PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) --  Gov. Doug Ducey has declared a public health emergency in the state of Arizona due to the coronavirus. "Protecting public health is our top priority," Ducey said.

Gov Ducey coronavirus health emergency

Gov. Doug Ducey at coronavirus press conference on March 11, 2020. 

The declaration came Wednesday and allows the state to tap into emergency resources as needed to fight the virus, and gives healthcare officials the ability to obtain needed medications and supplies. "This is a proactive measure," Ducey said.

A COVID-19 hotline has setup for any questions you have about the virus. Call 1-844-542-8201 to reach a health care professional. 

The Governor also issued an executive order requiring insurance companies to cover out-of-network providers and cover 100% of cost for coronavirus care. He also said that nursing homes and elder care facilities will begin implementing new visitor policies and enhanced symptom checks for staff members and visitors.

The public health emergency comes after three more people have reported cases of COVID-19. There is a total of nine cases in Arizona, five cases in Pinal County alone.

President Trump addressed the nation later today on the coronavirus. He announced that travel from Europe to the United States will be restricted for the next 30 days. It will start on Friday at midnight. 

Gov. Ducey was joined by Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ and Director of the Division of Emergency Management Wendy Smith-Reeve at Wednesday's briefing. Christ said that at this time, the state is not recommending that mass gatherings in Arizona be cancelled.

State health officials continue to urge people to continue to practice good hand hygiene, avoid touching your eyes mouth and nose, stay home when you’re sick, and clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.


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