PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - As the process of opening Arizona's economy began slowly with the reopening of certain businesses Friday, Arizona's Family took a deeper look at the data from Arizona's Department of Health Services to get a better understanding of where we are as a state battling the COVID-19 crisis.
Will Humble, the executive director of Arizona's Public Health Association, said that the sudden jump in fatalities doesn't mean the state's coronavirus crisis is getting worse.
The rate of new hospitalizations is the most important indicator of how we are doing overall, and those numbers are dropping with less than a handful reported in the past two days.
But the former director of the state's health department says the number of people showing up in emergency rooms from coronavirus and the number of patients reported intubated are also significant. Those numbers have shot up.
Using data from the state health department, Arizona's Family mapped out the incline over the past month.
Since April 12, the number of patients showing up at the ER with suspected or confirmed cases of coronavirus has been going up.
In the past three days, the numbers shoot straight up to the highest number of people sick enough with COVID-19-related symptoms to go to the emergency room, indicating an uptick in current infections.
In another graph, the number of intubations which indicate the severity of the disease is also higher than it's ever been.
The number of patients had been trending down, but in the past week it's up significantly.
We reached out to Governor Doug Ducey's office to ask if, given these numbers, the governor still believes starting to open the state is the right call.
They sent us a statement saying:
"The governor's Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected order is in place until at least May 15. We are following the data closely ...and working with public health officials, and will have more updates next week."