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Here’s how coronavirus has affected Arizona since the start of March

(AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

PHOENIX — The coronavirus outbreak has intensified nationally and across Arizona since the start of March.

The state has added new cases of COVID-19, and the concerns have grown so large Gov. Doug Ducey declared a state of emergency and authorized millions in funding to fight the virus.

Here’s a timeline of how coronavirus has affected Arizona since March 1:

March 16

Arizona State, University of Arizona and Northern Arizona announced they are keeping all classes online through the end of the spring semester because of ongoing coronavirus concerns.

March 16

Arizona reported six new cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus Monday morning, pushing the state total to 18 since the start of the outbreak.

The Arizona Department of Health Services hadn’t updated the testing numbers on its website since Saturday morning, when the total was 12.

A 13th case was reported by Pima County on Sunday, but that wasn’t reflected in the AZDHS total until Monday.

March 16

The Arizona Interscholastic Association said it was putting high school sports on hold until at least until March 30, but there are no plans to to cancel the spring championship season.

The spring sports are baseball, softball, golf, tennis, track, boys volleyball and girls beach volleyball.

March 15

Arizona leaders announced the statewide closure of schools for at least two weeks because of the effects of coronavirus.

Gov. Doug Ducey and Superintendent Kathy Hoffman announced the move after a significant number of school districts had already decided to temporarily close their doors.

Schools will be closed from Monday until at least March 27, when officials will reassess the decision.

March 15

Gov. Doug Ducey recommended a statewide suspension of all large public events.

In accordance with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Ducey encouraged the cancellation of all “large events and mass gatherings.”

The CDC recommended that event organizers “cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States” for the next eight weeks.

March 14

Coronavirus cases in Arizona reached double-digits on Saturday morning after three new positive cases were reported by the Arizona Department of Health Services, bringing the total number to 12.

March 13

Maricopa County officials add a last-minute option for voters for Tuesday’s presidential preference election because of concerns over the coronavirus outbreak.

Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes said the county will mail ballots to all eligible voters — including those who didn’t request an early ballot — for the Democratic primary to limit person-to-person interaction.

March 12

Ducey on Thursday signed a bill that will allocate $55 million for Arizona to combat coronavirus.

The bill, sponsored by Republican Sen. Kate Brophy McGee, will give the state’s public health department a large boost to fight the spreading virus in addition to the $12 million already promised by the federal government.

March 12

Northern Arizona University and Grand Canyon University become the latest Arizona campuses to transition to online courses amid the coronavirus outbreak.

March 12

The debate between Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden scheduled for Sunday night at Arizona Federal Theatre in downtown Phoenix was moved to Washington, D.C.

“Out of an abundance of caution and in order to reduce cross-country travel, all parties have decided that the best path forward is to hold Sunday’s debate at CNN’s studio in Washington, D.C., with no live audience,” DNC Communications Director Xochitl Hinojosa said in a press release.

March 11

Arizona State University is transitioning to online classes starting Monday because of coronavirus concerns.

Classes will continue online for two weeks and the university will reassess its position then, ASU President Michael Crow said in a release.

March 11

Ducey issues 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.

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

March 11

Health officials announced that Arizona has three new cases of coronavirus, bringing the state’s total to nine.

Pinal County has two of the cases. They are from the same household as the county’s three previous cases. The new cases are people over 60 years old who are recovering at home.

The third new case is in Maricopa County, the third overall in metro Phoenix.

March 10

The Democratic National Convention announces that Sunday’s debate at the Arizona Federal Theatre will not feature a live audience amid growing coronavirus fears.

DNC Communications Director Xochitl Hinojosa said in a statement that the decision was made at the request of the campaigns of Democratic Party candidates Biden and Sanders.

March 10

An Intel employee who recently visited the tech giant’s Chandler campus has tested positive for coronavirus, the company said.

Intel didn’t provide details about where the worker was tested, when the person was in Arizona and what steps were being taken at the Chandler campus.

March 9

Canadian health officials said Monday that two passengers who took a flight from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport at the end of February have tested positive for coronavirus.

The passengers took WestJet flight 1199 from Phoenix to Toronto on Feb. 28.

The cases were diagnosed in Canada, not in Arizona, health officials said.

March 9

Southern Arizona gets its first coronavirus case.

The patient is a Pima County resident with a presumptive positive test for COVID-19, the ailment caused by the novel coronavirus.

It’s Arizona’s sixth positive coronavirus test.

March 8

U.S. Rep Paul Gosar of Arizona announces he has come in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Both Gosar and his staff came in contact with the individual during last month’s Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., according to a press release. The event was held Feb. 26-29.

On Monday morning, Gosar said he was told the chances he’d been infected were slim.

March 8

A member of the American Leadership Academy’s Ironwood K-12 campus was identified as having a presumptive positive test for the coronavirus.

Health officials said the individual with the existing case did not have a severe illness and has fully recovered.

The person was not on campus while ill, and health officials deemed the risk to others outside of close contact to be low.

March 7

Two new patients in Pinal County returned presumptive positive cases of coronavirus, bringing the total to five patients so far in Arizona.

The two cases announced Saturday morning stemmed from the same household as the health care worker who was announced to have contracted the illness on Friday, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

March 6

A third person in Arizona, a health care worker, was diagnosed with the COVID-19 coronavirus.

The case was being treated as the state’s first spread through the community rather than from contact with a known source.

“We have not been able to link this patient back to one of our current cases or any history of travel,” Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

The patient, a woman in her 40s, was hospitalized in stable condition in Maricopa County, authorities said. She works in Maricopa County and lives in Pinal County.

March 5

Scottsdale first responders who evaluated a patient in the past week who later tested positive for coronavirus were being closely monitored and kept off the job.

Scottsdale officials said a four-person fire crew and two-person ambulance crew helped assist the man, who was transported to a local hospital.

Once the positive case was confirmed, the six first responders were placed in social distancing protocol as a precautionary measure.

One Scottsdale Fire employee was quickly cleared to return to work.

March 5

With spring break upcoming, Arizona State University issues new travel guidelines, including self-isolation in some cases, in response to the global coronavirus outbreak.

Anybody affiliated with the school was being asked to undergo a 14-day self-isolation period upon return from an area classified by the Centers for Disease Control as being at the highest risk levels for the COVID-19 virus.

The guidelines refer specifically to Level 2 (Japan) and Level 3 (China, Iran, Italy and South Korea) countries.

March 4

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announces an initial pledge of $500,000 to Arizona to fight the coronavirus outbreak.

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

March 3

A man in his 20s is confirmed to have a presumptive case of coronavirus in Maricopa County.

The patient is a “known contact of a presumed positive case outside of Arizona who had been to area with community spread of the virus,” officials said.

March 2

Christ announces that Arizona is monitoring 250 returning travelers for coronavirus.

“We know the disease is spreading and we can expect additional cases in Arizona,” Christ said during a press conference.

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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