**NOTE: This webpage is monitored and updated frequently, but the best source of information during this time is always the CDC's COVID-19 page, HERE.**
Resources and information below are from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Arizona Department of Health Services.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is, of course, to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, the CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- 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 using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash your hands often and vigorously with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
In need of a health care provider? Visit the Arizona Association of Community Health Centers website and search by location.
Arizonans looking to get their kids enrolled in KidsCare, Arizona’s Children’s Health Insurance Program, can find more information HERE. Children under the age of 19 may qualify for KidsCare, even if they are not eligible for other AHCCCS health insurance. For those who qualify, monthly premiums may apply.
Mental Health & Emergency Services:
Tips to cope with stress and take care of your mental health from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media use. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
- Take care of your body.
- Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate.
- Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals.
- Exercise regularly and get plenty of sleep.
- Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
- Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
- Call your health care provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row.
- People with preexisting mental health conditions should continue with their treatment and be aware of new or worsening symptoms.
More ways to take care of your emotional health can be found on the CDC’s website, HERE.
Arizona mental health resources by county are available, HERE.
If you or a loved one are experiencing a mental health crisis and need help:
- Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org for free, confidential, 24/7 help
- Visit the Disaster Distress Helpline by calling 1-800-985-5990, or texting TalkWithUs to 66746
- Visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline or call 1-800-799-7233 [TTY 1-800-787-3224] or:
- Northern AZ: 877-756-4090
- Southern AZ: 866-495-6735
- Central AZ: 800-631-1314
- Navajo Nation Mental Health Helpline: (928) 310-7357 (Operates 8 AM – 5 PM, daily)
Health care experts across the board agree that social distancing—the practice of avoiding close contact with others—is effective in slowing the spread of the virus and lessening the burden on our health care system. This is why we are seeing widespread closures of schools, cancellations of events, and new restrictions on gathering sizes. These preventative measures will save lives, especially by distancing ourselves from those most at risk, living in nursing homes and long term care facilities.
We must all make small sacrifices now to preserve our health care system in the long run. A helpful article on this practice is available, here.
Staying up to date:
The Arizona Department of Health Services has a state-specific coronavirus information page, here. This page is updated daily at 9 AM MST.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization (WHO) provide updates on the virus and safety information for the public and health care professionals. A factsheet from the CDC is available, here.
You can sign up for the CDC's email updates here.
You can sign up for the WHO's email updates here.
Coronavirus resources available in 15 different languages, HERE.
What is COVID-19?
• COVID-19 is a new respiratory virus. Because of how new it is, there is currently no vaccine or cure for it, and there is still a lot we don’t know about it. Some people will recover on their own, but others can have serious complications that require medical care or hospitalization.
• The illness has reached pandemic proportions, having spread worldwide. As COVID-19 spreads in Arizona, your life will be disrupted in a variety of ways. We can all do our part to try to minimize its impact.
• As new information emerges from across the globe, please remember that the risk of COVID-19 is not at all connected with race, ethnicity or national origin. Seeking and sharing accurate information during a time of heightened concern is one of the best things we can do to keep rumors and misinformation from spreading. Get your information from trusted sources, like my office, the CDC, and your local Department of Health. Information evolves daily.
How can I prevent the spread of COVID-19?
The following is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
• Symptoms of COVID-19 primarily include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. These symptoms usually appear two to 14 days after exposure.
• COVID-19 is usually spread between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) via coughs or sneezes. It may also spread by touching a surface or object with the virus on it, and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
• People who are infected can spread the virus even without exhibiting symptoms.
• Prevention starts with practicing good personal health habits: stay home as much as possible, cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue (then throw it away and wash your hands) or the inside of your elbow, wash your hands often with soap and water, and clean frequently touched surfaces and objects. If you are sick, self-isolate.
• Getting plenty of rest, drinking fluids, eating healthy foods, and managing your stress helps you stay healthy.
How do I plan ahead for COVID-19?
• Start by visiting the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html where you will find answers to frequently asked questions, situation updates, and recommendations for travel, community preparedness and more.
• Make an emergency plan of action with your household members, relatives, and friends. Visit Emergency Preparedness and You (on the CDC website) for more information.
• Check in with your work about your sick leave and telework options. Stay at home as much as possible.
• Make a list of your emergency contacts—family, friends, neighbors, carpool drivers, health care providers, teachers, employers, local public health department, and community resources.
• If you or one of your household members have a chronic condition and regularly take prescription drugs, talk to your health provider, pharmacist, and insurance provider about keeping an extra month’s worth of medications at home.
