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Arizona COVID-19 cases drop to 4-month low

COVID-19 cases in Arizona this week dropped to the lowest level the state has seen since late April. 

In its  weekly update Wednesday, the Arizona Department of Health Services reported 3,666 COVID-19 cases — that’s less than half of  last week’s count.

Medical experts say COVID-19 cases are almost certainly undercounted, since at-home tests rarely get reported to state officials. But the state's test positivity rate also continues to drop. And hospitalization rates in Arizona remain low. According to the  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, COVID-19 patients now occupy just about 3% of the state’s ICU beds.

The  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also moved nine of Arizona's 15 counties, including Maricopa County, into its low level for community transmission. Only Apache County remains in the high category.

Federal health officials do anticipate cases will rise again this winter. New booster vaccines that target the omicron variant of COVID-19  are available now for Arizonans over age 12.

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.