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Coronavirus in Arizona on Dec. 10: 4,928 new cases, 73 new deaths reported Thursday

There have been 387,529 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 7,154 coronavirus-related deaths reported in Arizona as of Thursday.

PHOENIX — Editor's note: Here's the live blog for Dec. 11.

In an effort to track the changes with the coronavirus outbreak in Arizona, 12 News has started a daily live blog.

Here is the live blog for Thursday, Dec. 10.

Major updates: 

  • There have been 387,529 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 7,154 coronavirus-related deaths reported in Arizona as of Thursday.
  • The state does not record how many people have recovered, but Johns Hopkins University estimates the number of people who have recovered.
  • You can find COVID-19 testing sites here.
  • Scroll down to see how many cases are in each ZIP code and additional information.
  • St. Luke's in Tempe expands emergency service
  • Pima County causes confusion over hospital capacity
  • Arizona set to receive 383,750 vaccine doses by the end of December 

RELATED: COVID-19 hospitalizations exploded the week of Nov. 6. They still haven't slowed down.

COVID-19 cases reported in Arizona on Thursday

There have been 387,529 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 7,154 coronavirus-related deaths reported in Arizona, according to the state's latest numbers.

That's an increase from the 382,601 confirmed cases and 7,081 coronavirus-related deaths reported on Wednesday.

A week ago, there were 346,621 cases and 6,821 deaths reported in Arizona.

LEER EN ESPANOL: Coronavirus en Arizona el 10 de diciembre: 4,928 casos nuevos y 73 decesos se reportan el jueves

4,928 new cases, 73 new deaths reported Thursday

The Arizona Department of Health Services reported 4,928 new cases and 73 new deaths on Thursday.

Arizona’s cases, deaths and hospitalizations were already steadily rising before Thanksgiving, when gatherings and travel were expected to further spread the coronavirus.

The department reports the number of new cases on the day the cases were reported to them by counties and hospitals, not on the day when someone was diagnosed with the virus.

Arizona reached 300,000 coronavirus cases on Nov. 23, 200,000 on Aug. 27, 100,000 on July 6 and 50,000 cases on June 21. The state reached 7,000 coronavirus deaths on Dec. 9, 6,000 on Nov. 3, 5,000 on Aug. 29, 4,000 on Aug. 6, 3,000 deaths on July 23, 2,000 on July 9 and 1,000 on June 5.

Arizona's Rt, pronounced r-naught, was at 1.21 on Tuesday, the top state in the nation for rate of spread and way up from the 1.09 on Monday.

The Rt is essentially a mathematical number that shows whether more people are becoming infected or less.

The concern is that any Rt over 1, no matter how small, means the virus may grow exponentially.

RELATED: This is the number that health officials are watching closely in the fight against COVID-19 (And you should too)

There were 7,737 cases reported on the collection date of Nov. 30, the day with the most collected diagnoses so far. The day with the second-most collected diagnoses so far was on Dec. 1, with 7,314 cases. That is subject to change.

Health officials said the day with the highest number of reported deaths was July 17, when 103 people died. That is subject to change.

Health officials continued to stress that people should continue social distancing, wearing masks in public, and stay home when possible.

Sinema, Kelly help secure COVID-19 relief funds

Arizona Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly helped secure $13 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds. Team 12's Jen Wahl has the latest.

Chandler Unified School District staff members call for all-virtual learning

Chandler Unified School District staff members wrote a letter to board members and district officials calling for all-virtual learning to start in January. 

The letter states that when the district returned to in-person instruction staff members were told that if one county metric turned red, a return to virtual learning would be made. It also says teachers were never expected to teach both in-person and online. The staff says these promises have been broken. 

The letter asks that an exclusively virtual learning plan will begin in January and that from this point forward, staff members will be involved in decision making.

