Arizona reports 5,070 new COVID-19 cases, another 78 deaths

November 19, 2021 GMT

PHOENIX (AP) — The daily number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona has jumped significantly to over 5,000, state health officials said Friday.

The state’s coronavirus data dashboard reported 5,070 new cases along with 78 more virus-related deaths. This brings Arizona’s pandemic totals to 1,233,146 cases and 21,886 deaths.

The latest figures come after more than a month of daily case counts that hovered between over 1,000 to over 3,000. Two instances in October where the daily case number was more than 5,000 were partially attributed to the dashboard catching up after technical glitches.

Some of the state’s major hospital systems worry this fall surge will worsen as people with mixed vaccination status gather indoors for the holidays.

Hospitalizations for COVID-19 statewide were at 2,415 as of Thursday, a dozen more than the day before.

Meanwhile, the City of Phoenix told its 14,000 employees in an email Thursday that they must be vaccinated by Jan. 18. Employees who don’t comply will face discipline, including possible termination. Religious and medical exemptions may be allowed in some cases.

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The city’s federal contracts mean it is obligated to follow a vaccine mandate for federal contractors set by President Joe Biden’s executive order, according to officials.

Britt London, president of the union representing rank-and-file Phoenix officers, told the Arizona Republic that the union opposes the mandate. He received at least 30 calls Thursday from officers considering leaving over it.

Almost 4.4 million Arizona residents — or 61.2% of the eligible population — have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Over 3.8 million are fully vaccinated.