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Arizona now has the highest COVID-19 death rate of any state

Arizona has surpassed Mississippi to become the state with the highest per capita death toll from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, according to the  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The first COVID-19 death in Arizona was reported March 20, 2020 and more than 32,000 deaths have followed. By the CDC’s count, that’s about 1 in every 227 people in the state — a rate far higher than the national average. Nationwide, about 1 in every 305 people has died from the virus. 

About 72% of Arizona’s COVID-19 deaths have been among people over the age of 65,  according to the Arizona Department of Health Services

The highest numbers of COVID-19 fatalities in Arizona occurred during the past two winter seasons. According to the state health department, the deadliest week of the pandemic in Arizona was the week of Jan. 10, 2021, when 1,067 Arizonans died from the virus. 

Fortunately, this year’s winter surge has so far resulted in just a small fraction of the fatalities seen in previous years. But death totals have been climbing for the past three weeks, with 109 deaths reported last week.

→   'There's so many people who have lost so much': Arizona's COVID-19 death rate is among highest in U.S.

Katherine Davis-Young is a senior field correspondent reporting on a variety of issues, including public health and climate change.