PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Vital records collected by the Arizona Department of Health Services [ADHS] show more people died in March and April than during those two months in any other year on record. January, March and April account for three of the top four deadliest months in state history.
A total of 5,700 people died in March, compared to 5,375 deaths last year. A sum of 5,605 people died during April, compared to 5,033 in April of last year.
On Friday, the Arizona Department of Health Services [DHS] posted on its website 702 new coronavirus cases. It's the highest one day total since the health pandemic started.
"This year is very different from any other year that I can ever remember in public health. I mean, every year, lots of people die from many different causes. But we're in the middle of the worst pandemic in 100 years," said Will Humble, who is the executive director of the Arizona Public Health Association. Humble served previously as the director of the State Department of Health Services.
He says the coronavirus is likely to be both directly and indirectly responsible for the increase in deaths. A total of 885 people have died from the disease in Arizona, but more also died as a result of it.
"The biggest increase in cases are related directly to COVID-19. And then you have secondary things that are related to COVID-19, in the sense that people need care for a condition, but are not going to the doctor because of COVID-19 and their fear of getting it, or the fact that it's hard to schedule an appointment with the doctor," said Humble.
The statistics for May are set to be released at some point in the next two weeks.