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Arizona officials issue warnings amid spread of COVID-19

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey on coronavirus 3-9-20
Posted at 9:36 PM, Mar 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-10 01:18:42-04

PHOENIX — Monday, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey stood alongside Department of Health Services Director, Dr. Cara Christ, pleading once again for calm as officials announce a sixth patient testing positive for COVID-19.

A Pima county woman is the latest case in Arizona, announced just minutes before officials gathered to release updated information on the potential spread, and precautions being taken.

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Ducey calling COVID-19 his "top priority," adding the most at-risk group is Arizona senior citizens with underlying health conditions, especially those living in retirement homes.

"There are several steps long-term care facilities can take to prevent the spread of this disease," said Dr. Christ.

"We recommend the facility screen all visitors for illness before visiting, post signs at the facility entrance instructing visitors not to visit if they have symptoms of respiratory infection, consider limiting visits from small children similar to what facilities do during influenza season, and try to accommodate visitors by phone or video conferencing before allowing them to physically visit."

Christ adds the risk to Arizonans as a whole is "heightened," and officials are prepared for many more cases, but says she doesn't suggest canceling mass events like Spring Training games, even after the organizers of the Tuscon Festival of Books announced they were calling off the event just hours earlier.

Arizona is set to receive more testing kits for COVID-19 as early as Tuesday.

Christ says the state currently has between 300 to 600 kits and plans to increase the state testing lab's capacity, which is currently capable of conducting 450 tests a day.