January is Arizona's deadliest month in the COVID-19 pandemic

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- January 2021 has now surpassed December as the deadliest month of the coronavirus pandemic in Arizona.

The Arizona Department of Health Services added 214 deaths to its state dashboard Wednesday morning, bringing January's death toll to 3,226. December saw 3,147 total deaths. ADHS adds deaths to its dashboard through death certificate matching, so totals will likely be higher in the coming weeks.

So far, more than 6,000 Arizonans have died from COVID-19 in the last two months. January and December make up almost half of the state's total death count, which is 13,576.

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Grim milestones

January has been a month of grim milestones. Three days of the month had the highest single-day death totals reported since the pandemic began nearly a year ago.

  • Jan. 18 - 152 deaths
  • Jan. 13 - 146 deaths
  • Jan. 5 - 143 deaths
  • Dec. 17 - 133 deaths

While January has had some grim milestones, December still has the most confirmed cases of any other month of the pandemic with 217,341 cases reported. December and January each saw more confirmed cases than the months of June, July and August combined.

  • January -> 193,868
  • December -> 217,341
  • June -> 81,277
  • July -> 80,076
  • August -> 20,353
  • June + July + August -> 181,706

According to the CDC's COVID-19 data tracker, Arizona still leads the nation in cases per 100K people with 10,471 cases.

The vaccines

The state is trying to get as many people vaccinated as possible and has administered more than 700,000 doses so far. Gov. Doug Ducey said he is working with President Biden's administration to get more doses to Arizona. 

"All we can do is distribute what we receive from the federal government and the private sector, so we are working with the Biden administration to get more vaccines," Ducey said. 

More appointments are starting to open up for those in prioritized groups at pharmacies and at the state-run vaccination sites. This morning, 21,000 new appointments became available at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. Those were booked up in less than an hour. In addition, 50 Fry's pharmacies around Maricopa County will also be offering appointments to those 75 and older.

Fry's will have COVID-19 vaccine at 50 stores in Maricopa County

The director of ADHS, Dr. Cara Christ, says she is looking forward to being able to operate Phoenix Municipal Stadium at full capacity and open additional state-run vaccination sites elsewhere in Arizona. At full capacity, Phoenix Municipal Stadium could vaccinate up to 12,000 people a day. Christ says as more doses become available, more appointments will open up. 

"We will continue to evaluate and look at reallocating vaccine around the state," said Dr. Christ. "If we're able to identify additional doses, we will be opening up appointments on a weekly basis."

Information about all vaccination sites across Arizona can be found at azhealth.gov/findvaccine.

Those without computer access or needing extra help registering can call 1-844-542-8201 to be connected with someone who can assist.

Note: You can use the patient portal at podvaccine.azdhs.gov to make an appointment for a relative in a prioritized group.

To learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and vaccination, please visit azdhs.gov/COVID19Vaccines.


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