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Arizona national guard troops set up virus testing amid surge

Arizona National Guard service members were in suburban Phoenix on Wednesday to help set up a drive-through COVID-19 testing location. The testing center in Mesa was coming online as the state was seeing a record spike in cases.

On Wednesday, the state broke several of its own records for new cases, deaths and hospitalizations. The number of new cases hit 4,878 – a number comparable to recent daily case totals in larger states such as Florida and California, which have three to six times as many people.

The number of new coronavirus cases in Arizona was down somewhat Thursday from the previous day’s record-breaker. The Arizona Department of Health Services reported 3,333 new cases and 37 deaths related to COVID-19. Meanwhile, the state’s hospital capacity remains at 89%.

In total, Arizona has now seen 87,425 cases and 1,757 deaths since the pandemic began.

Vice President Mike Pence, who visited Phoenix on Wednesday, promised the federal government would send 500 health workers to help.

The coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms such as fever and cough for most people. But for some – especially older adults and people with existing health problems – it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.