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Arizona ICU occupancy rate as of Aug. 22.

Over the last two months, there has been an 11% increase in the number of Arizonans who have contracted COVID-19 and a 4% increase in the number of deaths.

According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, the number of cases rose from 890,533 on June 22 to 988,714 as of Aug. 22. Another 742 people died from June 22 to Aug. 22, raising the total death toll from 17,858 to 18,600.

During the same time frame, the number of people hospitalized with the virus rose 279% to 1,901 as of Sunday. The number of COVID-19 patients being cared for in ICU rose 253% to 135 during the same time period.

Since the start of the pandemic, 89 Graham County and 11 Greenlee County residents have died from the virus.

The state health department reported that as of Monday morning 54.6% of Arizonans have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Those numbers in Graham and Greenlee counties are 46.1% and 35.2%, respectively. On Aug. 16, those numbers were 44.6% and 33.5%.

Both counties are hoping to immunize a lot more children in the coming weeks now that school has started. As of Sunday, 6.9% of Greenlee County residents under the age of 20 have been immunized and 12.4% of Graham County residents in that age range have received at least one dosage, too.

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On Aug. 16, the percentage of people under 20 immunized in Graham County was 11% and in Greenlee County it was 4.5%

On Friday, both the Graham and Greenlee county health departments changed their quarantine protocols based on CDC recommendations and local testing resources.

According to the new protocols, people under quarantine can return to work or school after Day 10 even if they haven’t been tested if they don’t have any symptoms and continue to mask up and socially distance through Day 14.

Quarantined people who have been tested can return to work or school after Day 7 if they tested negative after Day 5 and if they, too, don’t show symptoms and continue to mask up and socially distance through Day 14.

The results of self-administered tests will not be accepted.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, 157,450 new COVID-19 cases have been diagnosed within the last week and another 1,120 people died from the virus during the same time frame.

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