County’s 8th Positive Case Confirmed More Questions Answered

Mohave County, AZ (April 1, 2020) – The Mohave County Dept. of Public Health was notified today of an eighth COVID-19 case. This is an adult from the Lake Havasu area. It is travel related and the individual is hospitalized out of our county. There are now a total of eight confirmed cases in Mohave County, three in Lake Havasu City, one in Bullhead City, and four in Kingman.

Meanwhile, here are the questions most recently submitted by the media and the answers directly provided by Mohave County Health Director Denise Burley: Arizona has received shipments of its allotment of PPE(Personal Protection Equipment) from the National Stockpile. So, how much PPE is Mohave County getting or expect to get from the state, how is that equipment being distributed, and has the county already received the additional PPE?
If not, when do you expect to distribute it?

ANSWER: To date, Mohave County has received three disbursements from the cache of Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) supplies that the state of Arizona received. The amount received was based on Mohave County’s total population in relation to the state. We have been working diligently over the past few weeks to fill resource requests for healthcare facilities, first responder agencies, long-term care facilities, and private providers using these supplies. The disbursement of supplies within the county is based on the prioritization set forth by the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) State Disaster Medical Advisory Committee (SDMAC) Your thoughts on the new guidelines for primary care providers issued by the Arizona Department of Health Services? ANSWER: I am researching this and will need to respond tomorrow.

Is Mohave County asking primary care physicians to stop testing and treat patients with respiratory conditions as if they have COVID-19? ANSWER: The Mohave County Department of Publlic Health has not made a recommendation for primary care physicians to discontinue testing. How much of the testing in the county is currently being done by primary care doctors?

ANSWER: Private lab testing does not have to be approved by the health dept and is not reported to the health department. The testing is only reported as private lab vs state lab. We do not have info on the number of private providers testing. In Havasu, specifically, it seems that most of the testing is being done through our task force of primary doctors. Do you know if that is true?

ANSWER: As of March 31st, Havasu Regional Medical Center has tested 59 individuals. The hospital is only testing patients who have COVID19 compatible symptoms and are candidates for hospital admission. There currently is a
nationwide shortage of testing kits. Therefore, providers are encouraged to be conservative. There is a group in Lake Havasu City offering testing outside of the hospital setting and using the Arizona State Public Health Laboratory Testing Matrix criteria. Change in guidelines are due to a shortage of testing, what can you tell me about the availability of tests in Mohave County? ANSWER: Overall, there continues to be a shortage of test kits in Mohave County. Individual hospital inventory varies based on use of tests and receipt of supplies. If testing by primary care physicians decreases, are you concerned that could place additional strain on the four hospitals? ANSWER: A decrease in primary care provider testing is concerning. Nationwide, the overall concern is for the number of COVID-19 patients who require hospitalization will surpass the number of available hospital beds. Due to limited testing capacity at this time, decisions regarding testing performed in hospitals and by healthcare providers are made using the State Disaster Medical Advisory Committee (SDMAC) Testing Prioritization guidance. SDMAC priorities include ensuring that COVID-19 cases are rapidly identified in populations where more intensive public health interventions are required, for example:

  • Members of the healthcare workforce
  • First responders or critical infrastructure personnel
  • Individuals living in congregate settings like skilled nursing facilities, prisons, and residential facilities with older adults
  • Individuals hospitalized with respiratory symptoms

Do you know if those are tests performed or tests that have had results returned?
ANSWER: The ADHS dashboard testing numbers are a total of the tests performed in Mohave County. ADHS is currently working on an update to the state dashboard that will allow users to hover over the county and see a more detailed breakdown of testing information. This updated should be completed by the weekend. It looks like Mohave County is in the middle of the pack in terms of tests administered, what does that mean to you, and what is your reaction to that?

ANSWER: The Mohave County Public health Department, local hospitals, and healthcare providers have been utilizing the CDC and ADHS guidelines to determine the need for testing. The prioritization of testing is primarily due to a shortage of testing kits, and the need to use the limited kits available for the high priority groups. If there was no shortage of test kits, additional testing could improve disease surveillance. Looking at our County Board of Supervisor meeting –here is a reminder about changes in Monday’s (April 6) Board of Supervisors Meeting. The in-person Call to the Public portion of the meeting has been suspended. However, comments can still be submitted to the Clerk of the Board no later than 5:00pm this Friday for Monday’s meeting.

If you want to comment: please go here: https://lfportal.mohavecounty.us/Forms/RequestToSpeak The public is all encouraged to watch the board meeting at home over our YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/mohavecountyus.) In an effort to follow the federal government’s recommendation of keeping a group size to 10 or less people, limited attendance by the public will be allowed if they choose to speak on public hearing items. Members of the public are expected to follow “social distancing” during the meetings and be at least six feet apart. No audience member should be seated directly next to each other or directly in front or behind each other during the meeting.

Finally, for more detailed information on Governor Doug Ducey’s executive order regarding what are considered essential businesses that can remain fully open and operational without complaint:  https://azgovernor.gov/governor/news/2020/03/list-essential-services

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