Arizona coronavirus cases reach 21 after 2nd reported in Navajo County

Mar 17, 2020, 11:17 AM | Updated: Mar 18, 2020, 8:30 am
covid-19 testing...
(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

PHOENIX – Arizona’s health department reported three new positive tests for the COVID-19 coronavirus on Tuesday, including the first in Navajo County.

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez also reported a second case and fourth of the day, although it hasn’t been confirmed by the state.

The state’s outbreak total only increased by three, to 21, because a previously diagnosed test in in the Phoenix area was determined to be negative.

The AZDHS has been providing daily online updates on test results. Tuesday’s report was delayed for several hours after the usual 9 a.m. release because the department needed more time to confirm data.

As with all cases, health officials were working to identify close contacts with the latest patients and making recommendations to prevent further spread.

No details about the patients in Navajo County, which is located in northeastern Arizona, were made available.

Tuesday’s other new cases were both in Maricopa County, a man in his 50s who is in isolation at home and woman in her 60s who is hospitalized.

However, a Phoenix-area man in his 90s who had a presumptive positive test result last week is no longer considered a coronavirus case, the Maricopa County Public Health said.

That puts the metro Phoenix total at nine cases. Pinal County has five, all in one household, Pima County four and Graham County one.

The actual number of tests given and pending in Arizona is unknown, because the totals reported by the state don’t include commercial labs.

The reported positive results, however, include all testing. Eight of the 21 positives came from commercial labs.

The new numbers came as activity across Arizona, and nationwide, was being brought to a halt in response to recommendations by federal health leaders in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.

On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 4,226 total COVID-19 cases nationwide and 71 deaths, an increase of 739 cases and three deaths from the previous day.

It’s unclear whether the increase is the result of testing becoming more readily available or the virus is spreading at an increasing rate.

The World Health Organization reported global outbreak totals of more than 167,000 cases and 13,000 deaths on Monday, when for the first time the total number of cases outside of China (86,438) eclipsed the number in China (81,077), the original epicenter of the outbreak.

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Arizona coronavirus cases reach 21 after 2nd reported in Navajo County