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Arizona's top health official encouraging businesses to have plan for coronavirus

Posted at 10:49 AM, Feb 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-28 12:49:27-05

Arizona's top health official is encouraging businesses to have a plan in place for when coronavirus spreads across Arizona.

In a new blog post, Dr. Cara Christ writes, "we encourage Arizona businesses to remain informed on the spread of a respiratory disease; create attendance policies for individuals to stay home when sick."

Dr. Christ is also advising businesses to create a work environment that promotes personal hygiene and provide items like hand sanitizer, tissues, and soap and water.

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She also warns that businesses should consider options for teleworking policies if and when parts of Arizona are put in quarantine, "consider options for teleworking policies in the case there are recommendations for social distancing," she said.

Arizona has had one reported case of coronavirus, and the individual has recovered.

"While most COVID-19 cases outside of China have been associated with travel to or from China, community spread is being detected in a growing number of countries including China, Iran, Italy, Japan, and South Korea," she wrote.

We spoke with Dr. Christ earlier this week, a day after CDC officials warned for communities to prepare for disruptions to every day life.

As Arizona prepares for community transmissions, Christ said it's unclear if schools would be shut down, or if mass gatherings would be canceled. She said it would be on a case-by-case basis.

RELATED: Community transmission of coronavirus is expected in Arizona, possibly within weeks

Dr. Christ also writes that there are concerns outside of coronavirus: Arizona is currently experiencing widespread levels of influenza and other respiratory diseases, such as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

The best ways to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses are to:

  • 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.

To read her entire message to Arizonans, click here.