For Immediate Release: March 17, 2020
Office: (928) 532-6050
Navajo County Public Health Officials Announce Presumptive COVID-19 Case in Navajo County
SHOW LOW – The Navajo County Public Health Department, the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) and the Navajo Nation announced today that a Navajo County resident has been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus.
The patient is a resident of Navajo County. Navajo County Public Health Services District (NCPHSD) in collaboration with Navajo Nation staff are currently investigating the case, as well as any close contacts that may have been exposed while this individual was infectious. Any individuals who have been identified as having been exposed will be contacted directly by public health officials. If you have not been contacted by public health officials, your risk of exposure is extremely limited. These individuals will be monitored for fever and respiratory symptoms in collaboration with Navajo County Public Health and medical providers.
NCPHSD has been collaborating with healthcare organizations and community partners for several weeks in preparation for such an event. “We encourage the public to stay calm, stay up-to-date with recommendations, and do their best to help slow the spread. We ask that everyone routinely check the CoVid-19 dashboard for the most recent information,” said Jeffrey Lee, Director of the Navajo County Public Health Department. “We know that most people who have gotten COVID-19 experience mild symptoms and we ask that you please stay home if you are sick. Those most at risk for developing severe complications from COVID-19 are older adults and those with existing chronic health conditions.”
COVID-19 spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Symptoms are thought to appear within 2 to 14 days after exposure and consist of fever, cough, runny nose, or difficulty breathing. Those considered at highest risk for contracting the virus are individuals with travel to an area where the virus is spreading, or individuals in close contact with a person who is diagnosed as having COVID-19. Public health officials are working diligently to monitor and address the situation.
Public health officials are advising residents that flu and other respiratory diseases are circulating in the community and are recommending everyone get a flu shot and follow basic prevention guidelines.
ADHS and NCPHSD expect additional cases of COVID-19 in Arizona in and are advising residents to follow infection prevention guidelines. The best ways to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including COVID-19 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, mouth and face; especially with unwashed hands
- Avoid Shaking Hands
- Stay home when you are sick
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately throw the tissue in the trash. If a tissue is not available cover your cough with your sleeve by coughing into your elbow.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
- Utilize telemedicine if available or call the healthcare facility prior to arrival
If you have recently traveled to an area where COVID-19 is circulating and have developed fever with cough or shortness of breath within 14 days of your travel or have had contact with someone who is suspected to have 2019 novel coronavirus, please stay home. Most people with COVID-19 develop mild symptoms. If you have mild symptoms, please do not seek medical care, but do stay home and practice social distancing from others in the household if possible. If shortness of breath or other symptoms begin to escalate, call your healthcare provider. If you do not have a healthcare provider, you may need to be seen at your local hospital emergency room or urgent care center. Please call the emergency room or urgent care center for instructions before going in.
For the latest information about COVID-19, visit www.navajocountyaz.gov/coronavirus