PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Arizona Department of Health Services reported over 200,000 cases of COVID-19 for the entire month of December. This is double the number of cases reported for the month of November. 

AZ reported more COVID-19 cases in December than May, June, July, and August COMBINED.

Arizona reported 17,234 new COVID-19 cases today, the highest number of cases reported in one day since the pandemic began. However, these newly added cases aren't from January, they are associated with the holidays as the laboratories are catching up with their backlog of tests.

The highest confirmed case day was on Dec. 28 with 11,312 cases of COVID-19 and Dec. 29 is a close second with 10,436 cases. 

With deaths still left to be attributed to a certain day, December is the second deadliest month of the pandemic behind July. In July, 2,344 deaths were recorded, while 1,707 deaths were recorded in December so far.

The number of cases added daily has created great concern for the public, with education being a top issue. On Saturday, the Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction, Kathy Hoffman, tweeted to Governor Doug Ducey urging him to put the whole state on a virtual learning for two weeks until the number of cases start declining. 

"Given the severity of our state's situation and the virus's trajectory after the holiday period, Gov. Doug Ducey should order schools to remain in distance learning for a limited two-week period to align with quarantine protocols and current AZDHS benchmark recommendations," Supt. Hoffman said in her initial tweet

A spokesperson for Gov. Ducey said that he has no plans of issuing any mandate and leaving it as a local decision. 


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