December was on track to be the deadliest and most infectious month for the coronavirus pandemic in Arizona as the state continues to outpace every previous milestone, with more than 35 percent of the state’s half million covid-19 cases coming from this month alone, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
July saw 2,050 Arizonans lose their lives to the virus, while 2,006 people in the state have died due to covid-19 so far in December.
On Thursday, Mohave County Department of Public Health reported 216 new cases and five new deaths. Two deaths and 92 cases were reported in Lake Havasu City. The county’s seen a total of 11,967 cases and 313 deaths since the pandemic began in March.
The Arizona Department of Health Services reported 171 deaths on Tuesday, the highest single-day figure since the start of the pandemic, though the agency said 148 were due to the death certificate matching process, meaning some deaths that may have been originally attributed to other causes were later added after further investigation by public health officials who have been reviewing deaths across the state to ensure an accurate count.
The previous high water mark was on July 17, when ADHS reported 103 deaths.
December has also seen the deadliest week of the pandemic with 614 Arizonans losing their lives from the virus from Dec. 13-19.
The state’s previous worst month had been July, when cases surged and hospitals became inundated with patients. The total number of cases recorded in July was 94,782, compared to 180,405 so far in December.
The number of covid patients in intensive care units has also hit record highs this month, exceeding 1,000 on Monday, a first since the pandemic began.
Over 60 percent of the state’s ICU beds are in use by COVID patients and currently only 10 percent staffed adult ICU beds, or 178, remain.