PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona health officials report COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to rise in a surge that's been going since New Year's Day.
The state coronavirus dashboard found Monday that 2,765 patients are hospitalized for confirmed or suspected cases of the virus.
The state Department of Health Services again pleaded on its social media for people to get vaccinated and boosted to help free up hospitals.
Arizona also reported 13,937 new cases but no additional deaths. This brings the state's total number of cases since the pandemic began to 1,491,420. The death toll remains 24,773.
The soaring number of cases is evidence of how contagious the omicron variant is. It has already become dominant in many countries. It also more easily infects those who have been vaccinated or had previously been infected by prior versions of the virus.
Though early studies show omicron is less likely to cause severe illness and hospitalization than the previous delta variant, hospitals statewide remain crowded.
In other developments:
—The University of Arizona plans to resume in-person instruction on Wednesday. President Robert Robbins acknowledged this was a somewhat contentious issue but that students have already ‘been yo-yo-ed back and forth.’
“Every time there's a spike, are we going to go back to virtual, online or hybrid approaches? After a while, this gets to be incredibly challenging,” Robbins said.
The school may reconsider if the number of students who have to isolate becomes overwhelming and if it affects nearby hospitals. But the university has had very few cases of people needing serious hospitalization since the pandemic's onset, Robbins added.
Pima County reported 1,975 new cases of COVID-19 and no new deaths on Monday.
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