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Review COVID-19 Data with Caution
Date: 4/14/2020


On April 12, the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) updated its COVID-19 dashboard to provide additional information, which includes the case counts broken down by zip code. Pinal County is providing the link on our website. As people view and interpret the data, the Pinal County Public Health Services District (PCPHSD) would like to highlight the following important points:

  • The data provided only reflects individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19. Actual numbers of COVID-19 cases are likely much larger than the positive cases reflected by current testing.

  • For every confirmed case on the map, there are likely dozens of people who have not been tested but have the virus across Pinal County.

  • The map reflects the home address of COVID-19 cases, and does not indicate where individual contracted COVID-19 or where they have travelled to once infectious. Therefore, the map does not necessarily indicate where the risk of coming in contact with the virus is highest.

  • Zip code counts include anyone in that zip code who has tested positive, whether the infection has resolved or is currently active. Therefore, new data may not represent the current risk in a community.

  • Although physical distancing guidelines are in place, people do not always remain within their own zip code when conducting essential business.

Testing has shown that COVID-19 is widespread throughout all of Pinal County. Recent evidence shows that people can transmit COVID-19 even when they do not have symptoms and that the testing only shows a fraction of active COVID-19 cases in Pinal County. Any Pinal County resident who is not practicing preventative measures increases their chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. Continuing these measures and our commitment, is essential to keeping ourselves and each other safe. These preventative measures include washing hands for at least 20 seconds, not touching one’s face, practicing physical distancing, and wearing a face covering when in public settings.

In conclusion, PCPHSD agrees with Dr. Cara Christ, Director of ADHS, stating zip code data is informative, but it should not be used to determine whether or not residents of particular zip codes are or are not at risk of COVID-19.

Click link for additional information available on the Arizona Department of Health Services website.


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