Gov. Ducey urges Arizonans to stay at home amid rising COVID-19 cases; expect hospital surge capacity

Governor Doug Ducey admitted during a news conference that Arizona is getting hit hard by COVID-19, and that this is just the first wave with more to come.

On June 25, as Arizona reported 3,056 additional cases of the coronavirus, the fourth day in a week in which the state had daily increases of over 3,000 cases.

"Not going to sugarcoat this... we expect our numbers to be worse next week and the week after... this is Arizona's time of challenge," Ducey said.

The state Department of Health Services said the additional cases raised the statewide total to 63,030 with 1,490 deaths, including 27 reported on June 25.

The department reported that a record 2,453 people were hospitalized for COVID-19 as of June 24, including 611 in intensive care beds and a record 415 on ventilators.

The hospitalization count was up from 2,270 as of June 23.

Ducey said the cases will only get worse, but the aim is to "save lives and protect livelihoods." He followed up this statement by explaining to Arizonans and specifically young people, that residents can help slow the virus by wearing a mask, stay socially distance, and stay home if you feel sick.

"Seventy-five percent of our state has [mask] guidance in place," Ducey said.

The governor presented graphics and told Arizonans he gave them a green light to proceed, "not to speed." Now, he says he is giving Arizonans a yellow light to yield.

He also said that Arizona hospitals are expected to hit surge capacity soon.

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Ducey traveled with President Donald Trump on June 23 to Yuma, where the president toured completed construction of more than 200 miles of wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Trump then held a rally at Dream City Church in North Phoenix.

This is a developing story. Stay with FOX 10 Phoenix for updates.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

In order to protect yourself from a possible infection, the CDC recommends: 

  • 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 using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

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MAP: Arizona Coronavirus cases by zip code

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CDC.gov: How Coronavirus spreads, symptoms, prevention, treatment, FAQ

AZHS.gov: Arizona COVID-19 resources, FAQ, webinars

On CoronavirusNOW.com, you'll find extensive coverage about COVID-19, including breaking news from around the country, exclusive interviews with health officials, and informative content from a variety of public health resources.

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Symptoms for coronavirus COVID-19 include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. These, of course, are similar to the common cold and flu. 

Expect a common cold to start out with a sore or scratchy throat, cough, runny and/or stuffy nose. Flu symptoms are more intense and usually come on suddenly, and can include a high fever. 

Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear more slowly. They usually include fever, a dry cough and noticeable shortness of breath, according to the World Health Organization. A minority of cases develop pneumonia, and the disease is especially worrisome for the elderly and those with other medical problems such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes or heart conditions.

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.