As a public service, PinalCentral is offering all coverage of COVID-19 to readers free of charge.
Please consider supporting local journalism with a subscription. 
This coverage is brought to you, in part, by Allwell from Arizona Complete Health.

PHOENIX — The state death total attributed to the coronavirus continues to rise, while the number of cases in Pinal County topped 300 for the first time Thursday, health officials reported.

According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, 20 more deaths from COVID-19 were reported in the previous 24 hours, continuing a trend that has seen more than 60 deaths reported in the last three days.

The number of total COVID-19 cases in the state reported by Thursday morning was 5,769, up from 5,459 reported by Wednesday. The number of cases reported in Pinal County was 303, up from 283 reported by the previous day.

Arizona City has become a new hot spot in the county as the number of cases in the unincorporated community has topped 10. The 11 cases give the ZIP code in Arizona City a rate of 0.93 per 1,000 population, ranking it just behind Eloy and Florence, which have state and federal detention centers and prisons.

Five new cases were reported Thursday in Florence, while Eloy had four.

In Arizona, the case rate has increased from 76 per 100,000 population just two days ago to 80, while the death rate went up from 3.19 per 100,000 population to 3.46. This continues an upward trend seen this week even though the percentage of new cases has leveled off.

About 9% of those tested in Arizona have been positive.

On Wednesday Gov. Doug Ducey announced he wasn't ready to lift stay-at-home orders yet. He said he will look at the data next week to consider letting the order expire May 1 or extending it into the next month.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.