Thursday, March 26, 2020

Second COVID-19 Death in Pima County

Posted By on Thu, Mar 26, 2020 at 1:01 PM

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An unnamed man in his 70s with pre-existing health conditions is the second Pima County resident to die in the COVID-19 pandemic, the county health department announced Thursday.

The first was a woman in her 50s who also had underlying health conditions.

“It is an upsetting reality that we will continue to see the number of cases and, sadly deaths, continue as we confront this outbreak,” said Paula Mandel, Deputy Director of the Health Department, in a statement. “Please remember, we all have a role to play in protecting people who are at high risk for severe outcomes, protecting our healthcare system from being overrun, and protecting ourselves to keep those around us safe.”


A total of 508 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Arizona as of Thursday, according to the morning report from the Arizona Department of Health Services, although their totals differ slightly from Pima County due to lag in reporting figures. That's a jump of 107 from yesterday's 401.

There are now 75 confirmed cases in Pima County. The virus has killed 9 people in Arizona.

In Maricopa County, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has risen to 299, with 48 more cases being reported than yesterday.

Earlier today, the Pima County Board of Supervisors extended the closure of bars, gyms, and theaters through April 10.

Dr. Bob England, the health director for Pima County, announced earlier today that the county is facing a desperate shortage of personal protective equipment for healthcare workers.

Health and government officials have urged the public to avoid unnecessary trips and gatherings of more than 10 people. They warn that the extremely contagious virus is rapidly spreading in the community. Symptoms can take up to 14 days to appear, so people can pass COVID-19 without realizing they have been infected with it. Some people remain entirely asymptotic but are carriers.

In the face of the spreading virus, Gov. Doug Ducey halted to evictions for 120 days; ordered bars, gyms and theaters to be closed in any county with confirmed COVID-19 cases; halted all elective surgery to keep hospital beds available for COVID-19 patients; loosened regulations to make telemedicine more available and increase eligibility for AHCCCS, the state's Medicaid program; and activated the National Guard to assist in grocery stores as Arizonans clear the shelves.

COVID-19 symptoms typically occur two to 14 days after exposure, and include headache, fever, cough, and shortness of breath, according to the CDC. However, some cases of the virus are entirely asymptomatic. Practices to avoid infection include social distancing (of at least six feet), washing your hands, avoiding unnecessary trips and not touching your face. COVID-19 can survive on cardboard for up to 24 hours, and on stainless steel and plastic surfaces up to three days.

If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, speak with a healthcare provider for medical advice. According to the CDC, people who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to recover at home. Stay at home and avoid public transportation, but stay in touch with your doctor. If you do leave your home, wear a face mask and clean your hands often. If you develop more severe symptoms (persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion, bluish lips) get medical attention immediately. Your local health authorities will give instructions on checking your symptoms and reporting information.

Have you caught COVID-19? Are you feeling ill? Is your small business struggling to make it? Have you lost your job as a result of the outbreak? Are you struggling to manage your kids while schools are closed? Tell us your COVID-19 stories. Send an email or photo to tucsoneditor@tucsonlocalmedia.com.

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