Arizona reports 28 more deaths from coronavirus outbreak

Arizona health officials reported 28 additional deaths from the coronavirus outbreak with 462 additional cases of COVID-19 statewide as of May 16.

The number of deaths statewide increased to 679 while the number of COVID-19 cases rose to 13,631, the Department of Health Services said.

MORE: Coronavirus in Arizona - Latest case numbers

The department on Saturday began a two-week extension of a “testing blitz” for COVID-19, with more than 70 states in at least nine counties participating in this weekend’s event.

Testing would be available for anyone who thinks they have been exposed and could be infected based on criteria set by each testing site, the department said.

MORE: Gov. Ducey announces COVID-19 testing blitz in Arizona

Costs of testing vary by site and some may require people to pre-registration through a website, the department said.

The testing helps officials about how COVID-19 is spread in Arizona, said Dr. Cara Christ, the department’s director.

More than 15,000 tests were conducted May 2 and May 9, the department 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.

RELATED: Is it the flu, a cold or COVID-19? Different viruses present similar symptoms

Right now there's one big difference between flu and coronavirus: A vaccine exists to help prevent the flu and it's not too late to get it. It won't protect you from catching the coronavirus, but may put you in a better position to fight it.

To protect yourself, wash your hands well and often, keep them away from your face, and avoid crowds and standing close to people.

And if you do find yourself showing any of these flu or coronavirus symptoms - don't go straight to your doctor's office. That just risks making more people sick, officials urge. Call ahead, and ask if you need to be seen and where.

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