The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Arizona topped 11,000 of Monday, May 11, according to the morning report from the Arizona Department of Health Services.
Pima County had 1,602 of the state’s 11,380 confirmed cases.
The coronavirus had killed 542 people statewide, including 134 in Pima County, according to the report.
In Maricopa County, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases had risen to 5,988.
Because symptoms can take as long as two weeks to appear after exposure to the virus (while some people can remain entirely asymptomatic), health officials continue to urge the public to avoid unnecessary trips and gatherings of more than 10 people and have advised people to cover their faces with masks in public.
While Arizona remains under a stay-at-home order through May 15, Gov. Doug Ducey has given the green light for restaurants and bars that offer food service to reopen today. Restrictions have also been lifted on stores, barber shops and salons.
Businesses such as gyms and movie theaters remain shuttered, but Ducey has said he wanted the state’s economy to gradually reopen.
But some members of the medical community said Ducey’s move may have come soon and will result in greater spread of the virus. State Rep. Randy Friese, an emergency room doctor, warned last week that by relaxing so many standards so quickly, Ducey was risking losing all the progress that state has made in stemming the disease.
Dr. Bob England, the director of the Pima County Health Department, said last week that the true results wouldn’t be known for weeks as test results tend to lag behind the actual spread of the virus.
“It will take a few weeks to know the impact of this so we won’t know until early June what all of this is doing to the epidemic curve,” England said in a daily briefing.
England urged people to continue social distancing and wear masks and said older people and those with underlying health conditions should remain at home as much as possible.
Congressman Raul Grijalva said last week that it was too soon to open because the state has not done enough testing.
“All of us are eager to return to some semblance of normality, but this decision cannot be made in haste,” Grijalva said in a prepared statement to the press. “Prematurely reopening the state not only risks losing more of our loved ones, but also further crippling our local communities by deepening the spread of a virus that has already taken far too great of a toll. I am deeply concerned that the state is continuing a push to reopen while the number of new cases has risen over the past 14 days and Arizona is last in the nation in testing per capita.”
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 facemask 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.
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