The Latest: Arizona has 1,014 daily cases, rise in hospitals

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PHOENIX — Arizona reported 1,014 daily coronavirus cases amid increasing hospitalizations.

The seven-day rolling average of daily cases increased in the past two weeks from 550 on June 29 to 795 on Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

The state Department of Health services reported 689 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized as Wednesday, up from 602 on Sunday, 643 on Monday and 669 on Tuesday. Arizona’s COVID-19 hospitalization counts ranged between 500 and 600 during most of May and June.

Public health officials have attributed recent increases in COVID-19 cases to several factors, including the delta variant, lagging vaccinations and Fourth of July gatherings.

The new infections and seven deaths reported Thursday raised the totals to 904,865 confirmed cases and 18,083 confirmed deaths.

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MORE ON THE PANDEMIC:

— Surgeon general urges US fight against COVID-19 misinformation

— WHO wants more access to virus data from China

— Virus cases at 6-month high in Tokyo before Olympics

— COVID-19 takes toll on Catholic clergy, nuns in hard-hit countries

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— Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

PORTLAND, Maine — Maine residents age 50 and older who are fully vaccinated for the coronavirus has topped 80%.

About 45% of Maine’s population is at least 50 years old, and the state has one of the highest median ages in the country. The office of Maine Gov. Janet Mills says more than two thirds of the state’s eligible population is fully vaccinated for coronavirus, among the highest in the nation.

Cumberland County, which is the largest county in Maine, is 92% fully vaccinated in the 50 and older age group.

All but one county is above 70% vaccinated in the over 50 age group, according to the governor’s office.

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WASHINGTON — U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy is urging technology companies, health care workers and everyday Americans to do more to stop the spread of misinformation about COVID-19 and vaccines.

In a 22-page advisory as President Joe Biden’s surgeon general, Murthy on Thursday called misinformation about health matters a “serious public threat” and requested a nationwide response.

Bogus claims about coronavirus vaccines have led some people to reject masks, social distancing and immunizations, worsening the pandemic. Murthy urges tech companies to reduce the spread of such claims.

Teachers, he said, should expand education on media literacy and critical thinking. Journalists should work to responsibly debunk health misinformation without inadvertently spreading it further. And public health officials and doctors can do a better job answering questions and explaining why public health guidelines sometimes change based on new information.

The suggestions come as the pace of COVID-19 vaccinations has slowed throughout the U.S. The confirmed death toll in the U.S. recently surpassed 600,000.

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LONDON — Coronavirus infections in the Britain hit another six-month high, while the number of COVID-19 deaths was the highest since late March.

Government figures showed 48,553 confirmed cases, the biggest daily figure since Jan. 15. Cases have spiked sharply in recent weeks from the spread of the more contagious delta variant. The government has warned that daily infections could hit 100,000 this summer, a level not previously reached during the pandemic.

The government, which is lifting all remaining legal restrictions on social gatherings in England on Monday, is hoping the rapid rollout of vaccines will keep a lid on the number of people requiring hospital treatment for COVID-19.

The data Thursday showed another 63 virus-related deaths, the biggest daily increase since March 26, taking the confirmed total to 128,593.

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BERLIN — The head of the World Health Organization says he’s hoping for better cooperation and access to data from China in the search for the origins of the coronavirus.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says getting access to raw data had been a challenge for the international expert team that traveled to China this year to investigate the cause of the outbreak, which was first reported from Wuhan.

Tedros says the Geneva-based body is “asking actually China to be transparent, open and cooperate, especially on the information, raw data that we asked for at the early days of the pandemic.”

He also says there had been a “premature push” to rule out the theory that the coronavirus might have escaped from a Chinese government lab in Wuhan.

“I was a lab technician myself, I’m an immunologist, and I have worked in the lab, and lab accidents happen,” he said. “It’s common. Checking what happened, especially in our labs, is important and we need information, direct information on what the situation of this lab was before and at the start of the…



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