TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The Pima County Health Department has confirmed a resident has died due to COVID-19.

The county confirmed the death, the county’s first and the state’s third, on Monday, March 23.

The patient was a woman in her 50s with an underlying health condition.

“We express our deepest condolences to this person’s loved ones and family members,” Dr. Bob England, Director of the Pima County Health Department, said in a news release. “COVID-19 is a dangerous disease that can be fatal and is especially serious for those with underlying health conditions, no matter their age. There will be more cases of COVID-19 in Pima County, and there will be more deaths. Please take recommended precautions to slow the spread.”

The PCHD is not identifying patients by name, nor are they saying where they live.

As testing capacity continues to increase, Pima County Health Department officials anticipate the number of cases identified to continue to increase. In order to provide a more meaningful picture of what this data means locally, the Health Department will continue to provide updated totals as displayed above.

According to the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System, one of the Pima County cases was a patient at the Tucson VA.

“The risk of transmission to other patients and staff remains low, as the Veteran is being cared for in respiratory isolation by staff who are specially trained on the Centers for Disease Control treatment guidelines, including the use of personal protective equipment and infection control techniques,” the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System said in a news release.

The Tucson VA announced last week it began screening all patients, visitors and employees for the virus.

According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, there are 235 cases in the state. The Arizona Public Health Laboratory has tested 352 people and ruled out 309, with 6 tests pending. These numbers do not include tests performed by private labs, which have confirmed 194 cases. A county-by-county breakdown of confirmed cases follows:

  • Pima County - 25
  • Maricopa County - 139
  • Pinal County - 17
  • Cochise County - 1
  • Santa Cruz County - 1
  • Navajo County - 25
  • Graham County - 2
  • Cococino County - 17
  • Yuma County - 1
  • Apache County - 4
  • Yavapai County - 3
  • All other Arizona counties - 0

Commercial facilitates -- like Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp -- began COVID-19 testing in Arizona last week. More testing could lead to an explosion in the number of confirmed cases, but that doesn’t mean the virus is severe.

There are likely many in the community with the coronavirus, but they are not getting tested because their symptoms are mild.


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