Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Your Southern AZ COVID-19 Roundup for Tuesday, Aug. 11: Total cases hit 188K; Cases in Pima County on the Decline; Pop-up Test Sites Available; Pence in Tucson Today

Posted By on Tue, Aug 11, 2020 at 9:06 AM

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The number of Arizona’s confirmed novel coronavirus cases topped 188,000 as of Tuesday, Aug. 11, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Pima County had seen 18,381 of the state’s 188,737 confirmed cases.

A total of 4,199 Arizonans had died after contracting COVID-19, according to the Aug. 11 report.

The number of hospitalized COVID cases continues to decline. ADHS reported that as of Aug. 10, 1,574 COVID patients were hospitalized in the state, down from a peak of 3,517 on July 13.

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A total of 949 people visited ERs on Aug. 10 with COVID symptoms. That number peaked at 2,008 on July 7.

A total of 510 COVID-19 patients were in ICU beds on Aug. 10. The number in ICUs peaked at 970 on July 13.

Vice President Mike Pence visits Tucson today

Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to make an appearance at La Paloma today.

Pence will receive an endorsement from the Arizona Association of Police in an event that C-SPAN will carry live at 11:30 a.m.

Pence will then travel to Mesa for another event.

Pima County sees downward trend in cases following mask mandate

Following the passage of an ordinance on June 19 requiring people to wear masks when out in public, Pima County has seen a dramatic drop in the number of new positive COVID-19 tests.

The number of cases dropped from a high of 2,368 new cases in the week ending July 4 to just 865 in the week ending Aug. 1, according to a Pima County Health Department report.

Fewer people are dying as well. Deaths related to COVID-19 peaked the week of July 4 with 51 people. The week ending Aug. 1, Pima County saw just 20 deaths.

Pima County rolls out pop-up testing sites this week

The Pima County Health Department is rolling out new pop-up COVID-19 testing sites that will be available in areas of the county that have had limited testing availability.

Through their partnership with the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs, Pima County will offer a minimal contact testing operation for free at the following times and locations. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged and can be completed at www.pima.gov/covid19testing.

Here’s a list of where the test sites will be available:

Ajo/Sells
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 11
Ajo High School, 111 N. Well Road

Three Points
2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 12
Robles Junction Community Center, 16150 W. Ajo Way

Marana/Picture Rocks
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 13
Wheeler Taft Public Library, 7800 N. Schisler Drive

Green Valley/Sahuarita
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 14
Green Valley Recreation Desert Hills Center, 2980 S. Camino Del Sol

Vail/Corona de Tucson
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 15
Pima County Fairgrounds, 11300 S. Houghton Road

Oro Valley/Catalina
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 16
Coronado K-8 School, 3401 E. Wilds Road

Greater Tucson Area
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 17
Rillito Racetrack, 4502 N. 1st Avenue

10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 18
Sunnyside High School, 1725 E. Bilby Road

South Tucson
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 19
Tucson Rodeo Grounds, 4823 S. 6th Avenue

“This is an exciting development for COVID-19 testing,” Pima County Health Director Dr. Theresa Cullen said in a press release. “This unorthodox style allows us to get into communities that have not had easy or broad access to tests and get a better understanding of COVID-19 across the county.”

Participants can access their test results by logging into www.doineedacovid19test.com within a few days. The county expects to complete 20,000 tests through these events.

Pima County has teamed up with the City of Tucson to open a third testing center at the Udall Center, 7200 E. Tanque Verde Road. Tests are available Tuesday through Sunday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The new center, which requires a nasal swab, joins a similar facility at Kino Event Center, 2805 E. Ajo Way. A third center at the northside Ellie Towne Center, 1660 W. Ruthrauff Road, involves a saliva test designed by ASU.

All three centers offer easy-to-schedule appointments—often with same-day availability—and you get results in less than 72 hours.

Schedule an appointment at pima.gov/covid19testing.

The centers are also tied into Pima County’s developing contact tracing operation, which aims to be able to identify potential clusters and warn people if they have been in contact with someone who is COVID-positive.

If you’re interested in a test to determine if you’ve already had COVID-19, the UA has expanded a free COVID-19 antibody testing program to include 15 new categories of essential workers considered at high risk for exposure. The antibody test, developed by researchers at UA Health Sciences, determines who has been exposed to and developed an immune response against COVID-19.

In addition to healthcare workers and first responders, the test program is now open to educators, childcare workers, agriculture, grocery and foodservice workers, hospitality employees, solid-waste collection workers, transportation services workers and members of the National Guard. More information and registration for the test is available at covid19antibodytesting.arizona.edu.

Gridlock in DC leads to Trump orders on coronavirus relief

Negotiations between White House officials and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate collapsed last week, leading President Donald Trump to announce several orders.

Democrats were seeking a $3 trillion aid package that includes an extension of the additional $600 a week in unemployment benefits through the end of the year, aid to states and other provisions. While Democrats agreed to drop their demand to $2 trillion, Republicans said they wouldn’t spend more than $1 trillion.

Last week, that extra $600 a week in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation that out-of-work Arizonans have been receiving expired.

Trump’s new orders included a $300-a-week extension of unemployment payments provided states agree to kick in $100 a week as well, paid for with funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency; a deferral of payroll taxes that fund Social Security and Medicare that workers will have to pay back unless Congress acts to make the deferral permanent; a three-month deferment of student loan payments; and a request that the Department of Housing see if there’s anything that can be done to help Americans avoid evictions.

—By Jim Nintzel with additional reporting from Kathleen B. Kunz, Austin Counts, Jeff Gardner, and Tara Foulkrod

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