Arizona Gov. Ducey thanks virus workers, volunteers; deaths remain high

Gov. Doug Ducey’s Christmas Day message encourages Arizonans to safetly connect with loved ones and thanks residents for their work during the coronavirus pandemic.

"I hope all Arizonans find a way to safely spend time with friends and family, celebrate their faith, and look forward to the New Year. It’s important that we take time to connect with our loved ones this Christmas, especially in a year as challenging as this one," Ducey said in a statement Friday.

The state reported 115 deaths attributed to COVID-19 for the second day in a row. It was the seventh time in ten days the figure has been in the triple digits. The death toll now stands at 8,409. The Arizona Department of Health Services reported additional 6,616 cases increasing the total to 486,935 cases since the start of the pandemic.

Coronavirus in Arizona: Latest case numbers

Ducey thanked responders, frontline workers, and volunteers who have helped mitigate the impacts of the virus.

"Educators have found creative ways to engage with struggling students. Parents have become at-home tutors. Neighbors have picked up groceries for each other. Truck drivers have driven hundreds of miles to ensure shelves are stocked with food and goods. Volunteers have worked double time. The list goes on," he said.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.

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