Arizona sets record for COVID-19 patients in ICU

Arizona is reporting a record number of patients in intensive care units (ICUs) who have or are suspected to have the coronavirus, announcing more than 10,000 new cases and 42 more deaths due to the virus on Sunday.

The Arizona Republic reported on Monday that 4,390 hospitalized COVID-19 patients were confirmed the day before, significantly higher than the peak of 3,517 observed in the summer. Some 1,007 suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients were in ICUs, beating the previous record of 970 in July.

According to Arizona’s coronavirus data dashboard, 91 percent of ICU beds in the state are occupied and more than half by COVID-19 patients. There are currently fewer than 200 ICU beds and 1,000 non-ICU beds available, reports the Republic.


Along with record high ICU patients, the number of Arizona coronavirus patients on ventilators also reached a record high on Sunday: 715.

The newspaper notes that the unusually high number of new cases reported, 10,086, is because the state added multiple days worth of cases at once after the recent holidays. The number of new cases has surpassed 2,000 for 31 out of the 33 past days, the Republic reports, and 27 of those days saw more than 4,000 cases reported.

In the U.S., Arizona currently ranks third in terms of seven-day new-case averages, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's data dashboard, surpassed only by California and Tennessee.

The impact from the recent holidays has yet to be seen, but experts have warned that a new surge could be imminent as thousands of families gathered despite warnings from government agencies against doing so.

The state began its coronavirus vaccine plan on Dec. 14, the Republic reports. Front-line health care workers, early responders and those in vulnerable populations have been prioritized. 

The order in which the vaccines are deployed has been left to state governments to decide, and Arizona Gov. Doug DuceyDoug DuceyGrant Woods, longtime friend of McCain and former Arizona AG, dies at 67 Arizona launches M program to help families pay utility bills GOP governors traveling to border to unveil new security initiative MORE (R) has not yet announced who will be next in line, though the newspaper notes he has assured residents that the vaccine will be free for everyone once it is widely available.