What You Need to Know

The most important weekly updates for you to keep your community healthy




In this Update:

1. Urgent Updates: COVID-19 Metrics

2. Testing Tips: Rapid and PCR tests – which one should you take and when?

3. Information You Need: Government-provided free at home COVID tests




1. Urgent Updates: COVID-19 Metrics



Updated as of:
01-24-2022

Weekly case, death, and hospitalization counts:

In the past week, there has been an average of:
Cases per day20,778
Deaths per day59
Compared to two weeks ago:
Cases per dayIncreased by 68% ↗
Deaths per dayDecreased by 1% ↘
Hospitalizations per dayIncreased by 22% ↗
For regularly updated case counts and additional COVID-19 information by county, visit the Arizona Department of Health’s data dashboard summary page.

Vaccine Information

Number of ArizonansPercentage in ArizonaPercentage in U.S.
Individuals (all ages) who are fully vaccinated4,040,62759%63%
Individuals (all ages)  who have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine4,886,70370%76%

10,464,497total COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Arizona

For a breakdown of vaccination by Arizona counties, visit the CDC’s website.

For general vaccine administration data, visit the Arizona Department of Health Services website and click on the “Vaccine Administration” icon)


2.  Testing Tips: Rapid and PCR tests – which one should you take and when?


There are two main types of COVID-19 diagnostic testing: antigen (rapid) and PCR tests. Both tests tell you whether or not you currently have a COVID-19 infection; however, there are some key differences: 

PCR testAntigen (Rapid) test
What is being tested?Whether someone currently has an active COVID-19 infection.This test detects genetic material of COVID-19.Whether someone currently has an active COVID-19 infection. This test detects proteins that are associated with COVID-19.
How long does it usually take to get results?
*due to current high demand of testing, results may take longer than expected
A few days
It takes a bit longer due to the process which requires extracting the genetic material of the virus and then replicating it to levels high enough for detection. 
A few minutes to a few hours
This doesn’t take that long because it directly detects the viral proteins that are on the swab.  

One question many people have is: which test should I take and when? If testing is available and accessible to you, the table below may be helpful to determine which test is best to take if you are exposed to and/or subsequently develop COVID-19.

Which type of COVID-19 test should I use when?

Following an exposure, to diagnose a COVID-19 infectionAfter a COVID-19 infection to determine if you are still infectious
A PCR test is best used to determine whether someone has COVID-19, at least three days after an exposure to someone who tested positive for the virus. 
This test is good because it can detect very small amounts of the virus’s genetic material and test positive even before symptoms occur. 
Rapid antigen tests, if administered correctly, can still tell you if you currently have a COVID-19 infection, but they are not as sensitive to small amounts of the virus. Therefore, rapid tests may not detect an early COVID-19 infection when there is in fact one. If you are using a rapid antigen test after an exposure, it is best to test yourself several times on subsequent days, especially if you have symptoms. 
A rapid test is the best test to determine if you are still infectious after the isolation period of a COVID-19 infection. 

PCR tests are less desirable for this reason because this type of test can still detect a small amount of the virus (including dead, noninfectious, versions of the virus) for weeks or months following an initial infection. This means that after a COVID-19 infection, a PCR test may still have a positive result, when you are no longer contagious to others.
Antigen tests are good if you need to make an informed decision about whether to attend work or school and cannot get a PCR test. 
All at home tests that do not require a mail-in are antigen tests. 


 3. Information You Need: Government-provided free at home COVID tests


You are now able to order 4, free at-home COVID tests to your door! 

Ordering the tests is quick and easy. You only need to provide your name, email address, and shipping address. The process takes less than a minute to complete. The tests will begin to ship out at the end of January. Note that there is a limit of one order, which includes 4 tests, per household. 

Visit this website to order your at-home COVID tests today!




If you would like to learn more about this and other topics related to COVID-19 in Arizona, please complete next week’s AZCOVIDTXT survey that you will receive via text in about a week.

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