CUSD has been informed of rumors of a possible “sickout” among staff members to urge district leaders for more action. District officials issued this statement in response:

“We encourage staff to report to work tomorrow in the best interest of their students and colleagues. We understand this is a stressful time and invite teachers to work directly with administration as we seek ways to lessen any negative impact on them.“

Pima County causes confusion over hospital capacity

Officials in Pima County caused a temporary panic among residents on Wednesday after they sent out an alert that said hospitals had reached capacity. 

But hours later they said hospitals were not at capacity, adding it was a miscommunication on their part. 

Tucson-area hospitals still have beds for COVID-19 patients and non-COVID-19 patients, according to a spokesperson.

But hospitals have activated their surge plan to convert areas of the hospital to accommodate COVID-19 patients.

The county released a public health advisory asking people to stay home and provided possible volunteer mitigation strategies. 

The alert emphasized a volunteer curfew will be between the hours of 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., and volunteer shelter-in-place suggestions have been made. 

The county is again reminding people to wear masks and socially distance when they are outside of their homes and with people from outside their households. 

For more information and strategies, check the county website.

Team 12's William Pitts has the latest.

St. Luke's in Tempe expands emergency service

St. Luke's Hospital in Tempe has expanded its emergency service capability since Tuesday, hospital officials announced Thursday. 

The hospital is now including 24/7 Cardiac Catheterization Lab coverage for the Tempe community. 

The organization, in partnership with Tempe EMS and Fire, has provided a soft opening of the service over the past several weeks. 

The system has resulted consistently in positive outcomes, officials announced Thursday. 

"St. Luke’s has invested in resources to ensure adequate staffing levels to be able to provide this needed coverage 24/7," the statement announced. 

"Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital began offering full time coverage effective December 8, 2020."

Arizona set to receive 383,750 vaccine doses by the end of December

Arizona is set to receive 383,750 COVID-19 vaccine doses by the end of the month, with the first shipment set to arrive during the week of Dec. 13.

In the first week, the vaccine will be distributed to Maricopa and Pima counties. Maricopa will get around 47,000 doses and Pima will get around 11,000 doses. 

In the following week, vaccine doses will be distributed to all 15 counties, at least four tribes and to the CDC Pharmacy Partnership program. 

The vaccine distribution plan prioritizes health care workers, residents of long-term care facility residents, educators and vulnerable populations.

RELATED: Arizona is expected to receive 383,750 COVID-19 vaccine doses by the end of December 2020

Judge: City erroneously excluded immigrants from housing aid

A federal judge has ruled the city of Phoenix erroneously excluded immigrants from receiving coronavirus aid to cover utility bills, mortgage and rental costs.

The city required applicants to its $25 million assistance program to provide proof of legal status in the United States. 

Judge Dominic Lanza concluded the city isn’t required to exclude unqualified immigrants from participating because the assistance program falls within exceptions in federal law for “short-term, non-cash, in-kind emergency disaster relief.” 

The judge said the city’s decision was trumped by federal law. 

Lanza said the city has indicated it will begin allowing immigrants to participate in the program in the future.

The above article is from The Associated Press. 

Arizona Renaissance Festival canceled in February 

Organizers of the Arizona Renaissance Festival announced Thursday that they would not hold the annual event in February.

"Regrettably, we determined that we must change course on the plan to open the Arizona Renaissance Festival," the Facebook post read.

"With COVID-19 cases surging throughout the state, the Arizona Renaissance Festival has cancelled its announced ticket Pre-Sale and will not be opening this season."

The organizers said they hope that COVID-19 vaccines "can start the trend of resuming normal life that will include the pleasure of the full Arizona Renaissance Festival experience in 2022."

Navajo Nation reports 191 new COVID-19 cases, 5 more deaths

Navajo Nation health officials on Wednesday reported 191 new COVID-19 cases and five more deaths.

In all, the tribe has now reported 18,575 cases and 693 know deaths since the pandemic began. 

Navajo Department of Health officials say nearly 177,000 people on the vast reservation that includes parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah have been tested for COVID-19. 

