covid mask county response

There are now five cases of COVID-19 in Gila County.

The Gila County Public Health Department has confirmed a third case of COVID-19 in Payson.

A Payson man in his early 50s tested positive, according to a release last week.

It appears to be travel-related and “the threat to the community appears to be very low as patient has been isolated prior to the beginning of symptoms,” wrote Michael O’Driscoll, director of Gila County Health & Emergency Management. “Local public health disease investigators are currently investigating the case and close contacts.”

Two Payson women in their 40s have also tested positive.

Police Chief Ron Tischer in a press release said local officials are working with the Gila County Health Department to help minimize the spread.

“The town has taken several precautions including but not limited to closing town walk up services, closing parks facilities, closing the library and ensuring our staff are utilizing social distancing recommendations and when possible working from home,” he wrote. “The town has also ensured that the governor’s executive orders have been followed by businesses.”

If you are experiencing symptoms, self-quarantine and follow the CDC guidelines, he added.

• CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain such as grocery stores and pharmacies.

• The Gila County call center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 928-402-8888 for information, resources and guidance.

• The COVID-19 hotline 2-1-1 is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days of the week.

The best way to prevent COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases is to:

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

• Stay home when you are sick.

• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Contact the editor at abechman@payson.com

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