TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has declared a public health emergency due to the coronavius.
“There is no greater priority than the health and safety of Arizonans, and today’s efforts are a proactive approach to ensure the state has all the tools necessary to address the global spread of COVID-19,” Ducey said. “While our state is not currently facing the number of cases we’ve seen in some other states, we are anticipating additional positive cases — and we’re not taking any chances.
"Arizonans should not panic — our approach will be calm and steady. This Emergency Declaration and Executive Order continue our effort to protect public health and save lives.”
The declaration allows the state to tap into emergency resources to fight the virus and gives healthcare officials the ability to obtain needed medications and supplies.
Arizona will receive about $11.2 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Ducey said.
The declaration also allows the Arizona Department of Health Services to waive licensing requirements for healthcare professionals and provides emergency procurement authority to procure goods and services as needed to protect public health.
In addition, Ducey signed an executive order requiring insurance companies to cover out-of-network providers and cover all cost for coronavirus care.
The order also did the following:
- Waives all copays, coinsurance, and deductibles for consumers related to COVID-19 diagnostic testing and decreases co-pays for telemedicine visits.
- Implements consumer protections, including prohibiting price-gouging on COVID-19 of diagnosis and treatment-related services.
- Requires symptom checks of healthcare workers and visitors at skilled nursing facilities, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities.
ADHS officials said they are not at the point where they will cancel mass gatherings, but they are constantly evaluating the situation.
KOLD News 13 is keeping a running list of events in southern Arizona that have been impacted by the outbreak. So far, only the Tucson Festival of Books has been cancelled.
According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, there are only TWO confirmed cases of coronavirus in the state.
There are seven total presumptive positives, which means a person tested positive for the virus but it has not been confirmed by the CDC.
So far 100 people have been tested for the virus in Arizona. There are 32 tests pending and 59 tests came back negative.
One of the presumptive positives is a person living in unincorporated area of Pima County.
The Pima County Health Department said the patient is cooperating with officials, did not get severely ill and is being isolated in their home.
The PCHD would not give any addition information about the patient other than to say they do not live in a city or town like Tucson, Marana, Oro Valley, Green Valley or Sahuarita.