Arizona, once a virus hotspot, approaches 5,000 deaths
PHOENIX (AP) — The number of deaths from the coronavirus in Arizona is approaching 5,000, even as the state reports lower daily cases and hospitalizations from the virus.
Officials reported 519 additional cases and 49 deaths from the virus on Friday.
In all, 200,658 cases and 4,978 deaths have been reported since the pandemic began. More than 4,000 of the deaths have occurred since June 1.
Gyms and some bars across metro Phoenix and Tucson were allowed to reopen Thursday as coronavirus transmission numbers in several Arizona counties dropped to moderate levels that let the businesses restart with capacity limits.
Six of 15 Arizona counties remain in the higher category where gyms, bars, nightclubs and water parks can’t reopen without a state waiver.
Arizona is now seeing steady decreases in hospitalizations, intensive care bed usage and people with severe cases of COVID-19 needing ventilators to breathe.
The number of coronavirus infections is thought to be higher because many people have not been tested. Studies suggest people can be infected without feeling sick.
For most people, COVID-19 causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up in a few weeks. But for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.