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Health Official: Arizona Has Made Progress On Testing For New Coronavirus

Arizona Department of Health Services

There are more new cases of COVID-19 in Arizona. The state department of health services says as of Thursday there were 1,598 known cases of the new Coronavirus and 32 deaths caused by the disease. Governor Doug Ducey and a few state officials addressed the pandemic during a virtual Town Hall event in the Phoenix area Thursday night that was broadcast on KNAU.

There has been some criticism that Arizona and other states are not doing enough testing for the disease. But, Dr.  Cara Christ, Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services said progress has been made.

“We do have commercial labs that are testing. We’ve tested over 23,000 people in Arizona so our numbers have increased significantly. And, what we’re trying to do is get that farther. But, we need to prioritize those tests for our front line workers, our doctors, our high-risk individuals and our first responders” Christ said.

Governor Ducey said Arizonans are following his order to stay-at-home during the spread of the new Coronavirus statewide. He repeated that his March 30th order asking people to stay home and away from others to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is a serious effort to keep people safe.

“People are listening to the order and that will help slow the spread. But, if somebody is not listening to the order, law enforcement can suggest that they begin listening to the order and if they don’t they will have a class one misdemeanor which is a $2,500.00 fine and up to six months in jail and we will enforce that” Ducey said.

Ducey’s Stay-at-home order went into effect Friday, March 31st at 5 p.m. It will remain in place until April 30th.

The governor also said the approach to essential services in Arizona can be modified as the pandemic continues to evolve.

Meanwhile, the Navajo Department of Health and Navajo Area Indian Health Service reported the total number of positive tests for COVID-19 has reached 241 for the Navajo Nation as of Thursday – an increase of 27 cases since Wednesday.

There is now a total of eight confirmed deaths related to COVID-19 on the Navajo Nation.

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez continues to push for more test kits and for on-site laboratory testing to be made available on the Navajo Nation.

Nez also has announced the Navajo Police department will start issuing citations soon for individuals that violate a curfew on the Navajo Nation.

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