The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona continues to rise, but there are sings that the pandemic is starting to slow.
The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) and Maricopa County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) confirmed Monday, May 25, there have been 16,561 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Arizona. Maricopa County — with 8,379 cases — has the greatest number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Arizona. That total represents an increase of 222 new cases since yesterday. Arizona ranks No. 23 among states with the most confirmed COVID-19 cases. New York leads the nation with the highest number of COVID-19 cases.
As of Monday, May 25, there have been 806 COVID-19 deaths in Arizona, an increase of just six from the previous day.
“With months of data now available, we have shifted our primary focus from predictive models to using all of our real-time, Arizona specific data to assess the health of our healthcare system and evaluate the trend of our cases to make decisions that are best for Arizona,” Dr. Cara Christ of the Arizona Department of Health Services wrote in a blog post on May 6. “This and other data can be found on our COVID-19 data dashboard, which recently received an A+ for data quality by COVID Tracking.
“While the models may try to predict what lies ahead, they are simply predictions,” Dr. Christ wrote. “While many of the current models show that Arizona’s capacity is sufficient to meet the projected need for hospital beds and ventilators, in order to protect Arizonans, we continue to prepare for a worst-case scenario to ensure all Arizonans have access to quality care and treatment.”
So how do COVID-19 numbers compare nationally with other illnesses and pandemics? STAT first compared COVID-19 death projections to past pandemics and leading causes of death in early April to help Americans get a better sense of the numbers. The previous comparison used projections from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, which now estimates the death toll will be 72,433 by Aug. 4. IHME previously predicted a death toll of 60,000, which the U.S. surpassed April 29.
For the updated comparison, STAT used a model created by Youyang Gu, an independent data scientist. The model projects 88,217 to 293,381 deaths by early August.
How this projection stacks up to past pandemics and flu seasons:
1. 1918 flu pandemic: 675,000 deaths
2. COVID-19 pandemic: 88,217 to 293,381 projected deaths
3. 2017-18 flu season: 61,000 deaths
4. 2018-19 flu season: 34,200 deaths
5. 2009 swine flu pandemic: 12,469 deaths
How this projection stacks up to the nation’s leading causes of death:
1. Heart disease: 269,583 deaths
2. Cancer: 252,500 deaths (based on 2019 data)
3. COVID-19 pandemic: 88,217 to 293,381 projected deaths
4. Stroke: 60,833 deaths
5. Alzheimer’s disease: 50,417 deaths
6. Drug overdoses: 29,265 deaths
7. Suicide: 19,583 deaths
COVID-19 is a serious disease that can be fatal in anyone, especially our elderly population and people with underlying health conditions. ADHS expects to see more cases of COVID-19 in Arizona, and there could be additional deaths. ADHS advises everyone to take precautions:
The best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Stay home when you are sick.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately throw the tissue in the trash.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
COVID-19 spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Symptoms are thought to appear within two to 14 days after exposure and consist of fever, cough, runny nose, and difficulty breathing. For people with mild illness, individuals are asked to stay home, drink plenty of fluids, and get rest. For people with more severe symptoms, such as shortness of breath, individuals are advised to seek healthcare.
ADHS activated its Health Emergency Operations Center on January 27th after the first case of travel-associated COVID-19 was confirmed in Arizona. The Health Emergency Operations Center remains open to coordinate the State’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak. For more information about the COVID-19 response in Arizona, go online to azhealth.gov/COVID19.