Reality shows shortfalls of Trump's claim to 'best testing'

A Tidelands Health medical professional changes latex gloves during a drive-through COVID-19 testing site Friday July 17, 2020 at Myrtle Beach Pelicans Ballpark in Myrtle Beach, S.C. (Josh Bell/The Sun News via AP)

CASA GRANDE — Arizona health officials on Saturday reported a daily record 147 additional deaths from the coronavirus — including eight in Pinal County that pushes its total over 100 — and 2,742 additional confirmed cases, but said both numbers reflected unusual circumstances.

The Department of Health Services said the additional deaths included 106 newly attributed to COVID-19 after health officials' latest periodic reviews of death certificates and that the additional cases did not include figures from a laboratory that missed the reporting cutoff.

The missed data on additional cases will be reported Sunday, the department said.

The number of additional deaths reported in the previous six days ranged from 8 to 97, while the number of additional confirmed cases reported during the same period ranged from 1,357 to 4,273.

The additional deaths reported Saturday increased the statewide total to 2,730 while the number of confirmed cases rose to 141,265. The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.

While the daily reports of additional deaths don't indicate when those reported deaths occurred, date-by-date data released Saturday indicated the current high for occurrences was on July 7 with 66 deaths.

As for cases, Pinal County reported 116 on Saturday, though again that does not include the lab that missed the reporting cutoff time. The eight deaths reported Saturday brings the county's total to 104.

The San Tan Valley/Queen Creek area led the way once again with 58 new cases, bringing its total to 1,749 in its three ZIP codes. The Maricopa area's two ZIP codes, meanwhile, saw 27 new cases for a total of 819, and Casa Grande also had 27 new cases for a total of 1,357.

COVID-19-related hospitalization figures as of Friday were near but below recent records set after Arizona became a national hot spot following Gov. Doug Ducey's lifting of stay-home orders and other restrictions in May.

Ducey last month reversed himself and authorized local governments to impose masking requirements, and many have done so to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Ducey's own recent messaging has promoted use of masks, social distancing and hand washing.

For most people, the new 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.