Researchers: Job losses due to pandemic hit Tempe hardest

Arizona researchers say new maps sorting claims for unemployment benefits by zip code statewide indicate Tempe was hit harder than any other city in the state by economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Maricopa Association of Governments said Thursday the 85281 zip code in Tempe had over 6,600 unemployment claims between March 14 and May 14, the most of any zip code in the state.

MAG said the adjacent 85282 zip code had just over 5,200 claims, helping make Tempe the Arizona city hit hardest.

MAP: Arizona Coronavirus cases by zip code

Numerous businesses, schools and other employers closed or scaled back their operations due to stay-at-home orders and other preventative measures implemented to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The researchers said the zip codes found to have the most claims were located as expected in the Phoenix and Tucson metros and in cities around communities such as Flagstaff, Yuma, Prescott and Kingman.

“However, there are no areas in the state that have escaped being hit by job loss,” MAG said in a statement.

RELATED: Report: Arizona unemployment rate doubled to 12.6% in April

In the Phoenix area, hard-hit areas besides Tempe included east Phoenix, south Scottsdale and south Chandler, MAG said.

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.

Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear more slowly. They usually include fever, a dry cough and noticeable shortness of breath, according to the World Health Organization. A minority of cases develop pneumonia, and the disease is especially worrisome for the elderly and those with other medical problems such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes or heart conditions.

RELATED: Is it the flu, a cold or COVID-19? Different viruses present similar symptoms

Right now there's one big difference between flu and coronavirus: A vaccine exists to help prevent the flu and it's not too late to get it. It won't protect you from catching the coronavirus, but may put you in a better position to fight it.

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