April 23 Gilbert update: State opens up testing eligibility, gets more funding

Here are the coronavirus updates to know this week. (Graphic by Community Impact Newspaper)
Here are the coronavirus updates to know this week. (Graphic by Community Impact Newspaper)

Here are the coronavirus updates to know this week. (Graphic by Community Impact Newspaper)

The coronavirus is affecting the entire world, including the town of Gilbert. Here are the Gilbert, Maricopa County and statewide updates that residents need to know.

This story will be frequently updated with outbreak-related news and links to other in-depth coverage.

The Arizona Department of Health Services expanded the criteria for coronavirus testing to anyone who thinks they have been exposed to and could be infected with COVID-19.

Previously, the department’s standing order was limited to high-risk individuals and those with specific symptoms.

The updated order came after the department’s public and private laboratory partners indicated they are able to obtain the supplies needed to perform additional testing because the supply chain is opening up.

The department also indicated it has distributed 15 rapid testing machines throughout the state that are able to provide results within 15 minutes and continues to work with its federal partners to get additional testing kits to support these machines.


New funding from CDC

Health Services also announced that Arizona will receive $12.4 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to support the public health response to the COVID-19 outbreak. This is in addition to the $16.2 million already received from the CDC during this response.

Health Services will work with local public health departments to enhance and implement statewide plans to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Arizona.

Key funding priorities will include identifying cases, contact tracing and follow up activities, improving morbidity and mortality surveillance, enhancing laboratory testing, and protecting and monitoring the health of the state’s healthcare system.

Help for small businesses

In her biweekly video update for April 23, Mayor Jenn Daniels told small businesses seeking assistance from the federal or state government that the Greater Phoenix Economic Council has tips on its website. She also said business owners can contact the Gilbert Office of Economic Development team at 480-503-6010 with questions.


Case count

The number of COVID-19 cases reported in the six ZIP codes that serve Gilbert on April 23 was 153. That is an increase of six from the previous day.

Maricopa County now has 2,963 COVID-19 cases, according to data from the county health department. There was an increase of 121 cases from the previous day. The county also reports 115 COVID-19 fatalities, an increase of 18 from the previous day. Of the 115 deaths in the county, 70 were residents of long-term care facilities across the county, according to the data.

Statewide, the Arizona Department of Health Services reports 5,769 COVID-19 cases, an increase of 310 from the previous day. In Arizona, there have been 249 COVID-19 fatalities reported.


Earlier updates

Information from April 22 can be found here.

Information from April 21 can be found here.

Information from April 20 can be found here.

Information from April 13-19 can be found here.

Information from April 6-12 can be found here.

Information from March 30-April 5 can be found
here.

Information from March 27-29 can be found here.

Information from March 24-26 can be found here.

Information from March 20-23 can be found here.

Information from March 12-20 can be found here.

Community Impact Newspaper Editor Alexa D'Angelo contributed to this report.
By Tom Blodgett
Raised in Arizona, Tom Blodgett has spent 30 years in journalism in Arizona and is the editor of the Gilbert edition of Community Impact Newspaper. He is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he now serves as an instructional professional in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and editorial adviser to The State Press, the university's independent student media outlet.


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