Arizona Department of Health Services reporting five dead from COVID-19

A total of 326 positive cases as of Tuesday morning

By Jon Johnson

jonjohnsonnews@gmail.com

PHOENIX – As testing from the private sector continues to increase, so does the positive number of cases of COVID-19. However, here in Graham County, we have remained stagnant at just two cases – both in Pima and due likely to close-contact exposure. 

According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, five Arizonans have now died from the novel coronavirus COVID-19 and there have been 326 positive cases. 

Across the state, only four counties have yet to report a positive test result; Mohave and La Paz in the western side of the state, and Gila and Greenlee in the central/eastward and east part of the state, respectively. 

Total positive cases for the other counties as of Tuesday morning include Maricopa – 199, Pima – 42, Navajo – 32, Pinal – 22, Coconino – 18, Apache – 4, Yavapai – 3, Yuma – 2, Graham – 2, Cochise – 1, and Santa Cruz – 1. 

On Monday, the Graham County Department of Health and Human Services reported that a recent test it got back came up negative for the virus. As of the release at 3 p.m., there were 35 people tested in Graham County for the virus with two positive results, 15 negative results, and 18 tests that were still pending lab analysis. 

According to Graham County Health Director Brian Douglas, when a healthcare provider feels that a COVID-19 test is warranted, samples are taken from the back of the sick person’s nasal cavity using a swab and that is sent to an outside laboratory for testing. While tests are normally available in three to five days since there is an increase in testing results are taking a little bit longer than normally. 

Additionally, since there is currently a shortage of testing supplies, only the sickest people with symptoms of the virus are being tested. However, testing does not change how a sick person is being treated as there is no current medication for COVID-19.

“Most people sick with this disease can isolate themselves at home with plenty of fluids and over-the-counter medications,” according to the health department’s statement. “In most cases, after the sick person is tested, the healthcare provider will ask the sick person to stay at home and isolate themselves from other people as much as possible while waiting for test results to come back. The healthcare provider notifies the health department fo the test and the health department will contact the sick person to find out where they have been and who they have been in contact with. The health department will call the sick person daily while waiting for test results and check on them.”

The first person to contact COVID-19 in Graham County was a female staff member with Pima Elementary School working with fifth and sixth grades who reportedly contracted the virus after traveling out of state. She is continuing to recover at her home.

Since Graham County has the two positive cases, the county falls under Governor Doug Ducey’s order that has closed all dine-in options for restaurants, closed all bars, movie theaters, and gyms. Schools have also been closed at least until April 10 with school districts expected to begin posting online schooling assignments next week. 

For up-to-date information regarding the COVID-19 virus across the country, visit the CDC’s website here

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