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No coronavirus cases in Pima County, but 79 people checked, health official says

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Posted at 4:38 PM, Feb 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-28 18:58:26-05

TUCSON, Ariz. — A county health official this week said there are still no cases of COVID-19 in Pima County, but the health department checked 79 people for the virus so far.

The new details came in a memo from Deputy County Administrator and Chief Medical Officer Francisco Garcia to County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry on Wednesday. In it, Garcia says the county's health department has checked 79 people for the Wuhan Coronavirus who had recently traveled to China, or had been in contact with someone who had.

The memo also outlines the county's preparations for potential cases of COVID-19 -- a member of the coronavirus family that began spreading rapidly in Wuhan, China, earlier this year.

Garcia tells Huckelberry the county health department has been in continuous contact with state officials since the case in Maricopa County was identified in late January.

He also says that while he believes the threat to Pima County is low, "it is likely that the current attempts to prevent spread will delay, but not prevent, eventual person-to-person transmission within the U.S."

In the memo, Garcia says the County Health Department has also set up a virtual Health Emergency Operations Command on Feb. 1 to streamline communication between agencies. They're also updating the county's various preparedness plans as the virus's spread continues.

Click here to read Garcia's full memo to Huckelberry.