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Coronavirus cases in Arizona climb, first death reported

Arizona governor Doug Ducey, center, talks to Matt Heckard, left, assistant director of preparedness, with the State of Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs (DEMA) as members of DEMA work responding to the coronavirus pandemic, in the DEMA operations center at the Arizona National Guard Papago Park Military Reservation in Phoenix on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. Major General Michael T. McGuire (background right) the director of DEMA, looks on. (David Wallace/The Arizona Republic via AP, Pool)

PHOENIX (AP) — A second person stricken with the coronavirus has died in Arizona and the state now has 152 confirmed cases, authorities said Sunday.

The Arizona Department of Health Services and Maricopa County Department of Public Health said the latest man who died was in his 70s and had underlying health conditions.

The state’s first reported death from COVID-19 was announced Friday. Authorities said that man was a city of Phoenix employee in his 50s who also had underlying health conditions.

Arizona had 104 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the state as of Saturday. Pinal County has 16.

The Pinal County Health Department announced two new cases Sunday: A female in her 50s and a male in his 60s. Both are recovering at home.

“As testing increases, we expect the number of positive cases to continue rising," Gov. Doug Ducey said in a Twitter post Sunday. “It’s important that everyone takes this seriously.”

Ducey announced a series of executive orders on Thursday including shutting down bars and dine-in options in counties with confirmed cases, designed to slow the spread of the virus.

People have tested positive in 11 of Arizona’s 15 counties.

A total of 81 cases have been reported in Maricopa County, the state’s most populous.

There have been 17 reported cases in Pima County, 16 in Navajo County and Pinal County and 14 in Coconino County.

Authorities said there also are 26 cases in Navajo Nation, all but one in Arizona. Tribal officials said there were 18 cases in Kayenta, four in Chinle and 3 in Tuba City with one case in Crownpoint, New Mexico.

The vast reservation includes parts of northeastern Arizona, northwestern New Mexico and southeastern Utah.

For most people, the virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, older adults and people with health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

The vast majority of people recover from the virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover.

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