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PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona on Wednesday reported over 4,000 additional confirmed COVID-19 for the fifth time this month as virus-related hospitalizations continued to inch upward.

The 4,064 additional cases and 36 deaths reported by the Department of Health Services’ coronavirus dashboard increased the state’s pandemic totals to 1,252,248 cases and 22,098 deaths.

COVID-related hospitalizations are over half the Jan. 11 pandemic high of 5,082, with 2,574 virus patients occupying inpatient beds as of Tuesday.

Hospital leaders and public health officials on Tuesday pleaded for people to get vaccinated and take other precautions avoid spreading the coronavirus and not overwhelm the state’s health care system.

Many hospitals are crowded with virus patients as well as others being treated for non-COVID conditions.

According to Johns Hopkins University data, Arizona’s seven-day rolling average of daily new cases increased over the past two weeks, rising from 3,339.7 on Nov. 8 to 3,964.4 on Monday.

The state’s rolling average of daily deaths was nearly stable during the same period, slipping from 47.2 to 46.6.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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