Arizona tops 20,000 cases of coronavirus


The state of Arizona has surpassed 20,000 cases of COVID-19 as of Monday morning.

The Arizona Department of Health Services reports 20,123 cases and 917 deaths in the state, up 187 and 11 from Sunday, respectively.

The Maricopa County Department of Public Health reports 9,812 cases and 415 deaths in Arizona’s most populous county.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. But for some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.

But for some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

Arizona does not report recoveries yet but is displaying the number of cases discharged from the hospital. That amount is at 4,551 — or 24.6% of total cases — as of Friday.

Blood donations being tested for antibodies

Vitalant became the first national blood bank to test all donations for antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

The blood bank is providing the test results to donors who complete successful donations, which are critically needed now, according to a release. Donors are urged to give blood as soon as possible. Appointments are strongly recommended by visiting or calling 877-258-4825.

The antibody test — authorized by the Food and Drug Administration — will indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to the virus, regardless of whether they ever showed symptoms, the release states. It is possible that over time, the broad use of antibody tests and clinical follow-up will provide the medical community with more information on whether a person who has recovered from COVID-19 is at a lower risk of infection, and if so, for how long.

“While a positive antibody test does not mean that someone is immune to COVID-19, it does mean that they may be eligible to donate convalescent plasma in the future and help people with the disease,” said Cliff Numark, Vitalant’s Chief of Marketing. “Convalescent plasma can be given directly to patients currently battling COVID-19 to help boost their ability to fight their illness.” Vitalant began collecting and distributing convalescent plasma in April.

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Donations of all blood types are critically needed right now, with an especially high need for type O, A-negative and B-negative red blood cells. In addition, platelets are always needed by patients for cancer treatments, surgeries and emergencies. Because of its short shelf life — only 5 days — the supply of platelets must be continually replenished.

Navajo Nation

The Navajo Department of Health has reported 105 new cases of coronavirus on the Navajo Nation and 10 more known deaths.

That pushes the numbers to 5,250 positive COVID-19 cases and 241 known deaths as of Saturday night.

Updated numbers were expected by Sunday evening.

Tribal officials also said preliminary reports from eight health care facilities indicate about 1,814 people have recovered from COVID-19 with more reports still pending.

The vast Navajo Nation reservation stretches into northeastern Arizona, northwestern New Mexico and southeastern Utah.