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Governor Ducey declares public health emergency in Arizona over coronavirus

Ducey declared public health emergency coronavirus
Posted at 3:06 PM, Mar 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-12 14:28:30-04

PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey declared a public health emergency in Arizona Wednesday in response to the spread of the coronavirus.

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So far, Arizona has seen nine cases of COVID-19, with two confirmed positive and seven others diagnosed as presumptive positive cases. According to the CDC, "a presumptive positive case has tested positive by a public health laboratory and is pending confirmatory testing at CDC. States are reporting presumptive positive cases independently."

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“While our state is not currently facing the number of cases we’ve seen in some other states, we are anticipating additional positive cases — and we’re not taking any chances," Ducey said at the news conference. "Arizonans should not panic — our approach will be calm and steady."

The declaration provides several allowances to help address the spread of the virus:

  • Establishes the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) as the entity responsible for coordinating all matters pertaining to the public health emergency response of the State.
  • Allows ADHS to waive licensing requirements to provide healthcare officials with assistance in delivering services during times of heightened demand.
  • It also allows the state to access $500,000 in emergency funds to aid in measures and resources to protect public health.
  • Provides the state with emergency procurement authority to procure goods and services as needed to protect public health.

Read the full declaration here.

Officials said a hotline staffed by health care professionals has also been set up for anyone looking for more information. The hotline can be reached at 1-844-542-8201.

Arizona state health officials said Wednesday morning they are working with a 'facility' to clean after a 90-year-old patient was confirmed with coronavirus.

Several precautions have also been taken in Arizona surrounding major events, including the announcement that there will be no live audience for the Democratic debate in Phoenix this Sunday.

Stay with ABC15 and for the latest on this developing situation.