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State to accelerate more than $50 million in payments to Arizona hospitals

The state will also extend an additional $5 million in new COVID-19 related funding to Critical Access Hospitals throughout Arizona.

PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced Wednesday that the state would accelerate more than $50 million in payments to Arizona hospitals. 

According to the governor's office, the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) will work with provider partners to make the accelerated hospital payments available and also extend an additional $5 million in new COVID-19 related funding to Critical Access Hospitals throughout the state.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) authorizes AHCCCS to use the 6.2% increase in federal matching dollars (FMAP) to increase supplemental payments to Critical Access Hospitals by $5.3 million in additional payments. 

RELATED: Here is everything you need to know about the coronavirus in Arizona on April 8

The governor's office says AHCCCS intends to make those payments in April.

“Our hospitals represent the frontlines in the fight against COVID-19,” Gov. Ducey said in a statement. “We need them operating at full strength, which is why AHCCCS will be advancing these payments ahead of schedule."

AHCCCS expects to accelerate supplemental payments to hospitals that participate in graduate medical education programs and operate trauma facilities. 

Additionally, AHCCCS is trying to secure another $270 million in hospital advances, with federal approval. 

On Tuesday, Gov. Ducey signed four new executive orders in Arizona, requiring a self-quarantine for those traveling from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, expanding reporting data for medical providers, protecting the elderly and vulnderable and loosening rules for restaurants on labeling and packaging. 

RELATED: Ducey issues 4 new orders, requires quarantine for travelers from New York, Connecticut, New Jersey

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:

  • 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.