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AZ COVID-19 cases continue to climb; hospitalizations remain low

COVID-19 cases increased again this week in Arizona. The state health department added 5,490 cases to its  weekly dashboard — the highest caseload in five weeks. 

This week’s case report represents a 40% increase  from last week. The percentage of COVID-19 tests turning up positive is climbing, too. The Arizona Department of Health Services puts the state’s recent positivity rate around 9%. It had been as low as 3% in March and April. 

Still, hospitals are not reporting major increases in severe cases.

“We still have an occasional patient that will need ICU level care, beyond the ventilator, and require that type of support, but it’s certainly not the volume that we have seen in other phases of this pandemic,” Dr. Michael White, chief clinical officer of Valleywise Health,  told KJZZ's The Show Tuesday. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  reports new COVID-19 hospitalizations in Maricopa County have increased slightly this week, but COVID-19 patients occupy less than 2% of inpatient beds, which is near an all-time low.

Arizona coronavirus cases, deaths

Get the latest news on COVID-19 in Arizona 

Katherine Davis-Young is a senior field correspondent. She has produced work for NPR, New England Public Radio, Southern California Public Radio, PRI's The World, Washington Post, Reuters and more.She has a master’s degree in radio journalism from the USC Annenberg School of Journalism.She lives in central Phoenix with her husband, two daughters, and ill-behaved cat and dog. Her side-passions include photography, crosswords and hot sauce.