By Alison Steinbach | Arizona Republic
Arizona reported 670 new COVID-19 cases and 32 new known deaths on Thursday as the state continues to fare better than most of the country in terms of recent new cases.
Arizona’s seven-day case rate per 100,000 people ranked 46th Wednesday among all states and territories, after ranking first and second for much of January, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID Data Tracker.
The states with a lower case rate over the past seven days were Louisiana, Mississippi, Hawaii, Kansas, California, Alabama and Arkansas. Arizona ranked 51st among 60 states and territories on March 28, but its rank has crept up.
The state’s seven-day average for new reported COVID-19 cases was 673 on Thursday, compared with 601 last Thursday, per state data. The average had reached as high as 9,800 in January.
The state’s seven-day death rate per 100,000 people ranked 38th in the nation as of Wednesday, per the CDC.
Percent positivity, which refers to the percent of COVID-19 diagnostic tests that are positive, has been declining but varies somewhat based on how it’s measured.
Last week, Arizona’s percent positivity was 5% for the fifth week in a row and 7% the week before that, according to the state, which has a unique way of calculating percent positivity. Weekly percent positivity statewide peaked at 25% in December.
Johns Hopkins University calculates Arizona’s seven-day moving average of percent positives at 2.9% as of Thursday. It shows the state’s percent positivity peaked at 24.2% in December.
A positivity rate of 5% or less is considered a good benchmark that the spread of the disease is under control.