/ Modified dec 28, 2021 noon

Arizona hospital official: Avoid New Year's gatherings

The state added nearly 2,000 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday.

coronavirus 3 hero A Centers for Disease Control illustration of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

The chief clinical officer of Arizona's largest health care system says the pandemic continues to strain hospitals statewide so Arizonans should avoid large New Year’s gatherings even if masked and fully vaccinated.

Dr. Marjorie Bessell acknowledged that avoiding gatherings is difficult. But he said hospitals remain crowded, with exhausted clinical workers who have skipped gatherings in order to care for patients.

The state's coronavirus dashboard on Tuesday reported 1,976 additional confirmed COVID-19 cases, well under the over 7,600 reported Monday following reporting delays over the holiday weekend.

Arizona on Tuesday also reported 162 virus deaths as the state’s pandemic fatality toll passed 24,000.

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