Arizona prepares for coronavirus

A press release sent to Parker Live this morning by the La Paz County Health Department is offering some standard, but pertinent, advice to county residents on coronavirus.

The Arizona Department of Health Services has been closely monitoring COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by coronavirus, on an international, national and local level. Mitigating the spread of the virus is a high priority, the press release says.

Until this week, Arizona had only had one confirmed case of the virus, when an Arizona State University student came back to Tempe, AZ from Wuhan, China with it, and after a month of isolation, has fully recovered without spreading the virus to anyone else.

As of Tuesday, a new ‘presumptive positive’ case was diagnosed, in which a Maricopa County man in his 20s had visited with another presumed positive case outside of Arizona, someone who had traveled to an area with community spread of COVID-19. The man is not hospitalized and is recovering at home, according to officials.

“In order to best protect Arizonans, we all must work together to be responsive to this evolving situation,” the press release states. “ADHS and our local and federal public health partners are focused on containing the spread of the virus and reducing its impact. Our approaches include working closely with our local hospitals, developing guidance and recommendations to prevent and reduce the spread of the disease, evaluating social distancing approaches and readying our preparedness plans.”

COVID-19 causes symptoms ranging from mild cold-like illness to severe pneumonia. Its severity depends on a number of factors, including the previous immune health of the individual infected. Those at most risk for the flu are typically most at-risk for coronavirus, too, including infants, the elderly and the immunocompromised.

The flu season is still in effect and Arizona is currently experiencing widespread levels of influenza and other respiratory diseases. The best ways to prevent the spread of all these 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 azdhs.gov/coronavirus or the CDC website at cdc.gov/COVID19 . The La Paz County Health Department can be contacted at (928) 669-1100.

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