What do I do if I have confirmed or suspected COVID-19?
• Call a health care provider and tell them you suspect you have COVID-19.
• Stay home, except for getting medical care.
• Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home.
• Do not go to work, school, stores, or public areas.
• Avoid using public transportation, taxis, or ride-share.
• Monitor your symptoms and call before visiting your doctor. If you have an appointment, be sure you tell them you have or suspect you have COVID-19.
• If you have one, wear a facemask around other people, such as sharing a room or vehicle, or around pets and before entering a healthcare provider's office.
• If you can't wear a mask or don’t have one, then keep people who live with you out of your room or have them wear a facemask if they come in your room.
• Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and throw it away in a lined trash can. Wash hands thoroughly afterwards. Soap and water is best.
• Avoid sharing personal household items like dishes and glasses, toothpaste, or bedding.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. If you can't wash your hands, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Rub hands together until dry.
• Clean all “high touch” surfaces frequently, such as counters, tables, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, phones, and keyboards.
• Use a household cleaning product to clean, following the manufacturer's recommendations.
• If you are having a medical emergency, call 9-1-1. Notify dispatch that you have or may have COVID-19
• Check with your healthcare provider when you can leave home isolation. The general guideline is to remain in home isolation for at least 7 days OR until at least 72 hours after your fever has resolved (and symptoms get better) whichever is longer.
What do I do if I was potentially exposed to someone with confirmed COVID-19?
• Household members, intimate partners, and caregivers may have close contact with a person with symptomatic, laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 or a person under investigation.
• If you may have been potentially exposed to someone with confirmed COVID-19, you should self-quarantine yourself, stay home, and monitor symptoms. Even if you do not exhibit symptoms, you should stay home and seek guidance from your healthcare provider (see Interim US Guidance for Risk Assessment and Public Health Management of Persons with Potential Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Exposure in Travel-associated or Community Settings: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/risk-assessment.html ).
If you are a close contact of a person with confirmed COVID-19 and are sick
• If you are sick with fever, cough, or shortness of breath, even if your symptoms are mild, isolate yourself and seek guidance from your healthcare provider.
• You are at higher risk for severe illness if you are over 60, with underlying health conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes, have a weakened immune system or are pregnant. In any event, seek guidance from a healthcare provider.
What do I do if I have COVID-19 symptoms but haven't been around anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19?
• The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. These can be symptoms of other respiratory illnesses as well as COVID-19.
• If you are in a high-risk category, and have symptoms of COVID-19, call your healthcare provider for advice and isolate yourself. If you are at risk for serious illness, your healthcare provider may arrange a test for COVID-19.
• If you do not have a high-risk condition and your symptoms are mild, isolate yourself. Do not go out when you are sick, practice excellent hygiene, and wear a facemask when you are around other people if you can. Seek guidance from your healthcare provider to confirm if you should be tested.
• Cover coughs and sneezes. Avoid sharing personal household items. Clean your hands often. Clean all "high-touch" surfaces like doorknobs often.
• Monitor your symptoms and call your healthcare provider if symptoms worsen.
• Stay home and avoid others for at least 72 hours after your fever goes down and symptoms get better, whichever is longer. Consult with your healthcare provider.
If you may have had close contact with a person with COVID-19 but are not sick
• Isolate yourself and contact your health care provider. You may have contracted COVID19 even if you do not immediately feel sick or exhibit symptoms.
• Monitor your health for fever, cough and shortness of breath for at least 14 days after your last contact with the ill person.
• Try to stay inside as much as possible. Avoid public places for at least 14 days.
• Stay informed about local COVID-19 activity through the Arizona Department of Health website and be aware of any signs that people in your community are getting sick. For example, continue to watch for school closure information.
• Minimize contact with others by staying home as much as possible. This applies even to those who are young and/or healthy.
• Avoid contact with people who are sick. Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and wash your hands often with soap or water. Don’t share personal items and clean frequently touched surfaces with soap and water.
• If you are sick, stay home. When seeking medical care, wear a facemask and keep your distance from others. If someone in your house is sick, stay home to avoid unknowingly spreading the virus to others. The CDC does not fully understand how this spreads.
• Watch your children for symptoms of COVID-19. Notify your children’s childcare facility if they are sick and get any classroom assignments or activities they can do from home.
• Set up a separate room for sick household members. Clean the room regularly and make sure they have clean, disposable facemasks to use when with other family members.
• Check in with family and friends who live alone—especially those with chronic diseases. If you live alone, ask your friends and family to check in with you if you become sick. You can help neighbors by bringing them groceries and other supplies while they are isolated at home. Leave them at the doorstep.