Arizona confirms first death from coronavirus in state

Mar 20, 2020, 7:24 PM | Updated: Mar 21, 2020, 8:09 am

Follow @KTAR923...

PHOENIX — A man in his 50s became the first Arizona resident to die from the coronavirus, the Arizona Department of Health Services announced Friday night.

The man had underlying health conditions, according to the release. His identity was not released as the Maricopa County Department of Public Health notifies those close to him.

In a letter sent from the City of Phoenix Manager, the patient worked for the City of Phoenix Aviation Department.

The letter also states that he worked in a remote office and had minimal interaction with the public at any of the terminals and related airport facilities. The patient’s role in the department is not known.

“We express our deepest sympathy to the family and friends grieving their loved one during this difficult time,” said ADHS director Dr. Cara Christ in a statement. “COVID-19 is a serious disease that can be fatal in anyone, especially our elderly population and people with underlying health conditions.”

The state health department reported Friday morning that 63 people had tested positive for COVID-19, an increase of 19 from the morning prior. That number has increased from 27 on Wednesday.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has announced policies in an attempt to limit the spread of the virus.

He ordered restaurants in counties with confirmed cases to provide takeout options only, while gyms, movie theaters and bars in those areas were to shut down after closing the business on Friday.

Arizona schools have been instructed to remain shut down for two more weeks, which would take them through April 10.

Ducey announced guidelines to make it easier to receive unemployment benefits Friday, and the deadline to file state and federal taxes has been pushed back to July 15.

ADHS urged citizens to continue taking safety and cleanliness measures and warned more deaths are possible.

“We expect to see more cases of COVID-19 in Arizona, and there could be more deaths,” Christ said. “It is imperative that everyone takes precautions to protect you and your family from this disease.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

File photo of a crime scene in Phoenix, Arizona. A man was wounded in a shooting inside a Phoenix c...

Man wounded in shooting inside Phoenix convenience store

A man was wounded in a shooting inside a Phoenix convenience store Thursday night, authorities said.

9 minutes ago

(Getty Images Photos)...

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs meets with Mayorkas in DC to discuss border security

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs met with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to express what she wants to see at the southern border in D.C. on Wednesday.

3 hours ago

a "for sale" sign displayed outside of a home...

Brandon Gray

Maricopa County partners with 2 West Valley cities for affordable housing projects

Maricopa County announced Thursday it is partnering with two West Valley cities to fund projects that will provide affordable housing solutions. 

3 hours ago

(ADOT photos)...

I-10 in West Valley, State Route 143 in Phoenix among weekend freeway closures

Drivers in the West Valley can expect road closures for improvement projects this weekend on eastbound Interstate 10, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation. 

3 hours ago


Weekend guide: Here are the biggest events around metro Phoenix for Sept. 29-Oct. 1

There are plenty of things to do around the Valley this weekend, such as attending the Arizona State Fair, a Diamondbacks game or a Netflix comedy show taping.

3 hours ago

Photo of scales and gavel....

Arizona man sentenced to 11 years in prison on drug distribution, gun crimes

An Arizona man was sentenced to prison for drug distribution and gun crimes, according to the Justice Department. 

11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles



When most diets fail, re:vitalize makes a difference that shows

Staying healthy and losing weight are things many people in Arizona are conscious of, especially during the summer.



At Ability360, every day is Independence Day

With 100 different programs and services, more than 1,500 non-medically based home care staff, a world-renowned Sports & Fitness Center and over 15,000 people with disabilities served annually, across all ages and demographics, Ability360 is a nationwide leader in the disability community.



Here are the biggest tips to keep your AC bill low this summer

PHOENIX — In Arizona during the summer, having a working air conditioning unit is not just a pleasure, but a necessity. No one wants to walk from their sweltering car just to continue to be hot in their home. As the triple digits hit around the Valley and are here to stay, your AC bill […]

Arizona confirms first death from coronavirus in state