Arizona virus toll spikes after review of death certificates

Arizona health officials on July 18 reported a daily record 147 additional deaths from the coronavirus and 2,742 additional confirmed cases but said both numbers reflected unusual circumstances.

The Department of Health Services said the additional deaths included 106 newly attributed to COVID-19 after health officials’ latest periodic reviews of death certificates and that the additional cases did not include figures from a laboratory that missed the reporting cutoff.

Coronavirus in Arizona: Latest case numbers

The missed data on additional cases will be reported July 19, the department said.

The number of additional deaths reported in the previous six days ranged from 8 to 97, while the number of additional confirmed cases reported during the same period ranged from 1,357 to 4,273.

Arizona Gov. Ducey extends moratorium on evictions until October amid ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

The governor announced that the ban on evictions would be extended to Oct. 31. In addition, there would be more funding for housing assistance programs.

The additional deaths reported Saturday increased the statewide total to 2,730 while the number of confirmed cases rose to 141,265. The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.

While the daily reports of additional deaths don’t indicate when those reported deaths occurred, date-by-date data released Saturday indicated the current high for occurrences was on July 7 with 66 deaths.

COVID-19-related hospitalization figures as of July 17 were near but below recent records set after Arizona became a national hot spot following Gov. Doug Ducey’s lifting of stay-home orders and other restrictions in May.

Ducey last month reversed himself and authorized local governments to impose masking requirements, and many have done so to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Ducey’s own recent messaging has promoted use of masks, social distancing and hand washing.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.