PHOENIX (AP) — Health officials in Arizona on Sunday reported more than 2,000 new COVID-19 cases for the second consecutive day.
They said the 2,306 new cases and five additional deaths pushed the state’s totals to 929,541 cases and 18,251 known deaths since the pandemic began more than a year ago.
Arizona had reported 2,066 new cases and 22 deaths on Saturday, the highest daily total since early March.
The numbers have been quickly climbing with 1,759 cases and 15 deaths reported Thursday and 1,965 cases and 24 deaths reported Saturday.
Public health officials in the state and elsewhere attribute the worsening spread to the very contagious delta variant and low vaccination rates.
They said hospitalizations related to COVID-19 soared in July with unvaccinated people accounting for almost all of the serious illnesses and deaths.
Arizona’s case numbers and hospitalizations remain below peaks during surges last summer and winter.
Health officials said more than 3.7 million people — 52.1% of the state’s population — have received at least one dose of vaccine.
Over 3.3 million Arizonans are fully vaccinated (46.5% of the population).
But Arizona trails the nationwide rates of 57.4% with at least one dose and 49.5% fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.