Residents Asked to Prevent Spread of COVID-19 After First Pinal Cases Diagnosed

by Blake Herzog

Pinal County authorities reported the County’s first three cases of the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, on March 6 and March 7, the first known cases of “community spread” of the virus in Arizona. 

The patients were identified as a woman in her 40s, a health care worker employed in Maricopa County and living in Pinal, and two other people from the same household. 


Dr. Shauna McIsaac, director of the Pinal County Public Health Department, said at the press conference where the first positive test result was announced that further community spread can be minimized if residents take these preventive steps:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water is not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces like doorknobs, light switches and electronic devices using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

COVID-19 is believed to be spread mostly through coughs and sneezes from an infected person. Early symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose and difficulty breathing. 

McIsaac said people who are elderly or have pre-existing medical conditions such as chronic lung disease have a higher risk of serious illness after being infected by the virus.

If you traveled to an area where COVID-19 is spreading and have developed fever with a cough or shortness of breath within 14 days, or have had contact with someone who is suspected to have COVID-19, stay home and call your healthcare provider. 

If you do not have a healthcare provider, you may need to be seen at your local hospital emergency room/urgent care center. Call the emergency room/urgent care center to get instructions before going in.

For current information on COVID-19, visit www.pinal.gov/publichealth and www.Maricopa.gov/Coronavirus. For statewide case counts and information about testing at the Arizona State Public Health Lab, visit www.azhealth.gov/COVID-19.