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Coronavirus in Arizona: Record-high 2,519 new cases reported on Thursday

There are 43,443 people with confirmed cases of coronavirus in Arizona and 1,271 coronavirus-related deaths, as of Thursday morning.

PHOENIX — Editor's note: You can read the updates for June 19 here.

The number of coronavirus cases and deaths in Arizona continues to rise. 

In an effort to track the changes, 12 News has started a daily live blog.

Here is the live blog for Thursday, June 18.

Major updates: 

  • There are 43,443 people with confirmed cases of coronavirus in Arizona and 1,271 coronavirus-related deaths, as of Thursday morning.  
  • The state does not record how many people have recovered.
  • Gov. Doug Ducey allowed cities to set own mask requirements
  • Scroll down to see how many cases are in each ZIP code and additional information.

COVID-19 cases reported in Arizona on Thursday

There are 43,443 people with confirmed cases of coronavirus in Arizona and 1,271 coronavirus-related deaths as of Thursday, according to the state's latest numbers.

That's up from 40,924 confirmed cases and 1,239 deaths reported as of Wednesday.

One week ago, there were 31,264 cases across the state with 1,127 deaths.

New record-high number of cases reported on Thursday 

The Arizona Department of Health Services reported a record-high number of new coronavirus cases on Thursday: 2,519. 

That beat out the previous record high set just days earlier on Tuesday. That number was 2,392.

Cities can determine own mask policies, Ducey says

During a press conference on Wednesday, Gov. Doug Ducey announced Arizona cities will be allowed to determine face-covering policies on a city-by-city basis and how it will be enforced.

A face covering has proven to be effective at limiting the spread of COVID-19, according to the CDC. The virus is primarily spread by in-person contact through sneezes and coughs.

Ducey has always encouraged the use of masks in public but hasn't issued any official orders regarding it even as cases continue to soar across the state.

We made a list of cities that intend to enact a mask requirement.

RELATED: These Arizona mayors want a mask requirement in their city

New social distancing guidelines for restaurants

Ducey also added new guidelines for restaurants and other businesses that have reopened since the end of the state's stay-at-home order.

Some of the requirements include that restaurants and bars must maintain six feet between tables and clearly mark tables that are not in use. 

You can read the full list of mandates on restaurants here and for all businesses here.

Gila River Hotels & Casinos to reclose

Gila River Gaming Enterprises announced Thursday it would temporarily close Gila River Hotels & Casinos -- Wild Horse Pass, Lone Butte, and Vee Quiva -- to reassess its current safety standards.

The two-week closure started at 2 a.m. on Thursday. The casinos just reopened in May.

The company said it would use the closure to see whether the recent rise in Arizona coronavirus cases subsides and to re-examine every aspect of its operation. 

That includes disinfection procedures, social distancing measures, health checks, testing protocols, masking and how best to protect workers and everyone who visits its properties. 

All team members will continue to be paid in full and receive full health benefits.

The news came after Robert Edward Washington Jr., died last week from a coronavirus-related illness. 

He died four weeks after returning to work as a security guard at the Gila River tribe’s Lone Butte casino, near Chandler.

RELATED: Beloved father dies from coronavirus just weeks after returning to work at Arizona casino

University of Arizona testing coronavirus notification app

The University of Arizona is preparing to offer the opt-in Covid Watch smartphone app so community members can notify each other anonymously if they may have been exposed to COVID-19. 

"Our faculty and other researchers continue to step up and find new solutions to this complicated health care issue," said University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins. 

"Each solution provides another piece of our reentry strategy, and I am proud our faculty are the first to test this app."

Covid Watch developed the technology to send exposure alerts without having to collect any personally identifying information from users.

The app works by informing people who are exposed directly using random numbers exchanged by local Bluetooth signals. 

Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb tests positive for coronavirus

Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb has tested positive for coronavirus, he said Wednesday.

Lamb said he held a campaign event on Saturday where he likely came in contact with someone who was infected.

Lamb said he found out he tested positive when he was called to join President Donald Trump at the White House. 

When he was screened for the virus, although he was asymptomatic, he tested positive for COVID-19.

