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Arizona Gov. Ducey Declares Statewide Public Health Emergency

Following reports of  three new possible coronavirus cases in Arizona, Gov. Doug Ducey has declared a statewide public health emergency.

The declaration frees up tools to help combat the spread of the coronavirus. The Department of Health Services, led by Dr. Cara Christ, will now coordinate the state’s ongoing response. And state officials now have access to $500,000 in emergency funds.

Ducey’s executive order requires insurance companies to mitigate costs for testing and treatment and decrease co-pays for telemedicine visits.

It also requires health care workers and visitors at nursing facilities and senior centers to be regularly checked for symptoms, an effort to protect vulnerable communities from the spread of the virus.

"This is an important, proactive action. Today we have not had community spread at a nursing home or elder care facility, but we could. And if that happens we want DHS to be equipped to act immediately and with urgency," Ducey said. 

Earlier Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provided more than $11 million to Arizona to help the state’s response to the virus.

The governor spoke to Howie Fischer of Capitol Media Services, who joined The Show. 

→  Read The Latest News On The Coronavirus Disease  

Ben Giles is a senior editor at KJZZ.