentowski

PHOENIX, AZ — Arizona health officials reported 3,428 new coronavirus cases on Friday. It was the third time this week that daily cases surpassed 3,000. On Thursday, Gov. Doug Ducey advised residents that the spiking numbers in cases, hospitalizations and positive tests — reflecting an increasing spread of infection — will continue to get worse.

An additional 45 deaths were reported Friday. Since March, state health officials have recorded 1,533 coronavirus-related deaths.

Almost three-quarters of the new cases reported Friday are in Maricopa County. Earlier this week, Scottsdale police charged the Riot House nightclub with a misdemeanor for "failing to enforce their own safety and health policy, required under Arizona Governor Doug Ducey’s Executive Orders."

"The Scottsdale Police Department observed staff and patrons at this establishment not practicing physical distancing, not wearing face coverings, and not complying with their plan," the department said in a news release.

Read More: Ducey: AZ's Coronavirus Crisis Will Worsen Before It Improves

During Thursday's conference, Ducey released the names of eight other Scottsdale establishments which are at risk of losing their liquor licenses for not following mandated safety guidelines around masks and social distancing. (Later that day, Riot Hospitality Group, which owns Riot House, announced through a spokesman that it would temporarily close the nightclub and two other Scottsdale-area restaurants for the weekend, ABC15 reported.)

During the news conference, Ducey warned that the hospitals are reaching capacity and that more young people are getting sick. According to analysis by Arizona State University and the University of Arizona, the average age of Arizonans killed by the virus has fallen from 78 in April to 69 in June, the Washington Post reported.

On Friday, Bradley Dreifus, the director of rural and global emergency medicine programs at the University of Arizona College of Medicine at Tucson, warned that he and his colleagues were seeing a surge in sick patients in their emergency room, while at the same time hospitals are running out of ICU beds and available staff.

"The surge in cases night after night shows no sign of slowing and it is terrifying," Dreifus wrote in an op-ed for the New York Times.

Ducey was noticeably somber in his remarks on Thursday. He blasted some businesses as "bad actors" and urged Arizonans to wear masks and stay home. Later on in the news conference, the governor faced questions about the 3,000-person election rally for President Donald Trump held inside a packed church in Phoenix on Tuesday.

Ducey, who attended the Trump rally, appeared to be one of the few wearing a mask. He is expected to join Vice President Mike Pence at campaign event in Tucson on June 30.

"We are going to protect freedom of the press, and the right of the people to peaceably assemble in an election year or any year," Ducey said. "It's in the First Amendment."

This article originally appeared on the Phoenix Patch