Santa Cruz County continues to add more than 300 new COVID-19 cases per week and the local rate of positive results on the test that detects active infections remains exceedingly high, even as more and more people are tested.

Still, there were a couple of positive trends during the week leading up to Thursday, June 25:

Only one new death was confirmed during the seven-day period, compared to five the week prior. And hospitalizations increased by two after jumping by 20 the previous week.

That left the total number of coronavirus-related deaths among local people at 14 and hospitalizations at 70 on Thursday, according to the County Health Services Department. It wasn’t clear how many of the hospitalizations were active.

Meanwhile, the total number of confirmed cases in Santa Cruz County was 1,603, up from 1,249 on June 18 and 914 on June 11.

With 1,603 total positive cases and a U.S. Census estimated population of 46,498, that means 3.4 percent of the residents of Santa Cruz County had tested positive for an active COVID-19 infection since the start of the pandemic. That’s the highest rate among Arizona’s 15 counties when U.S. Census data is used as the measuring stick.

According to Arizona Department of Health Services statistics posted Thursday morning, Santa Cruz County also has the state’s highest positive rate on the so-called PCR test for active infections, at 27.9 percent. That’s 11.5 percentage points greater than the next two highest counties, Apache and Yuma, and 17 points higher than the statewide positive test rate of 10.9 percent.

In terms of overall testing, 4,753 county residents had taken the PCR test as of Thursday, or 10.2 percent of the total population. That was well above the statewide average of 6.5 percent.

The number of community members who have been tested for COVID-19 has doubled in the past two weeks, though the positive result rate has risen by nearly two percentage points during that period as well.

This week, the County Health Services Department began to once again update the total of COVID-19 recoveries in the community after the number froze at 306 beginning June 10. On Thursday, the total number of recoveries was 732, an increase of 426 since June 10.

During that same period of June 10-25, the number of confirmed infections grew by 786.

In Nogales, Sonora, there were 1,147 confirmed COVID-19 infections and 86 deaths as of Wednesday evening, June 24, according to a report from the state health secretary. That was up from 808 confirmed cases and 72 deaths on Wednesday, June 17.

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