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Posted on: March 3, 2020

Public Health Agencies Confirm One Presumptive Positive Case of COVID-19 in Maricopa County

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NEWS RELEASE 

Media Contacts:
Case questions: Sonia Singh (MCDPH), Mobile: 602-679-3098
Lab questions: Chris J. Minnick (ADHS), Mobile: 480-772-1568


Arizona State Public Health Laboratory Confirms One Presumptive Positive Case of COVID-19 in Maricopa County
Case is the First to Be Identified by the Arizona State Public Health Laboratory

PHOENIX (March 3, 2020) – Maricopa County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) and the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) confirmed a presumptive positive case of COVID-19, bringing the total COVID-19 case count in Arizona to two, with both cases in Maricopa County. The case, a man in his 20s, is not hospitalized and is recovering at home. This individual is a known contact of a presumed positive case outside of Arizona who had traveled to an area with community spread of COVID-19. 

“With the case counts increasing around the country, it is no surprise that we have another case here in Maricopa County,” said Dr. Rebecca Sunenshine, medical director for disease control for Maricopa County Department of Public Health. “The good news is that this individual is in stable condition and is expected to have a full recovery, as are most people who become infected with this disease”

The ADHS State Public Health Lab began testing for COVID-19 on March 2 and was able to detect this positive case on its first day of testing, the same day that MCDPH requested that this individual be tested.

“We’re fortunate to have a state-of-the-art public health laboratory in Arizona that will help us identify additional cases of COVID-19 quickly,” said Dr. Cara Christ, ADHS director. “Our lab has routinely been on the forefront of testing for emerging infectious diseases including Ebola, Zika, and now COVID-19. I’m grateful to our dedicated laboratory staff who support Arizona public health daily by providing testing services to inform public health decision making.”

After receiving the presumptive positive, MCDPH staff have interviewed close contacts of the case and recommended that they monitor for symptoms and quarantine themselves for 14 days based on the risk of exposure.

“As far as risk to the public, we are still doing the case investigation of this individual, however, because we know when and where this individual was exposed, this does not represent community spread,” Dr. Sunenshine said.

COVID-19 is believed to spread mostly through respiratory droplets produced when a sick person coughs or sneezes. Signs and symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The best way to prevent COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases is to:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water is not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

For more information please visit Maricopa.gov/Coronavirus. For statewide case counts and information about testing at the Arizona State Public Health Lab, please visit www.azhealth.gov/COVID-19.

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