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New report shows there are 3,000 unaccounted deaths in Arizona this year

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TUCSON - A new report put out by Arizona Public Health Association says that we have seen more than 7,000 deaths this year compared to last year between January and July.

We know that Arizona has reported 4,100 Coronavirus deaths up to the end of July.

Arizona's top health expert, Dr. Cara Christ, said the numbers have not been inflated due to people who might have died with Coronavirus as opposed to people who died from Coronavirus.

Dr. Christ said, "If somebody is covid-19 positive and they get in a car accident that will not impact the covid-19 numbers."

That also means if someone suffered a heart attack and they have tested to be COVID-19 positve, it would not count as a Coronavirus death.

Will Humble is the director of the Arizona Public Health Association and he said they found that 2020 was a huge deviation from the deaths per captia over the last 10 years. Even without the Coronavirus deaths we are still 3,000 deaths over average.

Humble said, "Obviously the biggest impact has to do with the people who died directly of covid-19, but the secondary effects are really from delayed care people who did not go into their primary care doctor or a specialist."

Could this be from other factors related to the state closure and the economy?

"To me I think at least we couldn't find any data to suggest that it was an increase in suicides or opioid poisonings" Humble said.

The Arizona Public Health Association does conclude that the 3,000 deaths are indirectly related to the pandemic in some way. They could be people who were waiting on elective surgery or people that didn't receive treatment for other illness in June and July because of hospitals being full. 

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Daniel McFarland

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