Urgent Updates: Transmission, Hospital Capacity, & Vaccine Information – Week of January 18th


Arizona is currently deemed the COVID-19 hot spot of the world, ranking 1st in new cases per day with 129.5 cases per 100,000 Arizonans, compared to California which is reporting 107 cases per 100,000 people daily. There have been nearly 650,000 total reported cases since the pandemic began.This winter spike in transmission is much worse than the summer spike we endured in July and the COVID-19 spread within the state only continues to increase in severity. Counties with the highest number of cases per 100,000 people are Yuma, Santa Cruz, Navajo, Apache, and Graham. For regular updates in case counts and additional COVID-19 information by county, visit the Arizona Department of Health’s data dashboard summary.

There has never been a more important time to stay home and take the necessary precautions (e.g., practicing hand hygiene, physical distancing, and wearing cloth face coverings) to prevent COVID-19. Although not everyone has the ability to stay home, those who are able to can greatly help reduce the risk for essential workers and healthcare professionals.

Hospital Capacity: 

Hospitals are reaching capacity across the country and healthcare professionals are more overwhelmed than ever before. In Arizona, 55% of in-patient beds are currently occupied by COVID patients. This is one of the highest hospital capacity percentages within the US. The high percentage of COVID-19 patients in hospitals means that hospital staff have less time, resources, and healthcare professionals to devote to usual care including elective medical and surgical procedures. This percentage also does not account for available staff members or resources, which are dwindling. However, it is still important to remember that if you or someone else is experiencing a medical emergency, you should seek emergency medical care immediately. Visit this link and click on “Hospital Bed Usage & Availability” for updated information regarding hospital capacity in Arizona.

Vaccine Information:

Arizona is in the process of distributing the vaccine to priority groups in specific phases. Most counties are currently in the 1B priority phase. Each phase of the vaccine distribution plan and the phases that Arizona counties are in are outlined below:

Phase 1
County Phase

Phase 1A:
Healthcare Workers & Healthcare Support Occupations, Emergency Medical Services Workers, Long-term Care Facility Staff & ResidentsLa Paz
Phase 1B Priority:Education & Childcare Workers, Protective Services Occupations, Adults 75 and older, Remaining 1ACochise, Coconino, Gila, Graham, Greenlee, Maricopa, Mohave, Yavapai, Yuma, Pima
Phase 1B:Education & Childcare Workers, Protective Services Occupations, Adults 75 and older, Essential Services/ Critical Industry Workers, Adults with High-Risk Conditions in Congregate Settings, Remaining 1AApache, Navajo, Pinal, Santa Cruz
Phase 1C:Adults 65 and Older, Adults of Any Age with High-Risk Medical Conditions, Adults Living in Congregate Settings, Remaining 1A & 1B

Phase 2

Additional High-Risk/ Critical Populations, General Public, Remaining Phase 1 Populations

Phase 3
General Public, Remaining Phase 1 or 2 Populations

Non-residents (e.g., students and other people who reside in Arizona part-time) are eligible to receive the vaccine in Arizona. All Arizona residents can register to be vaccinated in their own county or in Phoenix. 

You may also sign up for an Arizona Vaccine Program secure portal account to schedule your vaccination appointment when it is your time to do so. Use Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome as your browser for best usability.

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