PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- The first Arizona death from coronavirus was confirmed by the Department of Health on Friday and he worked for the City of Phoenix.
Health officials did not release the patient’s name on Friday, but said it was a Maricopa County man in his 50s with underlying health conditions. A letter from the Phoenix city manager said he was an employee at the Aviation Department. He worked in a remote office and "had minimal interaction within any of the terminals and related airport facilities," the letter said.
Saturday morning, Mayor Kate Gallego said the man was an employee at Sky Harbor airport.
(1/3)AZ has our first confirmed death from #COVID19. This individual was a @PHXSkyHarbor employee. While this is a heartbreaking loss for our community, it hits even closer to home for @CityofPhoenixAZ employees.— Mayor Kate Gallego (@MayorGallego) March 21, 2020
Earlier in the day, the number of COVID-19 cases in Arizona had risen to 65, with Cochise County reporting its first one. In an evening update, Coconino County reported six new cases, bringing the state total to 71.
The announcement came after Gov. Doug Ducey and Superintendent Kathy Hoffman extended statewide school closures until April 10. School were initially scheduled to reopen on March 27.
Arizona schools will be closed for two additional weeks.
“Our goal is to get kids safely back in the classroom as soon as possible while providing parents and educators certainty so they can plan and make decisions,” Ducey said. “I’m grateful to Superintendent Hoffman for her continued partnership and leadership. We are unified in our efforts to address COVID-19, and will continue to keep parents and educators informed.”
Gov. Ducey also announced new plans Friday afternoon to help people out of work or facing hardships because of the coronavirus. Ducey said he wants to ensure that anyone out of work, or facing economic hardships because of COVID-19 has more access to unemployment benefits. The Arizona Department of Revenue is also moving back the tax filing deadline to July 15 to mirror the new federal deadline.
Gov. Ducey announced plans Friday afternoon that he intends to issue an executive order to help people out of work or facing hardships because of the coronavirus.
“The state of Arizona will continue to take proactive measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 and protect public health,” Ducey said. “These are important steps to get help to Arizonans out of work and struggling to make ends meet because of COVID-19. These are just some steps out of many we will continue to take to support Arizonans in need during this time — and Arizona will get through this together.”