PHOENIX — For the second time during the pandemic, Arizona is leading the world with the highest seven-day average of COVID-19 infections per capita.
According to 91-divoc.com, a COVID-19 tracking site that uses data from John Hopkins University, Arizona currently has the highest COVID-19 per capita rate of any region in the world.
The state is reporting 121.8 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases over the past seven days per 100,000 people.
California, the state with the second-highest number of newly confirmed cases in the past seven days per 100,000 people comes in at 97.8.
The site also tracks COVID-19 infections across the world using the same per capita metric as what is used by the US. Czechia has the highest new COVID-19 infections of any sovereign state at 93.4.
The United States is showing a rate of 64.8, the sixth-highest of any country.
Breaking down the Numbers
Arizona has been in this position once before.
The state posted a 52.8 on July 7 at the height of the summer peak in this same metric, which was higher than any other tracked jurisdiction at the time.
While Arizona is sitting at the top of the states today, it is still far behind North Dakota’s record-setting rate of 184.8 cases per capita that was recorded on Nov. 19.
The past seven days have seen a surge of reported positive tests in Arizona which would account for the per capita rankings.
Using the https://t.co/uJJJswofWt reports, here is what what caused us to shoot up to the top of the heap. Arizona had the 4th highest percent increase of #COVID19 cases since last week,(+52.3%) as well as the highest largest per capita raw increase (+42). pic.twitter.com/JxTqSUAG4y— The AZ - abc15 - Data Guru (@Garrett_Archer) January 4, 2021
57,119 cases have been reported by the AZDHS between December 29 and January 4.
This is a 32% increase from the 43,078 cases reported between Dec. 22-28. Before this, the state saw only a marginal week over week growth of 5%.
So far, the past seven days of reporting have been the highest in the state’s pandemic, with the week of Dec. 8-14 being second with 54,405 infections added to the state’s totals.
What does this mean?
The implications of higher case counts carry over to hospitalization and death numbers as COVID-19 spreads throughout the community.
While many cases do end up mild, seven percent of them have required some form of hospitalization during disease.
As cases climb, especially in age groups that are considered a higher risk, it puts a strain on an already strained hospital system.
The state has been reporting record-high utilization of hospital assets by COVID-19 patients for several weeks now. ICU bed utilization across all of Arizona’s hospital systems has been over 90% since Nov. 29.
According to the latest data from Johns Hopkins, as of Jan. 5, 5,932 new cases were reported and a record-high 253 people died.
Johns Hopkins COVID tracker reports that 101,030 doses of the COVID vaccines have been administered in Arizona.
This story was first published by Garrett Archer at KNXV in Phoenix, Arizona.