Thursday, May 20, 2021
Pima County is expanding vaccine opportunities, offering daily walk-in vaccinations at Foothills Mall.
On Sunday, the vaccination site, located in the former Old Navy store, began offering vaccinations for all ages from noon to 8 p.m. every day.
“The large operations made an incredible impact and allowed us to vaccinate hundreds of thousands of people in a matter of just months,” said Dr. Theresa Cullen, director of the Pima County Health Department. “Over the course of the last few months, we have also been tremendously successful in building up and perfecting our mobile and smaller-scale operations as well. It is easier than ever to get a COVID-19 vaccine in Pima County.”
Since the state began vaccinating children ages 12 to 15 after a green light from the FDA on May 13, the county has expanded its locations offering Pfizer.
The county continues to offer vaccinations at several mobile sites every week, along with the FEMA pop-up sites.
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“The number of places to get vaccinated and how easy the process has become is making it more accessible to those looking to join the over 3.1 million people in Arizona who have received at least one dose,” said Cullen. “Our goal is to be ready and nearby when someone makes the decision to get theirs.”
With its shift to smaller sites, some of the larger operations within the county will close, including the CareMore Health location at 4750 S. Landing Way, near Irvington and I-19, on May 21; and the Tucson Convention Center site will close May 28.
As of Wednesday, May 19, the state has administered more than 5.5 million vaccines, with about 37% of the Arizonans fully vaccinated. The state has remained at a substantial level of transmission for several weeks with a rate of about 65 cases per 100,000 for the week of May 2. Pima County remains below 50 cases per 100,000 for a moderate rate of transmission for the past three weeks.
Tucson Repeals Mask Mandate
After the Pima County Board of Supervisors voted to drop its mask mandate last week, the Tucson City Council followed suit and unanimously voted to repeal its mask mandate Tuesday night.
Pima County and the City of Tucson found its mask mandates at odds with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention after they updated their mask guidelines on May 13 because neither differentiated between fully vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.
In an emergency meeting Friday, the Pima County Board of Supervisors rescinded its mask ordinance while adopting a new set of guidelines that would continue to recommend mask wearing for unvaccinated individuals and in some cases those fully vaccinated.
Like the county, the city encourages mask wearing and said masks would be required at hospitals, on planes and mass transit, like the Sun Tran, and where state and local laws require masks.
This is in line with the CDC’s guidance, which states individuals, vaccinated or not, would be required to wear a mask in public transportation and if required by their local jurisdictions or businesses and workplaces.
"This marks an important milestone in our fight against COVID-19, and I want to thank all Tucsonans for their tremendous efforts and sacrifice to keep our community healthy," said Mayor Regina Romero. "While we have made significant progress, I strongly encourage all Tucsonans to stay vigilant, get vaccinated if you have not already, and follow CDC guidelines, including mask wearing when recommended. Together, we can keep our community healthy while taking steps to more fully return back to normal."