A second person from Santa Cruz County tested positive for COVID-19, the county’s health services department announced Wednesday.
“Santa Cruz County Health Services is currently investigating to identify any close contacts that may have been exposed while the person was infectious,” the department said in a news release. “Any individuals who may have been identified as having been exposed will be contacted directly.”
In a follow-up statement, the county said the person had traveled to an area where community transmission is present, and that they were “recovering well at home.”
The Arizona Department of Health Services on Thursday updated the community transmission level of COVID-19 in Arizona to “widespread,” meaning that cases had been confirmed in 12 or more of the state’s 15 counties.
As of Thursday morning, there were 508 confirmed cases in 13 counties in Arizona, according statistics reported by the ADHS at www.azhealth.gov/coronavirus. Maricopa County had the most cases at 299, followed by Pima with 75. There were eight confirmed deaths in the state due to COVID-19.
On Wednesday, health officials in neighboring Mexican state of Sonora said they had confirmed eight infections and no deaths. None of the confirmed cases was in Nogales, Sonora.
The first positive test result in Santa Cruz County was announced last Thursday evening, March 19.
At the time, the county health services department said only that the infected person had traveled to an area where community transmission is present, and that they were recovering at home.
Health Services Director Jeff Terrell said on Wednesday that he did not have any new information on that person's condition.
"They're waiting for their isolation to end," he said.
He also said he couldn’t provide any new details about the first patient, such as their age, location or travel history.
“At this point no, because after some consulting, we don’t want to give out all that information right now,” he said.
Asked if the county was following state or federal guidelines in deciding how much information to release about infected people, Terrell said:
"We’ve also got to follow HIPAA regulations, and that’s why we pass it through the county attorney to see what information we can release and what information we’ll be able to release on any of the cases,” he said, in reference to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, which regulates the release of personally identifiable information by health providers and officials.