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COVID-19 counts show some improvement in Arizona, but deaths rise

COVID-19 cases appear to be on a slow decline nationwide and Arizona’s case counts are down this week, too. 

The Arizona Department of Health Services added 12,244 cases in its  weekly update Wednesday — the lowest count in 12 weeks. Medical experts say actual caseloads are likely much higher because many at-home tests go unreported. But other metrics also suggest Arizona's outbreak is improving.

The positivity rate among COVID-19 tests reported in Arizona declined for the third week in a row in the state's latest report. The positivity rate had reached a near-record high in July.  

And, according to the  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, COVID-19 patients now occupy just about 4% of Arizona’s hospital ICU beds — that’s about the same as last week. 

Deaths, however, increased this week in Arizona. The state reported 81 COVID-19 fatalities. That’s the highest weekly total since May.

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.