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Dr. Cara Christ

PHOENIX — At least 104 COVID-19 cases have been reported in Arizona, leading to one death.

As of Saturday, March 21 there were 14 cases in Pinal County, up three from the day before. Officials aren't releasing the locations within the county that people who tested positive lived.

Phoenix City Manager Ed Zuercher said Friday night the person who died was a city employee in his 50s with underlying health conditions.

The man worked for the Aviation Department at a remote location and had “minimal public interaction" at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and related facilities, Zuercher said in an email to city employees.

The Maricopa County Health Department is in the process of notifying close contacts of this person and will be asking them to monitor for symptoms.

“We express our deepest sympathy to the family and friends grieving their loved one during this difficult time,” said Dr. Cara Christ, Arizona Department of Health Services Director. “COVID-19 is a serious disease that can be fatal in anyone, especially our elderly population and people with underlying health conditions. We expect to see more cases of COVID-19 in Arizona, and there could be more deaths. It is imperative that everyone takes precautions to protect you and your family from this disease.”

Pinal County Public Health Department said the new cases in the county were a female in her 40s, a female in her 60s, a male in his 60s and a male in his 70s.

All are isolated at home and recovering. None of these cases are related to each other or any previous cases.

The best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

COVID-19 spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Symptoms are thought to appear within two to 14 days after exposure and consist of fever, cough, runny nose, and difficulty breathing. For people with mild illness, individuals are asked to stay home, drink plenty of fluids, and get rest. For people with more severe symptoms, such as shortness of breath, individuals are advised to seek healthcare.

ADHS activated its Health Emergency Operations Center on January 27th after the first case of travel-associated COVID-19 was confirmed in Arizona. The Health Emergency Operations Center remains open to coordinate the State’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak. For more information about the COVID-19 response in Arizona, go online to azhealth.gov/COVID19.

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