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Arizona tests nearly 30 more for coronavirus in 24-hour period

(Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

PHOENIX – More than 80 people have been tested for the COVID-19 coronavirus in Arizona as of Tuesday morning, a significant increase from the previous day, according to the state health department.

The Arizona Department of Health Services has been posting coronavirus testing updates to its website each morning around 9 a.m.

The listed total was up to 84, the first increase since 56 tests were reported heading into the weekend.

Results were pending on 27 of the tests; 51 people have been cleared.

Arizona’s public health labs were certified to conduct coronavirus testing at the start of last week.

Six patients have tested positive in in the state so far. The most recent case, a Pima County resident, was announced Monday night.

It was the first case in southern Arizona. The first five were in Maricopa or Pinal counties.

State officials warned Monday that case numbers could reach what is seen in a flu season.

Health Director Dr. Cara Christ said at a news conference that a case identified on Friday had no known link to either foreign travel or another case. That means the virus is circulating in the community.

“While it is impossible to predict how many cases we might have, the number of cases could be similar to a flu season in Arizona,” Christ said.

“This current year we are at about 28,000 flu cases, but normally we are somewhere in the high thousands to tens of thousands of cases. So we expect large numbers of this,” she answered when asked for numbers.

For most people, the COVID-19 virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, health experts have said.

The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild symptoms recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover. In China, more than 80,000 people have been diagnosed and more than 58,000 have so far recovered.

With older people at most risk of serious complications, Gov. Doug Ducey said the health department is sending surveyors to nursing homes to check whether they have implemented stringent infection-control procedures.

Christ said they are recommending a series of steps, including limiting visitors, ensuring patients with respiratory illness are separated and that staff treating them don’t also treat well patients. Older Arizonans should take steps to stay away from crowds if possible.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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

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

Arizona open and hiring: If you’re looking for job openings, visit ktar.com/arizonahiring.

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