The Arizona Department of Health Services has been closely monitoring COVID-19 on an international, national, and local level. Mitigating the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, a respiratory disease that can cause symptoms ranging from mild cold-like illness to severe pneumonia, is a high priority. While only one case has been reported in Arizona in an individual who has since recovered, we expect more cases will occur here in the future. In order to best protect Arizonans, we all must work together to be responsive to this evolving situation.
ADHS and our local and federal public health partners are focused on containing the spread of this virus and reducing its impact. Our approaches include increasing testing capacity in Arizona, continuing monitoring of individuals with suspected infection and evaluating their contacts, developing guidance and recommendations to reduce the spread of disease, evaluating social distancing approaches, and readying our preparedness plans.
We encourage Arizona businesses to remain informed on the spread of a respiratory disease; create attendance policies for individuals to stay home when sick; promote a culture of respiratory hygiene by making available hand sanitizer, tissues, soap and water; and to consider options for teleworking policies in the case there are recommendations for social distancing.
While most COVID-19 cases outside of China have been associated with travel to or from China, community spread is being detected in a growing number of countries including China, Iran, Italy, Japan, and South Korea. Visit the CDC online for information for travelers.
On Wednesday, February 26, 2020, CDC announced confirmation of the first possible instance of community spread of COVID-19 in the United States. The case was identified in a California resident who reportedly did not have any relevant travel history or exposure to another known patient with COVID-19. That investigation is still ongoing. This case marks the 15th confirmed case of COVID-19 in the United States.
If you have recently traveled to an area with a level-2 or high travel advisory for COVID-19 and have developed fever with cough or shortness of breath within 14 days of your travel, or if you have had contact with someone who is suspected to have COVID-19, call your healthcare provider. If you do not have a health care provider, you may need to be seen at your local urgent care center or emergency department. Before you go to any doctor’s office, emergency room, or urgent care facility, call ahead and tell them about your symptoms and your recent travel or contact with a person with COVID-19. Consider using telemedicine if this is an option offered by your health plan.
Arizona is currently experiencing widespread levels of influenza and other respiratory diseases, such as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). The best ways to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses are to:
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.
For more information about the outbreak, visit the ADHS coronavirus website at azhealth.gov/coronavirus.