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Number of pandemic deaths in Arizona nearing 15,000

February 17, 2021 GMT

Authorities say the winter storms across much of the nation have delayed this week’s delivery of vaccine doses to Arizona.

Because of the delay, some local health departments told the Arizona Department of Health Services that they have had to cancel appointments over the next two days.

But the agency said Tuesday night that it appears there are enough Pfizer doses available for state vaccination sites and other sites administering Pfizer to maintain operations without interruption.

Arizona has been trying to expand its vaccine operation.

The appointment registration system for a state-run vaccination site at the University of Arizona opened Tuesday and only those in the current designated priority groups can book an appointment.

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The site was expected to begin administering vaccines Thursday.

Gov. Doug Ducey said the site may operate around the clock once Arizona receives more vaccine doses.

Meanwhile, the state is on the cusp of reaching a pandemic death toll of 15,000.

Health officials on Tuesday reported 1,132 new COVID-19 cases and three additional deaths. That brings the overall number of cases in Arizona to 799,740 and the number of deaths to 14,981.

The number of new cases is lower compared to previous days. Some of that may be attributed to a lag in reporting because Monday was a holiday.

Meanwhile, the number of COVID-19 patients who remain hospitalized and the number who are in the ICU continue to trend downward.

According to the state dashboard, 2,047 people were hospitalized for the virus as of Monday. They amount to a 24% occupancy of all hospital beds. Around 600, or 34%, of all ICU beds are being used for COVID-19 patients.

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

Health officials say the coronavirus remains widespread across the state, but the surge that made Arizona the nation’s hot spot last month is receding.