Hospitals in Arizona remain overcrowded as the number of COVID-19 patients declines across the country, while fewer further confirmed infections and virus-related deaths are reported.
COVID-19 patients occupied only 22% of the beds on Wednesday, down from a six-month maximum of 41% on January 27, but beds are generally almost full because more non-COVID-19 patients are hospitalized, according to the state dashboard for coronavirus.
Meanwhile, COVID-19 patients still account for about 70% of emergency room use, the dashboard said.
On Wednesday, 1,915 virus patients occupied beds, a drop from the six-month high of 3,559 on January 27.
Health authorities have attributed the continued congestion at the hospital to several factors in addition to the still large number of COIVID-19 patients, many of whom require longer hospital stays. These other factors include increases in the number of people seeking health care with the slowing down of the pandemic and the more serious conditions of some newly admitted patients who did not receive care previously.
Arizona reported 209 additional COVID-19 deaths on Thursday, one of the largest one-day increases in months, but the rate of reported additional deaths has slowed recently.
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the state’s seven-day average of daily deaths fell from 78.5 on February 1 to 57.6 on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the seven-day average of known daily new cases fell from 12,434 to 3,634 in the same period. These infection rates do not include the results of many tests performed at home.
The additional 209 deaths reported Thursday increased the state’s pandemic to 27,398.
According to federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Arizona has the 11th most COVID-19 deaths among U.S. states and the third-highest rate of viral deaths per capita. population.