California hospitals prepping for grim COVID-19 choices

A mid-turbinate nasal swab PCR test is administered at a same-day coronavirus testing site.

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona on Thursday reported nearly 300 more coronavirus deaths, a pandemic-high number of fatalities for the second time this week, along with nearly 10,000 additional known COVID-19 cases.

As on Tuesday when the state reported a then-record 253 deaths, the Department of Health Services said most of the 297 deaths reported Thursday were newly attributed to recent reviews of past death certificates.

The additional 297 deaths and the additional 9,913 cases increased the state's pandemic totals to 584,593 cases with 9,741 deaths.

Cochise County reported 354 new cases and 14 new deaths on Thursday, data shows. The county has reported 8,501 cases and 158 deaths since the pandemic began.

The surge has stressed Arizona's health care system, and the state's coronavirus dashboard reported a record high of 4,920 COVID-19 patients occupying inpatient hospital beds as of Wednesday.

The 1,101 patients in intensive care beds also set a record.

The state's seven-day rolling average of daily new cases rose over the past two weeks from 6,293.4 new cases on Dec. 23 to 8,994.43 on Wednesday, while the rolling average of new daily deaths rose from 92.7 to 103.7.

The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.

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