- Associated Press - Saturday, January 16, 2021

PHOENIX (AP) - Arizona on Saturday reported over 200 additional deaths from COVID-19 as the state retained its worst-in-the-nation infection diagnosis rate.

The Department of Health Services reported 8,715 additional known cases and 208 additional deaths, increasing the pandemic totals to 666,901 cases and 11,248 deaths.

There were 4,849 hospitalized COVID-19 patients as of Friday, down from Monday’s record 5,082, according to the department’s coronavirus dashboard.

Arizona’s COVID-19 diagnosis rate from Jan. 8 to Friday was one person in every 116 residents. The diagnosis rate is a state’s population divided by the number of new cases over the past week.

The number of infections is thought to be far higher than reported because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.

Arizona’s seven-day rolling average of daily new cases increased over the past two weeks, rising from 6,190.3 new cases per day on Jan. 1 to 8,847.9 new cases per day on Friday, while the rolling average of daily deaths during the period rose from 86.6 to 157.5, according to data from Johns Hopkins University and The COVID Tracking Project.

In other developments:

- Dr. Cara Christ, direct of the Department of Health Services, said the federal government apparently won’t provide the state with an expected increase in deliveries of COVID-19 vaccine doses but that current vaccination plans won’t be impacted.

Christ said Friday the state will receive its normal allocation and still make doses available to counties while also opening a second state-run vaccination site at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.

“Luckily it doesn’t impact our current plans but it is disappointing because we would have loved to be able to ramp up and add additional appointment, even out at State Farm Stadium, had we gotten more vaccine,”″ Christ said, referring to the first state-run vaccination site.

- A judge in Tucson on Friday heard arguments in a lawsuit filed by bars seeking to overturn the 10 p.m. curfew imposed by Pima County, the Arizona Daily Star reported.

Superior Court Judge Kellie Johnson said she will rule by Tuesday on the bars’ motion for a preliminary injunction to halt enforcement of the curfew pending a trial.

The bars argue that the curfew is an unconstitutional, unreasonable and discriminatory overreach of the county’s authority. The county contends the curfew is within the county’s broad authority over public health matters.

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