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Arizona reports 980 new COVID-19 cases after 4 days of 1K+

July 18, 2021 GMT

PHOENIX (AP) — Health officials in Arizona on Sunday reported 980 additional COVID-19 cases and three more coronavirus-related deaths.

It was the first time in five days that the state reported less than 1,000 new cases.

The latest numbers from the Arizona Department of Health Services’ coronavirus dashboard pushed the totals to 908,248 cases since the pandemic began nearly a year ago and 18,117 known deaths.

State health officials had reported 1,945 new cases on Wednesday, 1,014 on Thursday, 1,251 on Friday and 1,152 on Saturday.

They said it marked the longest stretch of quadruple-digit case reports since a five-day run March 2-7 when the vaccine supply was limited and doses were being rationed.

Health experts attribute the recent surge in cases increases to low vaccination rates, the fast-spreading delta variant and July Fourth gatherings.

The number of virus-related hospitalizations in Arizona generally ranged between 500 and 600 during May and June, but rose in the past week with 745 COVID-19-related hospitalizations as of Friday.

But with nearly 51% of Arizonans having received at least one vaccine dose, health officials said there’s less chance of another major surge in cases or a significant strain on the health care system.