Arizona reporting more than 3,000 virus cases a day

Arizona has been reporting more than 3,000 COVID-19 cases per day recently as the state experiences a surge of new infections.

According to data from Arizona’s Department of Health Services, the state reported 3,424 new cases on Saturday and 38 deaths. The day prior, the state saw over 3,800 new infections, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In comparison, new cases were in the hundreds at some points in July. 

More than half of people in Arizona -- 56 percent -- are vaccinated, state data show. 

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In late August, the state hit a grim milestone of over 1 million recorded COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic. 

Hospitalizations have also begun ticking upward, with over 2,000 COVID-19 patients in hospital beds on Friday, according to The Associated Press, which cited state data. The news service noted that the last time the state reached similar COVID-19 hospitalizations was back in February.

Last week, Arizona Gov. Doug DuceyDoug DuceyGOP governors traveling to border to unveil new security initiative Treasury says Arizona can't use federal COVID-19 aid for anti-mask education grants No silver bullet for crisis at the Southern border MORE (R) announced that $60 million would be allocated to hospitals for nurse staffing, but only on the condition that the facilities offer monoclonal antibody treatments. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has said those treatments are not a substitute for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Despite the upward trend of COVID-19 cases in Arizona, the Republican governor has said that he is against mask mandates in schools, where students under the age of 12 years are not yet eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and could become infected.

Ducey has maintained that parents should be deciding whether their children wear masks in schools, not the institutions, and threatened to withhold federal COVID-19 relief funds to schools with mask mandates.