Update on Coronavirus

March 6, 2020

I want to ensure you have necessary information to care for yourself and your loved ones as we continue to learn about the outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). 

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has confirmed the coronavirus to be a serious public health threat. This week, I voted to pass the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act to provide critical funding to protect Arizonans from this public health crisis. I also spoke on the House Floor about the importance of a comprehensive, government-wide response and making sure Arizonans get the help they need from the Federal government. 

It is important that you are aware of the disease and the efforts necessary to prevent its spread. Click here if you would like to continue to receive updates from my office.

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. Symptoms can include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If you have visited China within the past few weeks and start to feel ill, call your doctor. 

There are simple precautions you can take to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses that cause COVID-19, including:  

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

If you are sick, to keep from spreading respiratory illness to others, you should:

  • Stay home except to get medical care.
  • Call ahead before visiting your doctor.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes.
  • Wear a facemask. CDC recommends facemasks be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also critical for health workers and care takers.
  • Avoid sharing personal household items.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

Arizona COVID-19 Response 
The Arizona Department of Health Services has made a COVID-19 Response and Testing dashboard to provide updates on the local progression and containment of the disease. 

What Congress is Doing
On March 4, the House passed an $8.3 billion emergency funding package, which includes $950 million to directly support state and local health agencies. Since then, the Senate also passed the funding bill and the President has now signed it. As this epidemic progresses, we need to work together across all levels of government to make sure Arizona has the appropriate resources to respond quickly and effectively. Once a vaccine is made available, I will work to ensure it is affordable and accessible to those who need it. 

Reject the Stigma 
Stigma and discrimination can arise when people associate an infectious disease with a specific population or nationality. Individuals—including those of Asian descent—who have not recently traveled to China or been in contact with a person who is a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 are not at greater risk of spreading COVID-19. Our community must rise above unfair prejudice towards our neighbors.
Travel Warnings  
CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to China and South Korea. CDC also advises that older adults and those with chronic medical conditions consider postponing nonessential travel to Iran, Italy, and Japan. Travelers should practice usual precautions when traveling to Hong Kong. If you plan to travel internationally, I encourage you to enroll in the State Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to receive important messages, alerts, updates, and travel advisories while you are abroad.

Stay Informed 
Experts have been working hard to understand this new strain of coronavirus. Because the situation is rapidly evolving, please visit the sites below to stay up to date. 

The Centers for Disease Control provides updates on the virus and safety information for the public and healthcare professionals. 

The State Department provides a list of travel advisories for those who are planning to fly outside of the United States.

The Arizona Department of Health Services provides Arizona-specific updates on COVID-19 testing and response.  

Your health and safety are important to me. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call my office at (602) 956-2463.