Arizona Heat Deaths Spike Amid Record Temperatures, Pandemic Fears
There’s been a slow but steady decline in coronavirus cases in our state. And while weekend numbers tend to lag behind, that trend continues as of Monday when the Arizona Department of Health Services reported just 311 new cases of COVID-19 and no additional deaths.
As of Aug. 24, more than 4,700 Arizonans have died from the virus.
Even as the numbers decline, the virus is fast becoming one of the leading causes of death in the United States. And here in the hottest region of the country, COVID-19 is also compounding the casualties caused by Arizona’s extreme summer heat.
In the summer of 2019, Maricopa County set a grim record for the highest number of heat-related deaths. But this year, with record temperatures plus the limitations of a pandemic, the county is seeing even more dire numbers.
David Hondula is an associate professor in the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning at Arizona State University, and he researches heat exposure. The Show spoke with him to learn about the effect of the heat on top of a pandemic.