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Arizona health department site includes more COVID-19 testing data

Arizona health department site includes more COVID-19 testing data

From the Tucson-area coronavirus coverage from January to March: Nearly 1,300 cases in Arizona, stay-at-home order series

The state health department website will now include more data about the COVID-19 outbreak. 

The Arizona Department of Health Services launched a new dashboard Sunday on its website to include more data on confirmed cases and on commercial testing to better track how the outbreak is evolving, the department said in a news release. 

There are now two sections of the dashboard. The first section contains data about confirmed cases including the number of cases, deaths, cases by county, week, age and gender.

The second section includes additional data about testing broken down into similar groups as the confirmed cases data. The second section also shows the percentage of tests where COVID-19 was detected and non detected.  

On Monday, March 23, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey issued an executive order requiring commercial labs to report all COVID-19 results. The state health department updates the data every day at 9 a.m.

The data and more information about the COVID-19 outbreak in Arizona can be found at azhealth.gov/COVID19.

As of Sunday morning, the state reported 919 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 17 deaths caused by the virus. Private testing labs and the state public health lab have collectively conducted 13,872 coronavirus tests. 

The first known positive case in the state was on January 26 and the rate of cases has increased since then, with 857 of the 919 confirmed cases coming from tests in the last two weeks, since March 15. Testing has also increased in the last two weeks, with 5,797 tests conducted the week of March 22 and 6,850 tests conducted the week of March 15. 

"With widespread community transmission of COVID-19, and increased testing, ADHS expects to see more cases of COVID-19 in Arizona," the health department said in a news release. "COVID-19 is highly contagious and can be fatal. It is imperative that everyone takes precautions to protect themselves and their friends and family from this disease."

Despite increased testing, Arizona health department officials have said widespread testing is not critical in assessing the COVID-19 crisis

Earlier this month Jessica Rigler, assistant director of public health preparedness for the Arizona Department of Health Services, said there are other factors utilized without the widespread testing.

These include daily assessments of hospital admissions, what’s being seen in emergency rooms, daily bed and ICU capacity in each hospital and reports of influenza-like illnesses.

“While Arizonans don’t need to panic, they do need to be concerned about the spreading of this disease,” Rigler said. “The absence of testing does not mean an absence of data. All of the other indicators help us understand what’s going on in the state.”

Contact reporter Stephanie Casanova at scasanova@tucson.com. On Twitter: @CasanovaReports

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