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Ducey says Arizona taking coronavirus scare ‘very seriously’

(Facebook screenshot/KTAR News 92.3)

PHOENIX — As coronavirus had started claiming lives in the United States and Arizona health department officials say the spread of the virus to the state is imminent, Gov. Doug Ducey is remaining extra vigilant in preparation.

“This is something that we are taking very seriously,” Gov. Doug Ducey told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Gaydos and Chad on Monday evening.

Following a White House briefing earlier in the day with his fellow governors and Vice President Mike Pence, Ducey nonetheless remains optimistic about Arizona’s public safety despite the coronavirus fatalities that have occurred in Washington State.

Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ likewise voiced confidence in Arizona’s ability to respond accordingly to the outbreak.

“Arizona’s public health system is extremely prepared to deal with this type of thing,” Christ said.

She explained that given the coronavirus’ similarity in terms of transmission to influenza, “we’re following our pandemic influenza plan.”

“We’re working with our healthcare facilities, our healthcare providers… we are doing case follow-up and contact tracing and putting things in place to prevent the spread if it does get into our community.”

Although fears of the coronavirus outbreak are dominating the news cycle, Christ encouraged Arizonans to be mindful that the vast majority of reported cases are “mild.”

Christ went on to emphasize that, similar to other respiratory diseases, those most at risk to the coronavirus are the elderly and those with preexisting conditions.

Most individuals who contract the coronavirus will experience “mild flu-like or cold-like symptoms,” she said.

Although children are not being as negatively impacted by coronavirus as influenza, Christ says she and her colleagues will be monitoring how effectively the young carry and spread the disease.

When asked about his course of action going forward, Ducey said he and his team would “follow the facts” before taking any drastic measures such as asking residents to avoid large gatherings or to work from home.

If the worst happens, however, “there are tools in a governor’s toolkit,” Ducey said.

Given the right circumstances, Ducey affirmed:  “I will put to use every tool that we have in the toolkit… every legal authority to protect public health in the state of Arizona.”

For Arizona vaccine information, visit azdhs.gov/findvaccine.

For all articles, information and updates on the coronavirus from KTAR News, visit ktar.com/coronavirus.

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