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Coronavirus in Arizona: Officials confirm new 'presumptive positive' case in Maricopa County

Posted at 10:27 AM, Mar 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-03 18:51:21-05

PHOENIX — The Arizona Department of Health Services says more people have been tested for coronavirus in the state, with one person a new “presumptive positive.”

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As of Tuesday morning, Arizona had seen one confirmed case of coronavirus, when a member of the Arizona State University community was diagnosed in January. The man, who was diagnosed shortly after returning from travel to Wuhan, China, was released from isolation in late February and is now fully recovered, according to a statement from ASU.

The new “presumptive positive” case was added to the department’s list Tuesday.

The Maricopa County Department of Public Health says the new case involves a Maricopa County man in his twenties who is a "known contact of a presumed positive case outside of Arizona who had traveled to an area with community spread of COVID-19." He is not hospitalized and is recovering at home, officials say.

"The ADHS State Public Health Lab began testing for COVID-19 on March 2 and was able to detect this positive case on its first day of testing, the same day that MCDPH requested that this individual be tested," MCDPH said in a press release.

Officials have interviewed close contacts of the patient and recommended that they monitor for symptoms and quarantine themselves for 14 days based on the risk of exposure.

“As far as risk to the public, we are still doing the case investigation of this individual, however, because we know when and where this individual was exposed, this does not represent community spread,” Dr. Rebecca Sunenshine, medical director for disease control for Maricopa County Department of Public Health, said.

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According to the CDC, "a presumptive positive case has tested positive by a public health laboratory and is pending confirmatory testing at CDC. States are reporting presumptive positive cases independently."

So far, 32 people in Arizona have been tested. Six other test results are pending and 24 have been ruled out.

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