Arizona just had the highest jump in deaths, including the first pediatric death, and has surpassed 10,000 cases as salons, barbers, and retailers reopen in the state.
Arizona had 67 new deaths reported Friday, the highest confirmed daily number since the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) updated its dashboard to reflect confirmed COVID-19 death cases.
ADHS said Friday it found 35 additional COVID-19 deaths by taking a closer look at death certificates as far back as April 12.
This number also includes the first pediatric death reported in the state. In a press release, Yuma County officials said COVID-19 took the life of a Yuma County child under the age of 18 with multiple serious underlying medical conditions – the first in the county and state.
“It is our deepest regret to share the news of the first COVID-19-related pediatric death in Arizona,” said Diana Gomez, Director of the Yuma County Public Health District in the release. “News like this not only resonates within the health community, but with every resident. We are heartbroken and extend our deepest sympathy to the child’s friends and family. To protect the family’s privacy during this incredibly difficult time, no further information regarding the child will be released.”
In addition to the rise of reported deaths, confirmed cases for the state are now at 10,526 with 581 new cases today and 119,907 tests performed.
The increase in both confirmed cases and deaths resulting from the virus come as salons and barbershops resume business.
Although deaths and cases are spiking, Gov. Doug Ducey is continuing with reopen efforts. Hair salons, barbershops, and retailers resumed business on Friday.
Restaurants will be permitted to offer limited dine-in service with precautionary measures starting next week.
Operating for the first time since Gov. Doug Ducey ordered them closed, many hair dressers and barbers will incorporate social distancing measures into their routine. Some businesses trumpeting their return ahead of time on social media of several changes. Among them are barbers and stylists wearing masks and clients having to wait in their cars.
Ducey cited a downward trajectory in the percentage of positive tests along with declines in hospital visits for coronavirus symptoms in making his decision on reopenings. He ordered hair and nail salons, barbers and other businesses that provide personal services to close temporarily on April 3 after receiving criticism for not doing so earlier. He refused for weeks to clarify that shops where clients and staff must be close together like salons, tattoo parlors, and tanning salons needed to shut down to protect public health.
The Republican governor had repeatedly said during a town hall that salons and barbershops were not included in his list of “essential services” that could remain open under a March 23 executive order. Yet, the actual order didn’t specifically name those businesses. It barred cities from acting on their own to close them down.
Ducey’s current stay-home order is set to expire May 15. Some GOP lawmakers have been angered at the extended closure order because of the toll it has taken on the state’s economy.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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