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ADHS awarded $150M from federal government for COVID-19 response

Posted at 6:37 PM, May 19, 2020

TUCSON, Ariz. — The Arizona Department of Health Services announced Tuesday that Arizona has been awarded $150 million from the CDC to help respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.

According to a press release from ADHS, the funding will be used strengthen Arizona's public health efforts to slow the spread. The grant is financed by the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act of 2020.

ADHS and state healthcare organizations have increased diagnostic and serology testing.

As of May 19, 220,612 people have been tested statewide, with 161,571 diagnostic tests and 59,041 serology tests, according to ADHS. A diagnostic test determines if an individual is currently infected, and serology test may show if someone was previously infected.

“The response to the COVID-19 outbreak is the top priority of ADHS and these funds will help us expand several critical aspects including testing, contact tracing, and disease surveillance. This additional funding will support the critical needs of Arizona public health departments as we work with our partners to augment activities to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19," Dr. Cara Christ, ADHS director said in a statement.

ADHS says due to widespread community transmission and an increase in testing more COVID-19 cases in Arizona are expected to be reported from the department. They are also working with local health departments to track and identify close contacts of people who have tested positive for COVID-19, so those those individuals can self isolate and prevent the spread.

The department encourages individuals to continue social distancing guidance, and to take safety precautions in efforts to minimize the spread.

The Arizona Department of Health Services says these are the best ways to prevent the spread of the virus:

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.

Wear a cloth face covering when physical distancing is difficult to maintain.