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Arizona reports more than 5,100 new COVID-19 cases, 3 deaths
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Arizona reports more than 5,100 new COVID-19 cases, 3 deaths

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Arizona health officials on Monday reported 5,158 new cases of COVID-19 and three additional deaths.

Coconino County added 366 cases and zero deaths in Monday's report, which includes results from Friday, Saturday and Sunday. That brings the county's totals to 11,587 positive cases and 201 deaths.

The latest figures from the Arizona Department of Health Services came as the number of people hospitalized due to the virus hit a new high.

Officials say 54% of in-patient hospitalizations across the state are COVID-19 related. The number of people in intensive care units because of the virus is also at a record high. Health officials say only 7% of ICU beds remain available.

Arizona has confirmed a total of 561,542 COVID-19 cases and 9,064 deaths since the pandemic began.

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

The crush of COVID-19 patients has caused some Phoenix and Tucson-area hospitals to suspend elective surgeries and turn away ambulance patients or transfers from other hospitals, while still accepting walk-patients needing emergency care.

Hospital officials have discussed triage protocols that the state could order to decide which patients gets access to limited resources.

In other developments:

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-- Agencies helping the homeless in Arizona's largest county say the annual count of people living on the streets was cancelled this year because of concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.

The Maricopa Regional Continuum of Care, which includes shelters and other services for homeless people, says the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development allowed it to opt out of the January 2021 count of those sleeping outdoors.

The one night tally includes face to face interviews with people on the streets to help agencies understand how many need services.

The Maricopa Association of Governments last week announced it cancelled the outdoors count amid a surge in Arizona's reported COVID-19 cases, deaths and hospitalizations.

Arizona health officials on Monday reported 5,158 new cases and three additional deaths statewide, along with a record number of hospitalizations.

Last year's tally counted 3,767 homeless people in Arizona's Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix. The county is Arizona's largest and home to about 4.5 million people.

Sarah Kent, human services planner for the Maricopa Regional Continuum of Care, said Monday that although agencies won't count people outside this year, they will tally those inside shelters.

Maricopa County's largest shelter has a maximum of 470 beds during non-pandemic times.

— Gov. Doug Ducey rejected a call from state schools Superintendent Kathy Hoffman to have all Arizona schools cease in-person learning for two weeks. The governor’s office said that decision should be left to local officials.

— Maricopa County Superior Court Clerk Jeff Fine has been hospitalized for treatment of COVID-19 and pneumonia. Fine’s office said Monday that he contracted the virus on Dec. 25 and remained home until his condition declined sharply on Friday, leading to his treatment at a hospital in Sun City.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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