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Pima County Health Director tests positive for COVID-19

Pima County Health Director Dr. Theresa Cullen
Posted at 11:01 AM, Dec 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-17 13:10:17-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — EDITOR'S NOTE: A previous version of this story erroneously reported 7,000 Pima County employees have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began. In fact, that is the total number of people employed by Pima County. Only about 300 county employees have tested positive for the virus so far.

Pima County Health Director Dr. Theresa Cullen has tested positive for COVID-19, the county announced Wednesday.

Dr. Cullen's positive result comes amid an apparent outbreak in the health department involving 11 employees, the county said. All staff who work in the county's health department headquarters on Ajo Way are being offered testing, and staff will work remotely while the building is sanitized.

“This just goes to prove that when there is substantial community spread of the virus like we’re experiencing now throughout the County, the virus can get into your homes and places of work any number of ways no matter how vigilant you are being with your precautions,” County Chief Medical Officer Dr. Francisco Garcia said in a news release.

Last week, the county says there was a protest at the health department's headquarters involving "several dozen" people -- most of whom were not wearing masks. Some of the protesters entered the building and had close contact with security and other staff members.

Data from the Pima County Health Department shows more than 8,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Pima County in the last seven days. The county says about 300 of its 7,000 employees have tested positive for the virus since the pandemic began.