"I alerted the Pinal County Public Health Dept. immediately after my positive test, and they are working to track all those I came in contact with following the Saturday event," Lamb's statement said, in part.

Lamb said he will be self-quarantining for the next 14 days minimum.

RELATED: Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb tests positive for coronavirus

How to get tested for the coronavirus in Arizona

Are you looking to get tested for coronavirus in Arizona?

If you have reason to believe you have contracted coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, this is what you should do.

RELATED: Here's everything you need to know about getting tested for the coronavirus in Arizona

Navajo Nation cases increase by 75, deaths reach 322

The Navajo Department of Health reported 75 new COVID-19 positive cases for the Navajo Nation and three more deaths. 

The total number of COVID-19 positive cases for the Navajo Nation is 6,747. 

The total number of deaths reached 322 as of Wednesday. 

Reports from 11 health care facilities on and near the Navajo Nation indicate that approximately 3,342 individuals recovered from COVID-19, with one health care facility report still pending. 

More than 46,000 people have been tested for COVID-19. 

'These people were just not getting better'

An Arizona nurse who worked on the front lines of the coronavirus fight in New York is now back home.

Leigh Bowie, an RN, is a travel nurse. She got a contract in New York before COVID-19 hit.

Bowie worked at Westchester Medical Center and found herself caring for COVID-19 patients day in and day out for weeks.

“We would be turning the oxygen up, you know, as the day went by. From two, to four, to six, to 10 liters,” Bowie said.

“They’d be asking us, ‘Can you just give us more oxygen? We can’t get enough air. We can’t breathe.”

Bowie describes the virus as something she hasn’t seen in her roughly 30 years as a nurse.

RELATED: 'These people were just not getting better': Arizona nurse who worked COVID-19 front lines in New York concerned over case surge

Arizona releases ZIP code locations of coronavirus cases, other data

The Arizona Department of Health Services has released expanded data points regarding coronavirus cases in the state. 

The AZDHS website now features the location of confirmed cases in Arizona by zip code. 

You can see the current ZIP code map here and can find yours by clicking around or searching for your ZIP code in the top right of the map.

More information on coronavirus cases from Thursday

There are 43,443 people with confirmed cases of coronavirus in Arizona and 1,271 coronavirus-related deaths as of Thursday.

That's up from 40,924 confirmed cases and 1,239 deaths reported as of Wednesday.

That's an increase of 2,519 new cases reported on Thursday, a record-high and a drastic jump from the 1,827 new cases reported on Wednesday.

There were 32 new deaths reported on Thursday, an increase from the 20 new deaths reported on Wednesday.

In total, 15,703 new tests were reported on Thursday, up from the 12,677 tests that were reported on Wednesday.

There have been a total of 517,666 PCR and Serology tests reported to the state as of Thursday. 

7.5% of those tests have been positive, an increase from Wednesday's 7.3%.

Here's a county breakdown:

  • Maricopa: 23,880
  • Pima: 4,682
  • Pinal: 1,888
  • Coconino: 1,439
  • Navajo: 2,874
  • Apache: 2,059
  • Mohave: 676
  • La Paz: 245
  • Yuma: 3,635
  • Graham: 58
  • Cochise: 267
  • Santa Cruz: 1,210
  • Yavapai: 402
  • Gila: 115
  • Greenlee: 13

Click on the links below to find more information from each county's health department:

COVID-19 is believed to be primarily spread through coughs or sneezes. 

It may be possible for the virus to spread by touching a surface or object with the virus and then a person touching their mouth, nose or eyes, but this is not thought to be the main method of spread, the CDC says. 

You should consult your doctor if you traveled to an area currently affected by COVID-19 and feel sick with fever, cough or difficulty breathing. 

There is no vaccine for the coronavirus, so the best way to prevent COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases is to:

  • Wear face coverings while in public.
  • Practice social distancing while in public.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

You can text FACTS to 602-444-1212 to receive more information on the coronavirus and to ask questions.


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- Beloved father dies from coronavirus just weeks after returning to work at Arizona casino

- ASU modeling visually shows critical coronavirus data trends in Arizona