Ducey issues public health emergency for Arizona due to coronavirus

Mar 11, 2020, 3:24 PM | Updated: 7:00 pm

PHOENIX — Gov. Doug Ducey on Wednesday issued a declaration of public health emergency for Arizona due to continuing coronavirus concerns.

The declaration will provide hospitals and health care facilities the flexibility to enhance their safety protocols and will provide health officials with additional medical supplies.

State health officials announced three new cases of coronavirus earlier in the day, bringing the total number in Arizona to nine.

Arizona is one of several states to issue a public health emergency as coronavirus cases across the nation continue to grow.

“We are anticipating additional positive cases and we’re not taking any chances,” Ducey said during a press conference. “This is about public health and protecting lives.”

Ducey also announced an executive order aimed at protecting at-risk populations.

The order requires nursing homes and assisted living to implement visitor policies, Ducey said.

It will require an enhanced symptom check for all health care workers and visitors, and adds new requirements for insurance companies.

Ducey said Monday that Arizona would add more protections for at-risk populations such as those over the age of 80 and those with preexisting conditions.

“This will allow Arizonans to continue visiting their love ones while protecting those most at risk,” Ducey said.

Arizona is getting $11.2 million of $560 million in grants awarded by the CDC to combat COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

The state initially received $500,000 in funding to stop the virus.

“Our approach is to be calm, steady and transparent and to act with urgency to protect public health,” Ducey said.

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Ducey issues public health emergency for Arizona due to coronavirus