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COVID-19 Virus

CASA GRANDE — Over a two-day period Casa Grande has seen almost 100 new cases of coronavirus.

According to data posted Wednesday morning by the Arizona Department of Health Services, Casa Grande’s three ZIP codes have seen 98 new cases since Monday, bringing the total number to 627. Most of the cases — 562 — have been reported in the 85122 ZIP code.

Due to a lag in reporting, the updated single-day ZIP code breakdown of numbers for Pinal County wasn’t available with the overall data released on Tuesday.

Maricopa, San Tan Valley/Queen Creek and Eloy have also seen dramatic jumps over the last two days. Maricopa had 50 new cases for a total of 286; San Tan Valley had 46 cases for a total of 551; Eloy had 30 new cases for a total of 458.

Arizona City now has 115 cases of the virus, up 10 from Monday. The Casa Grande-Eloy-Arizona City area continues to be the hot spot in the county with more than 1,200 cases.

In single-day numbers for Pinal County, 78 new cases were reported Wednesday morning, with four more deaths.

Statewide, there have now been just under 60,000 cases of COVID-19 reported, up 1,795 from Tuesday. There have also been 1,403 deaths reported in the state, up 79 from Tuesday.

Health Department spokesman Chris Minnick said 53 of the additional deaths reported Wednesday were identified as caused by COVID-19 through analysis of an accumulation of death certificates. The last such analysis of an accumulation of death certificates occurred in May, he said.

The department reported 2,270 people were hospitalized Tuesday because of COVID-19, up from 2,136 Monday.

The number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care beds dropped to 581 Tuesday from a record 614 Monday.

Arizona has emerged as a hot spot since Gov. Doug Ducey lifted stay-home orders in May.

Emergency rooms are seeing about 1,200 suspected COVID-19 patients a day, compared to around 500 a month ago. If the trends continue, hospitals will probably exceed capacity within the next several weeks, said Dr. Joseph Gerald, a University of Arizona public health policy professor.

“We are in deep trouble,” said Gerald, urging the state to impose new restrictions on businesses, which Ducey has refused to do.

Metro Phoenix has averaged more than 1,800 new cases of the coronavirus daily over the past week, compared to about 200 in May, health officials said Wednesday.

More than a third of the nearly 35,000 cases in the area have come in the past week, and 24 additional deaths were reported.

Meanwhile, public health officials in Maricopa County say the total number of ICU beds occupied by patients with COVID-19 has reached its highest level in the pandemic. And the percentage of cases among people ranging from 20 to 44 has been steadily climbing.

Half of the cases being reported in the county involve people 20 to 44. Those who are 65 and older account for 12% of cases.

Maricopa County officials voted last week to require people to wear masks in enclosed public places where social distancing can’t be maintained. People working at stores, restaurants and other public places also are required to wear masks.

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

Reported positive cases include those who had no symptoms or have recovered.

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