Third Death Due to COVID-19 has Occurred in Arizona, the First in Pima County

The 2019 novel coronavirus.
The 2019 novel coronavirus. CDC
click to enlarge The 2019 novel coronavirus. - CDC
The 2019 novel coronavirus.

A Pima County resident has died from COVID-19, becoming the state's third fatality from the pandemic disease and the first in Pima County.

The woman who died was in her 50s and had underlying health conditions that may have put her at a higher risk, Pima County Health Department said in a press release. Officials said they received the positive lab report on Monday evening.

It's unclear whether the woman died today or prior to county health officials receiving the positive result.

Asked when the woman died, Aaron Pacheco, a spokesperson for PCHD, told Phoenix New Times, "We just got the result today, I can't confirm exactly when that happened. We may have more information later."

“We express our deepest condolences to this person’s loved ones and family members,” said Dr. Bob England, PCHD director. “COVID-19 is a dangerous disease that can be fatal and is especially serious for those with underlying health conditions, no matter their age. There will be more cases of COVID-19 in Pima County, and there will be more deaths. Please take recommended precautions to slow the spread.”

On Friday evening, the state marked a grim milestone when officials reported Arizona's first death from COVID-19.

The Arizona Department of Health Services and the Maricopa County Department of Public Health announced that the deceased person was a man in his 50s with underlying health conditions. He had worked for the Phoenix Aviation Department, according to a letter City Manager Ed Zuercher sent employees. Zuercher said the man worked in a remote office of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and had minimal public interaction with any of the terminals and airport facilities.

On Sunday morning, the Arizona Department of Health Services announced that a second person had died from COVID-19. He was a Maricopa County resident in his 70s who had an underlying health condition.

The woman's case is the 25th case of COVID-19 identified in Pima County. Health Department officials expect the number of cases will continue to increase as testing becomes more widely available.

Pima County identified eight new cases (25 total). The county has yet to release any information on seven of the new cases from today, but on Sunday afternoon, health officials said five people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the county are hospitalized.
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Meg O'Connor was a staff writer for Phoenix New Times from April 2019 to April 2020.