The Arizona Department of Health Services has confirmed the first death due to COVID-19 in Arizona.

According to a news release, the victim was a man in his 50s with underlying health conditions. The Maricopa County Health Department is in the process of notifying people who had close contact with him and will be asking them to monitor for symptoms.

Dr. Cara Christ, ADHS director, said she expects to see more cases of COVID-19 in Arizona, and there could be more deaths.

"It is imperative that everyone takes precautions to protect you and your family from this disease,” she said in the news release.

The best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

COVID-19 spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Symptoms are thought to appear within two to 14 days after exposure and consist of fever, cough, runny nose, and difficulty breathing.

For people with mild illness, individuals are asked to stay home, drink plenty of fluids and get rest. For people with more severe symptoms, such as shortness of breath, individuals are advised to seek healthcare.

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