Arizona approaching 700 cases of COVID-19, deaths at 13


Pima County has joined Maricopa County as the only two in Arizona reporting over 100 cases of COVID-19, as the state total nears 700.

The Arizona Department of Health Services released new numbers Friday, showing 665 cases and 13 deaths in the state.

Maricopa County has 399 of the cases, while Pima County increased its total to 102 as of Friday morning.

According to the Maricopa County Department of Public Health, 135 of the cases are people age 18-39; 132 are 40-59; and 130 are 60+. Only two cases are under 18.

The sex breakdown in the county is 221 male and 178 female.

The state is under the Widespread level of community transmission, indicating that cases have been confirmed in 12 or more counties throughout the state.

State health Director Cara Christ said Arizona will need twice as many intensive-care unit beds as the 1,500 it has now and an 87% increase in its current 15,000 regular beds.

She also said the number of people infected in Arizona should peak next month, with the maximum number of hospitalizations in May.

State officials say there is a shortage of testing supplies and have reserved tests for older people and those with underlying health conditions who are most likely to face severe complications.

Dr. Christ has also asked doctors to discourage testing as a diagnostic tool. She said treatment for COVID-19 is the same as any other respiratory infection, so confirming a patient has the disease would not change the medical care they receive.

The U.S. on Thursday surpassed Italy and China for the most confirmed cases of the new coronavirus, and reached 90,000 on Friday.

COVID-19 spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Symptoms are thought to appear within two to 14 days after exposure and consist of fever, cough, runny nose, and difficulty breathing.

For people with mild illness, individuals are asked to stay home, drink plenty of fluids, and get rest. For people with more severe symptoms, such as shortness of breath, individuals are advised to seek healthcare.

The best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19, according to officials:

Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer;

Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands;

Avoid close contact with people who are sick;

Stay home when sick;

Cover cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately throw the tissue in the trash; and

Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Call 1-844-542-8201 or 211 with any questions about COVID-19 in Arizona.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.