Arizona coronavirus cases spike Friday as state continues reopening process

Arizona on Friday saw its biggest single-day increase in coronavirus cases with 581 new cases, while intubations reached a new high of 84.

The pace of new infections slowed slightly over the weekend, and as of Monday morning, the state saw 11,380 confirmed cases of the virus and 542 deaths, up from 11,119 confirmed cases Sunday and 536 deaths. A week ago, the statewide total stood at 8,919 cases and 362 deaths.

The numbers come as Arizona began letting retail stores allow in-person shopping last week and plans to allow in-restaurant dining to restart Monday.

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Gov. Doug Ducey’s (R) stay-at-home order does remain partially in effect until Friday.

Suspected or positive coronavirus cases in emergency departments also reached a high last week, hitting 485 on May 7, ahead of the previous single-day record of 480 on May 1.

Intubations in Arizona saw one of the biggest spikes of the pandemic last week, increasing from 58 on May 4 to 66 on May 5 and 88 on May 6. The cases declined slightly to 84 on May 7.

The rate of new hospitalizations, however, dropped in the last week, from 20 on May 1 to 3 on May 8, the smallest single-day number since March 11.

Regionally, however, there are some signs of trouble ahead for the southwest. After early hotspots emerged in major cities like New York, Seattle and New Orleans, analysis indicates the virus is taking hold in more rural areas, and among counties with a high prevalence of the virus, more than 45 percent are in Western states.

Meanwhile, the Navajo Nation, which includes land in northern Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, has reported more per capita cases of the virus than any individual U.S. state, with 3,122 cases overall and 100 deaths.

"We’re going to continue to be on the ground in our communities helping families directly with food, water, and other items to help them stay home and avoid the spread of the virus,” Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said in a statement. “Prayers are strong and whether we realize it or not, your prayers are working and we will get through this pandemic together."