Arizona reports over 3K more virus cases on 2nd straight day

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona on Saturday reported over 3,000 additional COVID-19 cases for the second straight day as the state’s seven-day rolling averages for cases and deaths continued to rise along with virus-related hospitalizations.

The state’s coronavirus dashboard reported 1,601 hospitalizations as of Thursday, along with 3,418 additional cases and 27 more deaths, increasing the pandemic totals to 962,410 cases and 18,462 deaths.

According to Johns Hopkins University data, the seven-day rolling average of daily new cases rose over the past two weeks from about 1,577 new cases on July 29 to around 2,604 on Thursday. The rolling average of daily deaths rose from 11.4 to 13.3 during the same period.

The numbers of hospitalizations and additional deaths remain far below those seen during the surges last summer and last winter. However, current case levels are beginning to approach the 2020 summer surge’s daily highs while remaining far below those of the winter surge.

Before Friday, Arizona last reported more than 3,000 additional COVID-19 infections last February.

In other developments:

— The superintendent of the Scottsdale Unified School District said increased spread of COVID-19 threatens to end in-person learning.

Superintendent Scott Menzel said Friday in an online message t hat the district of nearly 22,000 students so far this school year has seen nearly 110 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and had over 630 students quarantine as close contacts.

“This trend, if not disrupted, will invariably require not only quarantining even larger numbers of students, but potentially require us to also close classrooms or buildings for significant periods of time and return to virtual learning.”

— The Salt-River Pima-Community Indian Community announced Friday that residents and visitors must help curb spread of COVID-19 by wearing masks while visiting government offices, businesses and schools on the tribe’s Phoenix-area reservation.

The tribal council has rescinded previous exemptions for businesses and schools on the reservation, including those in the Talking Stick Entertainment District and the Pima business corridor on tribal land adjacent to Scottsdale, the tribe said in a statement.

“The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community is a sovereign nation within the State of Arizona and is not mandated to follow actions by the Arizona State Governor on facemasks,” the statement said.