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Tucson VA: Pima County coronavirus patient is a veteran

Tucson VA
Posted at 2:12 PM, Mar 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-17 16:41:32-04

TUCSON, AZ — One of Pima County's four confirmed presumptive positive tests for coronavirus is a patient -- and a veteran -- at the Tucson Veteran Affairs Medical Center.

According to the Southern Arizona Veteran Affairs Health Care System, the patient tested positive on Saturday, March 14. The test is awaiting confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control, the VA said.

RELATED: Here are the latest updates on COVID-19 in Arizona

As of Monday, March 16, the state had 18 confirmed coronavirus cases. Eight of the cases were in Maricopa County, five in Pinal County, four in Pima County and one in Graham County.

On Monday, the VA's coronavirus website listed the Tucson presumptive case and a second presumptive case in Arizona involving a hospital patient. However, the VA said the second case was listed in error, and the website has been corrected showing only the Tucson case Tuesday.

The VA is implementing coronavirus screening and recommendations for both veterans and caregivers entering their medical facilities.

Here is the full statement from SAVAHCS:

A Veteran inpatient presumptively tested positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19) on March 14 at the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System. The facility is awaiting confirmatory testing from the Centers for Disease Control.

The risk of transmission to other patients and staff remains low, as the Veteran is being cared for in respiratory isolation by staff who are specially trained on the Centers for Disease Control treatment guidelines, including the use of personal protective equipment and infection control techniques.

VA is screening Veterans and staff who meet the CDC criteria for evaluation of COVID-19 infection such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Per CDC guidance and VA protocols, individuals known to be at risk for a COVID-19 infection are immediately isolated to prevent potential spread to others.