Coronavirus Outbreak Now in Every Arizona County With 1,157 Cases Confirmed

The 2019 novel coronavirus.
The 2019 novel coronavirus. CDC
Over 1,000 people in Arizona now reportedly have tested positive for COVID-19 as the state ramps up testing but lags in other measures to stop the spread of the virus. It wasn't until this afternoon that Governor Doug Ducey followed the lead of 28 other states by issuing a stay-at-home order.

As of Monday morning, 1,157 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Arizona, according to the Arizona State Department of Health Services. Greenlee County reported its first case on Sunday night, meaning positive cases have now been identified in all 15 Arizona counties. To date, 20 people in Arizona have died from COVID-19.

The actual number of people infected with COVID-19 in Arizona likely is much higher, but the state has been slow to test people for the virus and has even actively discouraged providers from testing for COVID-19.

On Saturday, Arizona's Director of Emergency Management Wendy Smith-Reeve resigned, citing a "lack of communication and transparency [that] is degrading the hybrid process that non-emergency management trained individuals have put into place."

As cases within the Navajo Nation continue to rise, with over 128 cases in the Nation and counting, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez issued an 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. curfew, requiring all residents to remain in their homes during curfew hours except in the event of an emergency.

Earlier this morning, Ducey and Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman closed Arizona schools through the rest of the school year.

The community transmission level of COVID-19 in the state is considered "widespread" by state health officials as cases in Maricopa County in particular continue to climb by the hundreds daily.

At a press conference last week, DHS Director Dr. Cara Christ said COVID-19 cases in Arizona are expected to peak in mid-April, while hospitalizations will be highest in May. Worst-case-scenario projections analyzed by Dr. Christ and DHS also show that Arizona could need an additional 16,000 hospital beds and 1,500 more ICU beds — almost double what is currently available.

click to enlarge COVID-19 cases in Arizona by date based on ADHS data - MEG OCONNOR
COVID-19 cases in Arizona by date based on ADHS data
Meg OConnor
A majority of the newest cases are in Maricopa County, which has 690 cases to date. One-hundred and twenty-two people have been hospitalized in Maricopa County. Forty-six people are in the intensive care unit. Five people have died.

Pima County has the second-highest concentration of cases among counties, with 187. Six of the 20 people who have died from COVID-19 so far in the state are from Pima. The county has released only limited information on the age ranges and genders of the 75 cases. Previously, the Pima County Health Department shared information about the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 on its website. That information has since been removed.

Here's a breakdown of the rest of Arizona's coronavirus cases by county:
• Navajo: 88
• Coconino: 71
• Pinal: 64
• Apache: 17
• Yavapai: 15
• Mohave: 7
• Yuma: 6
• Cochise: 4
• Santa Cruz: 2
• La Paz: 2
• Graham: 2
• Gila: 1
• Greenlee: 1

As of Monday morning, the Arizona State Public Health Laboratory and commercial labs have tested 16,758 people in Arizona for COVID-19. Over 10,000 people in Maricopa County (which has a population of 4.3 million) have been tested. Arizona has a population of nearly 7.2 million, meaning to date, 0.2 percent of Arizona's population has been tested for the virus.

The United States now has more coronavirus cases than any other country in the world, with over 156,000 positive cases nationwide. Over 66,500 of those cases are in New York alone.
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Meg O'Connor was a staff writer for Phoenix New Times from April 2019 to April 2020.