Arizona’s COVID-19 death toll jumps to 5

Three reported deaths in Maricopa County


A reported five Arizona deaths have occurred due to COVID-19, numbers provided by Arizona Department of Health Services show.

The level of community spread in Arizona has increased from “minimal” to “moderate.”

There are a total of 326 cases of COVID-19 in Arizona, department numbers show — 199 of which are in Maricopa County.

Of the five deaths, three are Maricopa County residents, numbers show.

March 24 numbers provided by the Maricopa County Department of Public Health shows:

  • 35 total cases hospitalized since the outbreak;
  • 13 cases admitted to the ICU during their illness;
  • 0 cases in the 0-17 age range;
  • 75 cases in the 18-39 age range;
  • 65 cases in the 40-59 age range; and
  • 59 cases in the 60-plus age range.

COVID-19 is a disease that can be fatal in anyone, especially the elderly population and people with underlying health conditions.

On March 23, Gov. Doug Ducey held a press conference stating Arizona has made progress in implementing measures to increase its capacity in the health care system.

“The sad reality is, just like the rest of the country we expect more deaths. And, as we work to increase testing capacity, we expect more cases,” Gov. Ducey said.

Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, said there are not enough COVID-19 tests for everyone who wants one. People in the high-risk population are being prioritized, she said.

“To be clear, testing will not change your treatment,” Dr. Christ said. “If you have mild flu-like symptoms stay home when you are sick and for 72 hours after your symptoms go away. Seek emergency care if you have extreme difficulty breathing, constant pain or pressure in your chest, severe constant dizziness, or other serious, concerning or worsening symptoms.”

Efforts to expand testing availability is still ongoing, Dr. Christ said.

Banner Health has announced drive-thru testing for the COVID-19 virus throughout the Phoenix area, and one in Tucson. Several more locations are slated to open at a later date, officials there say.

Those with concerns about COVID-19 symptoms or exposure can now call Banner Health at 1-844-549-1851 to speak with a clinical team member to determine if testing is appropriate. The line will be staffed from 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7 a.m.-5 p.m. on Friday.

AZDHS advises everyone to take precautions:

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

  • Wash your 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 your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

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 AZDHS activated its Health Emergency Operations Center on Jan. 27 after the first case of travel-associated COVID-19 was confirmed in Arizona. The Health Emergency Operations Center remains open to coordinate the State’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak. For more information about the COVID-19 response in Arizona, go online to