Coronavirus in Arizona: What you need to know




covid 19 coronavirus
A researcher works in a lab that is developing testing for the COVID-19 coronavirus at Hackensack Meridian Health Center for Discovery and Innovation. Photo by Kena Betancur | Getty Images

As of Wednesday morning, there are 9 presumptive cases of coronavirus in Arizona, according to the state and county public health officials.

The World Health Organization on Wednesday declared a worldwide pandemic for coronavirus and COVID-19.

What you need to know about coronavirus in Arizona

If you’ve been to an area where there is known coronavirus or if you’ve come in contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus, or been to another state where there is known coronavirus, then you should get tested for coronavirus.

Right now, only three Arizona counties have seen cases of COVID-19:

  • Maricopa (3)
  • Pima (1)
  • Pinal (5)

The Arizona Department of Health Services has tested 100 people as of Wednesday morning. Of those, 59 have been ruled healthy, while 32 test results are pending. No one in Arizona has died as a result of coronoavirus.

How you can tell if you might have been impacted

Symptoms of coronavirus resemble that of the flu. So, if you’re experiencing coughing, fever, difficulty breathing, or shortness of breath, you should consider getting checked out. Call your primary care physician or visit an urgent care center or emergency room — but call the health care provider before you go so they can be prepared for your arrival.

How it spreads

  • Through the air by coughing or sneezing
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it

How to prevent spreading it

  • Cover coughs or sneezes with your elbow. Don’t use your hands.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Clean surfaces frequently, including counter tops, light switches, cell phones, remotes, and other frequently touched items.
  • Contain: if you are sick, stay home until you are feeling better.

Avoid large gatherings

Public health officials are recommending people avoid large gatherings of people. In some states, like Washington, where there has been a severe outbreak, the government is calling for events of more than 250 people to be cancelled. Elsewhere, large-scale events have been cancelled or postponed: The city of Austin, Texas, last week said it was cancelling its annual South by Southwest event, and the annual Coachella music festival in Southern California was delayed until the fall.

In Arizona, CNN and the Democratic National Committee said yesterday that the March 15 Democratic presidential debate in Phoenix would continue, but without an audience or attending media. And U.S. Rep. Tom O’Halleran, D-Sedona, cancelled two town halls scheduled for this month. O’Halleran’s move came after U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Prescott, placed himself under self-quarantine because he had “extended contact” with a person who has since been diagnosed with COVID-19. He wrote on Twitter Tuesday that he remains symptom-free and expects to end his quarantine Thursday.

Jim Small
Jim Small is a native Arizonan and has covered state government, policy and politics since 2004, with a focus on investigative and in-depth policy reporting, first as a reporter for the Arizona Capitol Times, then as editor of the paper and its prestigious sister publications, the Yellow Sheet Report and Arizona Legislative Report. Under his guidance, the Capitol Times won numerous state, regional and national awards for its accountability journalism and probing investigations into state government operations.