The number of new coronavirus cases in La Paz County declined again last week. There were 25 new cases last week as compared with 29 the week before and 38 the week before that. According to the La Paz County Health Department and the Arizona Department of Health Services, the county has seen 2,625 cases and there have been 80 coronavirus-related deaths as of Aug. 14.
The number of new cases in the state continues to grow, as there were almost 19,000 new cases in the state in the week ending Aug. 14, an average of more than 2,700 per day.
The same week, the United States, which has seen more cases than any other nation in the world, saw its number of people who had recovered top 30 million. The national survival rate remains at 98 percent.
As of Aug. 14, Arizona had seen 962,410 cases, according to ADHS. That compares with 943,415 cases on Aug. 7. These included 3,418 new cases reported Friday, Aug. 13. The number of coronavirus-related deaths was 18,472 on Aug. 14 and 18,376 on Aug. 7.
The number of new cases is still small compared with the surge last winter and earlier this year. However, the rising numbers are cause for concern among health officials, particularly as the Delta variant is spreading. This variant is much more contagious than earlier variants. One former federal health official described it as, “the 2020 variant on steroids.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Delta variant, which was first seen in India late in 2020, now accounts for 80 percent of the new cases in the United States. The CDC said the number new cases increased nationally by 300 percent from June 19 to July 23, and that increase was driven by the Delta variant.
The increase in new cases has led to new hospitalizations. The State of Texas has seen so many new cases and hospitalizations among children that they have declared they have no intensive care beds for children available in the state.
Just how much more contagious the Delta variant is than the original coronavirus is not clear, and much of it is based on estimates. One CDC document said it was as contagious as the chicken pox, with each infected person infecting eight to nine persons. The original was as contagious as the common cold, with each infected person infecting two or three others.
Of the cases in La Paz County, 889 were members of the Colorado River Indian Tribes who were tested at Indian Health Services. Tribal members have seen 18 coronavirus-related deaths. On Aug. 9, the Tribal Council reinstated the face mask mandate for indoor areas on Tribal lands, including businesses such as Walmart and Safeway. While the State of Arizona has banned such mandates as part of the state’s budget for the current fiscal year, the Tribes are considered sovereign and are under no obligation to follow state mandates.
The Parker Unified School District has announced they will follow Tribal mandates at LePera Elementary School, which is located south of Poston on Tribal land. Superintendent Brad Sale said they cannot mandate face masks at the other schools in the district, but added he urged everyone on the campuses to wear a face mask and practice social distancing.
ADHS reported the number of doses of coronavirus vaccine administered in the state has topped 70,000. They said 54.1 percent of the state has been vaccinated. In La Paz County, 17,544 doses had been administered and 43.7 percent of the county had been vaccinated.
The Worldometers website, which tracks cases worldwide, said the number of active cases in Arizona increased from 42,745 to 55,115 last week. A total of 888,833 had recovered. The survival rate for the cases that have reached a conclusion and have been closed is 97.9 percent.
Nationwide, Worldometers said there have been 37.4 million cases and 637,439 deaths. There are 6.6 million active cases and 30.14 million have recovered. The survival rate is 98 percent.
The states with the most number of cases include California at 4.12 million, Texas at 3.3 million, Florida at 2.9 million, and New York at 2.6 million.
This past week, the number of cases worldwide reached 207.5 million. There have been 4.36 million deaths and 186 million have recovered. The worldwide survival rate is approximately the same as the United States at 98 percent.
After the United States, India has the most number of cases in the world at 32.2 million. Brazil is next at 20.3 million. These are the only nations in the world to report more than 10 million cases.