Arizona reports 2,632 new COVID-19 cases but no new deaths

August 23, 2021 GMT

Arizona reported 2,632 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 but no new deaths Monday.

It’s the first time in five days that the state Department of Health Services’ daily tally of new cases has been below 3,000. This brings the pandemic totals for Arizona to 988,714 cases and 18,600 deaths.

The number of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 continues to go up and stands at 1,901. The last time it was that high was mid-February as Arizona was coming down from a winter surge.

Much of the U.S. is dealing with a resurgence of COVID-19 brought on by the delta variant. Hospitals and many medical professionals and some politicians are practically begging people to get vaccinated, since the vaccine in most cases prevents severe infections. School districts and states continue to butt heads over mask mandates.

Meanwhile, Monday marked the first day of fall classes at the University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University. They and Arizona State University are all requiring masks in certain indoor spaces.

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University of Arizona President Robert Robbins emphasized during a weekly briefing that the campus mask requirement was not in defiance of any state law. Gov. Doug Ducey’s executive order bans mask mandates at universities for unvaccinated students and staff.

“We’re not differentiating between vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals,” Robbins said.

The school will continue to encourage free testing even for vaccinated students and faculty. Robbins also said almost half of enrolled students have uploaded proof of their vaccination status.

In other developments:

— Embry Health, which oversees more than 50 COVID-19 testing sites in the state, is opening more locations by the week. Officials with the provider say demand for tests has increased tenfold. They said in a news release Monday that testing appointments went from around 1,000 on July 1 to 11,000 as of Aug. 18. They say the leap in testing parallels the spread of the delta variant.