HIGHLIGHTS from today’s press conference with Pinal County Health Services Director Dr. Shauna McIsaac and Maricopa County Medical Director for Disease Control Dr. Rebecca Sunenshine regarding COVID-19 in Arizona:
— The latest (third) Arizona patient with COVID-19 is a Pinal County resident who is a healthcare worker in Maricopa County.
— State lab confirmed the diagnosis of presumptive positive Thursday night.
— The patient is hospitalized in Maricopa County in stable condition.
— The patient stayed home while she was sick and “did not expose very many people at all” because she was vigilant about staying home.
— The patient has not traveled to any coronavirus hot spots, and investigators have not yet found contact with a person who had traveled to those areas.
— The third patient with COVID-19 is the first sign of community spread, a fact that changes public health response. Now, “we all need to do our part to slow the spread” – keep sick people away from others.
— Close contacts have been interviewed and are being monitored for signs of symptoms.
— If you have not been contacted by public health, you are not a close contact.
— “Per CDC recommendations, we are no longer going to keep healthcare workers home after they are exposed to COVID-19.” They are required to monitor themselves for symptoms and stay home if those symptoms develop.
— People are infectious to others when they actually show the symptoms of COVID-19.
— If you have symptoms of anything, go home.
— To control the spread:
>>Wash hands frequently and for 20 seconds, using soap.
>>Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth, which are the way the germs enter your body.
>>If you are sick, please stay home.
— Only share accurate information, such as from state and county health departments and Center for Disease Control (CDC.gov)
— It’s a little more contagious than the flu, and there is no treatment or a vaccine.
— Kids have milder illness and do not seem to be at risk of severe disease.
— Older adults have higher risk of complications.
— The worst symptoms tend to appear in the second week of illness.
— The vast majority of those who contract COVID-19 will have mild symptoms and completely recover without any treatment.
— Public health authorities are obligated to maintain absolute confidentiality and will not share information that can be used to identify a patient unless it’s important to the public’s health.
— Arizona’s healthcare systems have resource limitations.