More than 10,000 have recovered.

But officials have identified 77 Navajo Nation communities with uncontrolled spread of the coronavirus since late last month. 

Tribal officials say nearly all intensive care unit beds on the reservation are being used as COVID-19 cases surge. 

The Navajo Nation has extended its stay-at-home order though Dec. 28 in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus.

The above article is from The Associated Press. 

Arizona health department sets up hotline to report businesses

The Arizona Department of Health Services has set up two ways for people to report local businesses that are not following COVID-19 guidelines. 

People can report businesses through a hotline or through an online form:

“There’s a role for the public as well: If you believe a business isn’t following these requirements, which were established for the safety of customers, employees, and the broader public, ADHS encourages you to share your concerns so local and state officials can follow up as needed,” AZDHS said in a statement.

Free masks available for some Arizonans

The Arizona Department of Health Services announced that some Arizonans would be able to get free masks from the state.

The department partnered with Hanes to provide free face masks to Arizona’s most vulnerable populations.

Anyone who is part of a vulnerable population (including, but not limited to, individuals with medical conditions or individuals age 65 or older), a student (or parents on behalf of students), school staff member or who may not be able to purchase one is able to get a free mask.

Each other will provide five washable, reusable cloth face masks, one order per household. 

The department hopes to give out two million cloth face masks. 

Anyone with questions can visit the department's FAQs page or contact Hanes at 1-800-503-6698.

Sign up for the free masks here.

Arizona releases ZIP code locations of coronavirus cases, other data

The Arizona Department of Health Services has released expanded data points regarding coronavirus cases in the state. 

The AZDHS website now features the location of confirmed cases in Arizona by zip code. 

You can see the current ZIP code map here and can find yours by clicking around or searching for your ZIP code in the top right of the map.

More information on coronavirus cases from Thursday

There have been 387,529 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 7,154 coronavirus-related deaths reported in Arizona.

That's an increase from the 382,601 confirmed cases and 7,081 coronavirus-related deaths reported on Wednesday.

There were 4,928 new cases reported on Thursday, an increase from the 4,444 new cases reported on Wednesday.

There were 73 new deaths reported on Thursday, a decrease from the 108 new deaths reported on Wednesday. 

There were 7,737 cases reported on the collection date of Nov. 30, the day with the most collected diagnoses so far. The day with the second-most collected diagnoses so far was on Dec. 1, with 7,314 cases. That is subject to change.

Health officials said the day with the highest number of reported deaths was July 17, when 103 people died. That is subject to change.

In total, 18,990 new tests were reported on Thursday, an increase from the 12,091 new tests reported on Wednesday.

There have been a total of 2,811,577 PCR and Serology tests reported to the state as of Thursday. 

10.8% of those tests have been positive as of Thursday, up from 10.7% on Wednesday.

Here's a breakdown of the number of cases in each county:

  • Maricopa: 241,880
  • Pima: 48,436
  • Pinal: 19,941
  • Coconino: 8,680
  • Navajo: 9,313
  • Apache: 6,182
  • Mohave: 7,981
  • La Paz: 1,045
  • Yuma: 21,100
  • Graham: 2,473
  • Cochise: 4,829
  • Santa Cruz: 4,646
  • Yavapai: 7,250
  • Gila: 3,464
  • Greenlee: 309

Click on the links below to find more information from each county's health department: 

COVID-19 is believed to be primarily spread through coughs or sneezes. 

It may be possible for the virus to spread by touching a surface or object with the virus and then a person touching their mouth, nose or eyes, but this is not thought to be the main method of spread, the CDC says. 

You should consult your doctor if you traveled to an area currently affected by COVID-19 and feel sick with fever, cough or difficulty breathing. 

There is no vaccine for the coronavirus, so the best way to prevent COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases is to:

  • Wear face coverings while in public.
  • Practice social distancing while in public.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

You can text FACTS to 602-444-1212 to receive more information on the coronavirus and to ask questions.