Arizona coronavirus death toll up to 5; cases increase to 326

Mar 24, 2020, 8:46 AM | Updated: 2:22 pm
coronavirus testing...
(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Arizona’s death toll from the coronavirus outbreak is up to five, Gov. Doug Ducey said Tuesday morning.

The previously known count was three, two that had been reported by the state as of Monday morning and one reported in Pima County that night.

Ducey first revealed the increase Tuesday during an interview with KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show.

The higher death toll, which included the first coronavirus fatality in Navajo County, was later confirmed in the daily update on the Arizona Department of Health Services website.

The department also reported that the state now has 326 cases, up from 234 the previous morning. The 92-case jump represents a 39% increase.

“They’re going to continue to rise for some time,” Ducey said of the numbers.

Federal and state officials have said an increased capacity to administer and process tests will result in a sharp increase in the rate of new cases in the coming days. It’s unclear how much of the increase is due to spread of the virus and how much to the boost in testing.

Maricopa County reported a 61% case increase in the past day from 139 to 199. With one new death, the Phoenix area has three reported COVID-19 fatalities.

Pima County also saw a big overnight jump, up to 42 from 24. The Tucson area reported its first death Monday night.

Navajo County, which has seen an outbreak in Navajo Nation territory, reported 32 cases. An AZDHS spokesperson told KTAR News 92.3 FM that Navajo County suffered its first death.

Pinal County had 22, Coconino 18, Apache four, Yavapai three, Yuma and Graham two each, and Cochise and Santa Cruz one each.

Mohave, La Paz, Gila and Greenlee remained free of reported cases.

Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 544 deaths from more than 44,000 COVID-19 cases as of Tuesday.

According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University researchers, there have been more than 398,000 cases globally, resulting in more than 17,000 deaths.

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Arizona coronavirus death toll up to 5; cases increase to 326