This story was updated March 27 with the latest numbers for Arizona from the La Paz County Health Department's website.
The day after Mohave County reported their first case of the coronavirus, La Paz County has reported theirs. In a press release, the County Health Department said two people tested positive for the virus on Wednesday, March 25. The Health Department said the people, whose identities were not provided, were not hospitalized and are recovering at home. They were both tested due to exposure to coronavirus cases in other states.
La Paz County has become the 13th county in Arizona to report confirmed cases of the coronavirus. Prior to March 25, all the counties in Arizona and California that surrounded La Paz had reported at least one case.
The County Health Department is investigating the two cases. They will be interviewing close contacts of the individuals involved and recommend each person monitor themselves for symptoms, and that they quarantine themselves for 14 days, based on the risk of exposure.
The Health Department added others in the county have been tested and the results are pending.
The county now falls under the orders of Executive Order 2020-09, which was issued by Gov. Doug Ducey last week. All restaurants in counties that have reported a case of the coronavirus must limit their dining options to take-out and drive-thru only. All bars, theaters and gyms must close. The order was mitigated some by allowing some alcoholic beverages to be sold as take-out, as long as they’re sold with food.
According to the La Paz County Health Department, many restaurants in the county had already closed their dining areas, while others had limited access to them. Many community events and gatherings have been cancelled.
Parker Town Manager Lori Wedemeyer said she had been in contact with the League of Arizona Cities & Towns about how to enforce the order. She said there is some confusion as the order does not contain any provisions for penalties for non-compliance. She said the League is saying towns, cities and counties can enforce the order under ARS 26-317 as a first-degree misdemeanor.
The schools have been closed until at least April 10 by order of Gov. Ducey and Schools Superintendent Kathy Hoffman. The Arizona Interscholastic Association has cancelled all school sports events until further notice.
The BlueWater Resort & Casino is closed at least until April 3. The theaters, bars and restaurants in the BlueWater complex were also closed before the March 25 announcement.
“Do your part and stay home when you are sick,” the County Health Department advised in their news release. “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. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately throw the tissue in the trash. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.”
As of March 27, there have been 665 cases of coronavirus in Arizona. The majority of these cases, 399, have been in Maricopa County. Here are the totals for the other counties:
Santa Cruz, 2
La Paz, 2
There have been 13 deaths. Gila and Greenlee Counties are the only ones that, to date, have not had any cases reported.
The first case reported in Mohave County was Tuesday, March 24 in Lake Havasu City. The second case, which was reported Wednesday, was in Bullhead City.
The website azfamily.com said there are still 53 pending tests and 368 people have been tested by the state lab. The Arizona Department of Health Services said the number of people tested does not include those tested at private labs. However, their total cases of positive tests does include results from private facilities.
If you have any questions or need more information, the County Health Department says to call the coronavirus hotline at 844-542-8201 and visit the ADHS coronavirus website at www.azdhs.gov/coronavirus or the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/COVID19 .