Arizona reported nearly 300 coronavirus deaths, a pandemic high, and nearly 10,000 new infections on Thursday.
The surge has stressed Arizona’s health care system, with a record 4,920 COVID-19 patients occupying inpatient hospital beds and a record 1,101 patients in intensive care.
The state’s seven-day rolling average of daily cases rose in the past two weeks from 6,293 cases on Dec. 23 to 8,994 on Wednesday. The rolling average of daily deaths rose from 92 to 103.
Health officials have urged Gov. Doug Ducey to install new measures as cases skyrocket. Arizona has the highest coronavirus diagnosis rate in the country, with one out of every 119 people testing positive in the past week.
Ducey has rejected calls to tighten restrictions, including a mask mandate. He also dismissed a proposal to have all public schools go to remote learning for two weeks after the holidays.
The Department of Health Services says the 297 deaths reported Thursday were newly attributed to recent reviews of past death certificates. The numbers increased the state’s confirmed totals to 9,741 deaths and 584,593 cases.