Health Alert:   COVID-19 Transmission Level:   HIGH   More information
Wear a mask; stay home.
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  • No cases of coronavirus confirmed in Pima County

    By now most County employees have heard about the outbreak of a new coronavirus (2019 nCoV) in Wuhan, China. As with any emerging infectious disease, there is a lot health officials are still determining, such as the ways in which it spreads, how effectively it spreads from person to person, and how severe the infection is. However, there is a lot we do know about the family of viruses this new strain comes from. Public health professionals at every level of government are working to learn more about this virus and are taking appropriate actions to limit its spread and treat those afflicted.

    Though the outbreak has now spread to multiple countries, including the United States, no cases have been confirmed in Pima County at this time.

    Health officials, including at the Pima County Health Department, are closely monitoring this rapidly changing situation, and risk to persons in the United States who have not traveled to China is very low.
    Washing hands
    With the 2020 Gem, Mineral, and Fossil Show underway we have received many questions about how travel for the Show may impact our local preparedness for diseases like 2019 nCoV. As the Show moves forward we would like to remind residents that:
    • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local health officials consider the risk for exposure to this new coronavirus here in Pima County to be low.
    • The Health Department has developed a strong partnership with the City of Tucson and show organizers that allows us to easily share important information with each other.
    • The Health Department is working very closely with healthcare and public health partners to be prepared for public health threats like 2019-nCoV and is prepared to take action on any guidance or instructions provided by our state and federal partners should the need be identified.
    The biggest concern for local disease activity related to Gem Show are more common bugs like influenza, the common cold, and stomach bugs. No matter what part of the world the people around you are from, these are the most easily and commonly spread illnesses during gatherings like the Gem Show.

    The best ways to protect yourself from 2019-nCoV are the same things we should all do to avoid the cold and flu, which are currently circulating in our community:
    • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
    • Get a flu shot if you haven’t already. The best time to get a flu shot is today.
    • If you are sick, stay home. Do not go to work or school, and try to isolate yourself from others.
    • Clean all “high-touch” surfaces like keyboards, door knobs, counters, bathroom fixtures, or phones both at home and work.
    • Cover your cough or sneeze using a tissue then throw the tissue into a trash can, or cough into your elbow then wash your hands.
    As more is learned about this situation and new information becomes available, be sure to monitor reliable sources of news. Locally, the Health Department is regularly providing messaging on its website at The main source for nationally credible information is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at


    Paula Mandel, RN
    Deputy Director
    Pima County Health Department
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