Health officials said around half of the coronavirus cases in Maricopa County were travel-related.

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- The Maricopa County Public Health Department held an online news conference concerning the increased number of people with COVID-19 in the county.

“I can tell you, right now, that no matter what city you live in Maricopa County, there are cases of COVID-19, and that’s why you have to change your daily habits,” said Dr. Rebecca Sunenshine.

Dr. Sunenshine said around half of the coronavirus cases in Maricopa County were travel-related. The remaining were spread through close contact among people.

“Generally speaking, those who are most at risk for COVID-19 are in the same household who are typically family and friends,” she said. Health leaders are working on drive-thru testing. They’ve looked to other states for a blueprint as to how the process will work.

“A phone number where individuals can call ahead and have an appointment for testing,” said Dr. Sunenshine. "Then we are going to require that those people who do come for testing be symptomatic sign a normal consent form and agreement that they will self-quarantine for at least 72 hours until after their symptoms resolve.”

For now, she said only people showing strong symptoms should see a doctor after calling ahead.

“I can tell you that actually testing positive for the disease doesn’t change how healthcare providers will manage your illness,” said Sunenshine. “It’s still with fever-reducing medication fluids and rest. So if you don’t get tested, you will not be losing out on any critical health care.”

She said there are three risk categories when it comes to the spread of coronavirus; Arizona is in the moderate category.

“I think it’s really important for everyone to understand that public health isn’t just whether or not you have COVID-19," said Dr. Sunenshine. "Public health also depends on people being able to work and get their paychecks and see their families and if people are starving and they’re also not going to be healthy."


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