US health department provides $500K to Arizona to fight coronavirus

Mar 4, 2020, 3:00 PM
(AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)...
(AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)
(AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)

PHOENIX — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday announced an initial pledge of $500,000 to Arizona to fight the coronavirus outbreak.

The announcement, in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, comes a day after Arizona confirmed a presumptive case of the disease, the second recorded in Arizona.

The funds will be used for monitoring travelers, data management, lab equipment and other response tactics.

“State and local governments are the backbone of our public health system,” HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in a press release. “They have been essential partners in the ongoing work to contain and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the United States.

“The Trump Administration is acting swiftly through every avenue we have to ensure state and local governments have the support they need to combat this outbreak.”

U.S. Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema sent a letter to Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday calling for action to protect Arizonans from coronavirus.

“In the face of a public health crisis, we must work together and share the burden of keeping Americans safe both here and abroad from a potential global pandemic,” Sinema added in a press release.

Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, said Monday the state is monitoring 250 returning travelers for coronavirus.

The state, which began same-day in-house testing on Monday, has tested 34 people for coronavirus as of Wednesday morning.

The virus has killed 11 people in the United States, including 10 in the state of Washington.

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