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Coronavirus in Arizona: There are now 12 confirmed cases

By: - March 14, 2020 10:00 am
coronavirus covid-19

This is a new image of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Credit: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Rocky Mountain Lab

State health officials have identified two more cases of the novel coronavirus, which causes the COVID-19 illness, bringing the total number of Arizona cases to 12.

One of those cases is in Maricopa County, which now has four cases. The other is in Graham County, in eastern Arizona.

It is unconfirmed if the positive test in Graham County is a school employee, but on Friday, the Pima Unified School District posted on Facebook that an elementary school staffer had tested positive and that a clinic for district students would be open March 16.

Friday evening, officials said a second person in Pima County had tested positive for the coronavirus. There are also five people in Pinal County who have tested positive.

None of the Arizona patients have died.

In all, state health officials say 183 Arizonans have taken a coronavirus test, and 50 results are still outstanding.

As many as 70,000 Arizonans could be infected already with the coronavirus, based on Centers for Disease Control modeling, ABC15 reported Friday.

The television station also reported that Arizona’s state laboratory only has 800 coronavirus tests on hand.

Dr. Cara Christ, the director of ADHS, told ABC15 that Arizona is testing far fewer than other states, which average 55 tests per day, because medical providers don’t have access to test kits or proper protective gear.

Gov. Doug Ducey on March 11 declared a state of emergency as the state combats the spread of the coronavirus, which causes the COVID-19 illness. On March 12, the Legislature approved $55 million in emergency funding and limited public access to the State Capitol and legislative chambers.

On March 13, President Donald Trump declared a national state of emergency.

Early Saturday, the U.S. House of Representatives freed up $50 billion to fight COVID-19 and the spread of the coronavirus.

There are nearly 1,700 verified COVID-19 cases in the United States and 41 people have died.

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. The Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center is taking COVID-19 calls: 1-844-542-8201

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.

UPDATED: This story has been updated to include information about the Graham County confirmed case of COVID-19.

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Jim Small
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. He has also served as the editor and executive director of the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting.