PHOENIX — The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has collected COVID-19 data for a full two years and the data shows Arizona has the second-highest COVID-19 death rate in the country.
The state with the highest COVID-19 per capita death rate is Mississippi at 359 deaths per 100,000 people. This is followed by Arizona at 349 deaths. Alabama, New Jersey, and Louisiana follow Arizona with death rates over 300. The states with the lowest per capita death rates are Vermont and Hawaii, the only states to report COVID-19 death rates under 100. Arizona’s neighbor Utah has the third-lowest in the country at 124 deaths per capita.
Looking at only the four states with the highest COVID-19 death rates, Arizona stands out as rising faster than the other three. In November, the state had a COVID-19 death rate of just over 290 and has climbed 20% since then. Mississippi, New Jersey, and Alabama all had growth rates under 10% in the same time frame.
The question is will Arizona overtake Mississippi in total COVID-19 per capita deaths? The daily averages show that while Mississippi had a significantly higher rate than Arizona at the start of October, it has since fallen to half of Arizona’s daily average death rate. Using the average of both state’s daily rates starting in early January are used to project rates going forward, Arizona will overtake Mississippi as the state with the highest death rate in the country sometime in mid-February
That scenario occurs if the current trajectory of death rates remains stable or if either state does not experience a rise or fall in deaths when compared to the other. As of today, the COVID-19 indicators that measure disease severity continue to fall. COVID-19 ICU bed occupancy increased by 2 patients but is 5% lower than the same time last week. The percentage of ICU patients on ventilators is under 50%