Arizonas brutal heat continues to take a deadly toll.

The Maricopa County Medical Examiners Office is at 106% of standard capacity and has brought in coolers for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

County spokesperson Jason Berry confirmed to ABC15 that the county brought in 10 coolers on Tuesday.

He said the medical examiner typically sees a surge in deaths in the summer.

July is always a tough month, but this is particularly bad, Berry said.

Its not immediately known how many deaths may be heat-related because there is a lag between when a death occurs and when the medical examiner confirms and reports the cause.

Earlier this week, Maricopa County health officials reported a total of 25 heat-associated deaths so far this year, with an additional 249 deaths under investigation.

Arizona Department of Health Services data shows that hospital visits for heat-related illnesses have been increasing weekly. From July 16 to 25, there were 570 hospital visits recorded for heat-related reasons.

Berry said the coolers are not yet in use but are part of the countys emergency planning. The coolers are in a garage at 7th Avenue and Jefferson Street in downtown Phoenix.

The county issued the following statement:

While we typically see a surge in intakes to the Office of the Medical Examiner (OME) in July, this year has been worse than prior years. At Maricopa County, we do not wait for a challenging situation to become a crisis before we respond. That is what prudent planning is all about. As the County didduring the COVID-19 pandemic,we have secured additional coolers to manage the increase in decedents. These coolers have not yet been utilized. Our staff at OME is working diligently to perform investigations and close cases.”

The countys actions come as Arizona continues to set heat records. Phoenix has reached 110 or higher for a record 27 days in a row. The previous record was 18 days in a row, set in 1974.

Phoenix has also reached 119 three times in July. This is the greatest number of days at 119 or hotter ever recorded in Phoenix.