MARICOPA COUNTY, AZ — Maricopa County Department of Public Health has confirmed three deaths due to heat-related illnesses in Maricopa County in 2020.
Officials say the three people who passed away were an adult male in his 80s, a male in 60s, and the other death was a person from a neighboring county.
Last year, 197 heat-related deaths were reported in Maricopa County, their highest number of heat-related deaths on record. Last year was the fourth year in a row for record-breaking heat-related deaths in Maricopa County.
MCDPH says, "While many heat-associated deaths occur outside, one out of four heat-related deaths in Maricopa County occurred indoors last year. The majority of those-over 90 percent of them had an air conditioning unit, and of those, 95 percent either didn't have their air conditioning turned on or it didn't function."
MCDPH says there are a few practices that will keep you safe in the summer heat:
- Drink water before you get thirsty to prevent dehydration
- Don't rely on fans as your primary source of cooling
- Come indoors frequently to an air-conditioned location to cool your core body temperature
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunscreen, and lightweight clothes
- Never leave kids, older adults, pets, and others who may rely on you inside of a parked car
- Check on friends and neighbors, especially the elderly, to ensure sufficient cooling and supplies
- Seek medical care immediately if you have, or someone you know has, symptoms of heat-associated illness like muscle cramps, headaches, vomiting, confusion, no longer sweating, and rapid heart rate
For a list of cooling stations open across the Valley on days with extreme heat, CLICK HERE.