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Az Gov. Ducey contracts COVID-19, cancels border trip with Pence

Arizona's Gov. Doug Ducey has tested positive for COVID-19, his office confirmed Monday as the Republican called off plans to visit the U.S.-Mexico border with former Vice President Mike Pence.

"He is asymptomatic and feeling well, but will not be attending the border tour and policy address" with Pence, his spokesman said.

Ducey thanks Pence "for his continued advocacy of border security," said spokesman C.J. Karamargin.

Pence was in Southern Arizona on Monday morning, visiting the Sierra Vista area ahead of a planned speech on border issues to an invitation-only audience in Phoenix later in the day.

Ducey "gets tested frequently because he comes into contact with so many people," Karamargin told the Tucson Sentinel. The positive test indicating a COVID infection was "within the past day or so," he said.

Ducey received the double-dose Pfizer vaccine against coronavirus in March 2021, and a booster shot late last year. He's also received a second booster, Karamargin said.

Pima County is among the Arizona counties that moved from a "low" community level of COVID risk to "medium." Last week, the Center for Disease Control elevated the assessment of coronavirus risk here due to the increased numbers of new infections, and a jump in the number of people hospitalized because of the virus. Cochise and Maricopa counties are also experiencing medium levels of COVID-19, the CDC said.

Both Republicans have been actively pushing the border with Mexico as a political issue. While former President Donald Trump leads polls of Republican voters, Pence is a potential GOP presidential candidate in 2024. Ducey, one of the leaders of the Republican Governors Association, is termed out of office after this year, and has not yet indicated any future political plans.

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More than 30,000 Arizona residents have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and more than 2 million people in the state have been infected by the virus.

Since last week, nearly 15,000 new cases have been reported, and 40 more deaths were listed by the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Since Ducey lifted most pandemic measures earlier this year, including requiring hospitals to report data to state officials, public health experts have said that the true number of new infections is significantly higher than the figures released by ADHS.

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Jun 15, 2022, 8:28 pm
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So Ducey finally contracted #DuceysDisease!

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Pool photo by Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

Ducey at a June 2020 press conference on COVID-19.