With a warning about higher numbers because of advances in testing, Arizona health authorities reported 1,753 new coronavirus cases and 38 additional deaths on Thursday morning.
That put the state’s documented totals at 211,660 COVID-19 infections and 5,409 deaths, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.
Thursday’s case report, which was about 1,000 higher than the previous day and the largest since Aug. 1, included results from recent months of a newly authorized type of diagnostic test, according to a blog post from Health Director Dr. Cara Christ.
Christ said to expect higher case reports over the next few days because of the changes following a fourth antigen testing process getting Food and Drug Administration authorization recently.
Antigen testing (not to be confused with antibody, or serology, tests that detect past infections) isn’t as accurate at the predominant PCR diagnostic testing, Christ said, but it provides fast results.
Verde Valley residents awoke on the morning of Tuesday, Sept. 8 to see … nothing. The normally clear Northern Arizona skies that usually allow residents to see for miles and miles were marred by a white haze, the residue of 22 wildfires in California and 10 other Western states away from the Verde Valley, swept by Santa Ana winds several hundred miles to hover in the air above us.
“The smoke is primarily from fires in California and Colorado, but Arizona and Utah fires could contribute in the coming days as well,” Ken Daniel, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s Flagstaff office, wrote in an email. “As numerous fires continue to churn, and the atmosphere continues to mix, it’s becoming even harder and harder to separate the individual sources.”
Though the rest of the week was notably clearer than the white haze last Tuesday, meteorologists stress that with the fires in other states not yet abating, the smoke could be back soon.
Sedona Red Rock News