An estimated 33 more people died from opioid overdoses in the first nine months of 2020 compared with the same period last year, new Massachusetts Department of Public Health data shows.

The Berkshire Eagle reports  the 1,517 confirmed and estimated opioid-related overdose deaths through September represent a 2 percent increase from the deaths logged from January through September 2019, according to figures presented at a Public Health Council meeting Wednesday.

The 2020 numbers cover a time period before and during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a public health crisis that has rattled the economy, kept many people in their homes for weeks or longer, and disrupted the way all types of services and care are delivered.