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Arizona sees rates of additional virus cases and deaths drop

January 28, 2021 GMT
FILE - In this Jan. 12, 2021, file photo, vehicles line up so people can get their COVID-19 vaccination cards after being vaccinated in a pre-registered drive-thru in the parking lot of the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. Arizona reported 4,748 additional known COVID-19 cases and 209 deaths on Tuesday, Jan. 26 the one-year anniversary of the announcement of the state's first confirmed coronavirus case in the outbreak that has since claimed thousands of lives statewide. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)
FILE - In this Jan. 12, 2021, file photo, vehicles line up so people can get their COVID-19 vaccination cards after being vaccinated in a pre-registered drive-thru in the parking lot of the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. Arizona reported 4,748 additional known COVID-19 cases and 209 deaths on Tuesday, Jan. 26 the one-year anniversary of the announcement of the state's first confirmed coronavirus case in the outbreak that has since claimed thousands of lives statewide. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)
FILE - In this Jan. 12, 2021, file photo, vehicles line up so people can get their COVID-19 vaccination cards after being vaccinated in a pre-registered drive-thru in the parking lot of the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. Arizona reported 4,748 additional known COVID-19 cases and 209 deaths on Tuesday, Jan. 26 the one-year anniversary of the announcement of the state's first confirmed coronavirus case in the outbreak that has since claimed thousands of lives statewide. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona on Thursday reported 4,671 additional confirmed COVID-19 cases and 176 more deaths as rates of additional cases and deaths dropped.

The latest numbers released by the state Department of Health Services increased Arizona’s pandemic totals to 743,232 known cases and 12,819 deaths.

Arizona has the worst COVID-19 diagnosis rate among U.S. states, but seven-day rolling averages of known daily cases and daily deaths declined the past two weeks while the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients has dropped from the pandemic high of 5,082 on Jan. 11.

There were 4,087 COVID-19 patients occupying inpatient beds as of Wednesday, according to the state’s coronavirus dashboard.

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However, hospital officials on Wednesday warned residents not to become complacent by the drops in cases and hospitalizations, and they stressed the importance of wearing masks and social distancing.

The number of infections is thought to be far higher than reported because many people have not been tested. Studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.