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Arizona coronavirus death: Maricopa County reports first COVID-19 related death

New York reports first coronavirus-related death in state
Posted at 7:25 PM, Mar 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-22 11:17:31-04

PHOENIX — The Arizona Department of Health Services and the Maricopa County Department of Public Health have confirmed the first COVID-19 related death in Arizona.

FULL COVERAGE: Coronavirus in Arizona

According to the ADHS, the individual was a male in his 50s with underlying health conditions.

The Maricopa County Department of Public Health is reportedly in the process of notifying close contacts of the individual and will ask them to monitor themselves for symptoms.

“We express our deepest sympathy to the family and friends grieving their loved one during this difficult time,” said Dr. Cara Christ, director of the ADHS. “COVID-19 is a serious disease that can be fatal in anyone, especially our elderly population and people with underlying health conditions. We expect to see more cases of COVID-19 in Arizona, and there could be more deaths. It is imperative that everyone takes precautions to protect you and your family from this disease.”

Arizona has seen 70 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Friday.

According to a letter sent from the City of Phoenix Manager obtained by ABC15, the patient worked for the City of Phoenix Aviation Department.

"Our employee worked in a remote office and had minimal public interaction within any of the terminals and related airport facilities," the letter reads.

It's unclear where the patient's office was located and what his role in the department was.

“He's the person you wanted on your sports team or your work team. He was very intuitive of what needed to get done to get a project done," said Bella Bates who knew the victim.

“I have not lost a friend to date. I'm 51 years old and I have not lost a friend. To lose him to something like this seems unfair he was cheated."

“That's why have this hashtag right to test. That is a basic right we should have."

The identity of the patient that died has not been released. It's unclear where in Maricopa County the person lived.

Stay with ABC15 and abc15.com for the latest information.