Community Info

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Your Southern AZ COVID-19 PM Update for Thursday, May 28: What We've Covered Today

Posted By on Thu, May 28, 2020 at 6:00 PM

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Happy Thursday! We're trying to stay cool as Arizona heats up, and we hope you are too. Here are the stories we've gone over today.


The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Arizona reached 17,763 as of Thursday, May 28, according to the morning report from the Arizona Department of Health Services.
When it comes to fake national holidays it's hard to top the one that celebrates charbroiled ground chuck on a toasted sesame bun.
Tribe aims to improve dental health by bringing smiles to the dental visit.
The Arizona Attorney General's office is closing the investigation requested by three state lawmakers into whether the Pima County Board of Supervisors violated Gov. Doug Ducey's executive order after approving new regulations to the county's health code.
Tucson Weekly asked the candidates running for Board of Supervisors seats this year if they approved of county COVID-19 decisions and if they would have done anything differently. Here’s what the candidates in District 3 had to say.
Don’t panic if you see fireworks tonight over the Oro Valley sky around 8:30 p.m. Thursday night, it’s just the town testing this year’s Fourth of July fireworks display.
Democratic congressional leaders expressed alarm Wednesday at a sudden acceleration in the deportation of migrant children.
Arizona cities and counties will get access to nearly $600 million in COVID-19 relief funding. Gov. Doug Ducey announced yesterday that the state will provide $441 million to local cities, towns and counties that did not receive funding from the federal government’s CARES Act earlier this year.
There's a big partisan divide on whether the state is reopening too quickly, but most Arizonans are ready to get the hell out of their houses, according to a poll out today.
Tucked away deep in the nearly 2,000-page Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions, or HEROES, Act, is a section that will funnel money to defense and intelligence companies and their top executives, according to experts.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Banner Health launched virtual waiting rooms for its 300 clinics across the country.
Are you ready to rock? How about some swing dancing? Luckily, the Gaslight Music Hall has both queued up next month when Backroads Country Band and Vinyl Tap! perform in the drive-in concert series June 10 and 11, respectively.
The Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona is continuing to serve as a hub for local creatives during COVID-19 by allowing artists to "take over" their Instagram stories.
The Sundt Foundation donated $26,000 to two nonprofits in Southern Arizona working to address increased needs of the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Sundt Foundation donates over $50,000 in Tucson

Posted By on Thu, May 28, 2020 at 5:00 PM

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The Sundt Foundation donated $26,000 to two nonprofits in Southern Arizona working to address increased needs of the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona and Interfaith Community Services both received $13,000 in funding.

"Across Southern Arizona, our community is feeling the effects of COVID-19," said Sundt Foundation Tucson Board Member Rick Buchanan, in a release. "Our Foundation board made a swift decision to donate $200,000 in relief aid to over 20 nonprofits across our nine geographic markets, including three here in the Tucson region."

The Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona has switched food distributions to a drive-through model during the pandemic for a contactless delivery. Interfaith Community Services has seen a sharp increase in people visiting its food bank.

“Many thanks to the Sundt Foundation for your continued support of ICS and our Tucson neighbors in need. You continue to make a positive difference in our community,” said Karen Latendresse of Interfaith Community Services.

The Sundt Foundation additionally awarded over $25,000 to nine other organizations across Southern Arizona during its second-quarter distributions. Grant recipients include Marshall Home for Men, Wheels for Kids, Haven Totes Inc., Exodus Community Services, Inc., Sold No More, Therapeutic Ranch for Animals & Kids (TRAK), Autism Society of Southern Arizona, Mobile Meals of Southern Arizona and the TMC Foundation.

The Sundt Foundation awards grants each quarter to nonprofit organizations that support disadvantaged children and families. Grant recipients are selected through an application process, then reviewed by Sundt employee-owners within their local giving area.

Banner Unveils Virtual Waiting Rooms To Help With Social Distancing

Posted By on Thu, May 28, 2020 at 3:30 PM

UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER TUCSON - BANNER
  • University Medical Center Tucson - Banner


In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Banner Health launched virtual waiting rooms for its 300 clinics across the country. The virtual waiting rooms are equipped with chatbots from the health technology company LifeLink that assist patients via text-based communication.


The normal waiting room experience, which included close proximities of patients, needed to be updated for pandemic distancing. According to Greg Kefer, Chief Marketing Officer at LifeLink, the chatbot automates the paperwork patients normally fill out while sitting in the waiting room. This process is now completed in advance.


Patients communicate with the chatbot through text messaging on any device. As Kefer explained, this makes it especially accessible because no app needs to be downloaded nor does any password need to be created or remembered.


Kefer also suggests that this new process may serve as a solution to patients who have resisted going to the doctor.

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Cities, counties to get $441 million in direct COVID-19 relief funds

Posted By on Thu, May 28, 2020 at 2:00 PM

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WASHINGTON – Arizona cities and counties will get access to nearly $600 million in COVID-19 relief funding, part of the more than $1.8 billion awarded two months ago to Arizona under the federal CARES Act.

Larger jurisdictions received their funds directly from the federal government, but Gov. Doug Ducey said Wednesday that the remaining cities and counties in the state will get $441 million directly, based on population. They will also have access to another $150 million in emergency relief funds.

“Our office has met with mayors and county leaders to hear directly how COVID-19 is impacting their communities, and this plan delivers for them,” said Ducey, during a roundtable with a half-dozen mayors and county officials from around the state.

“It maximizes flexibility and prioritizes getting dollars quickly to where they’re needed most,” he said. “Key points the plan is focused on are maximizing flexibility, minimizing red tape and getting needed relief funds to local communities faster.”

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Oro Valley testing Fourth of July fireworks Thursday night

Posted By on Thu, May 28, 2020 at 12:46 PM

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Don’t panic if you see fireworks tonight over the Oro Valley sky around 8:30 p.m. Thursday night, it’s just the town testing this year’s Fourth of July fireworks display.

Unfortunately, this year’s Independence Day won’t include the normal community event and public fanfare residents are used to enjoying due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The good news, according to Oro Valley Parks and Recreation Director Kristy Diaz-Trahan, is that the town is hosting an “epic” fireworks show from the community center.

“We will be using larger shells that will soar higher into the night sky. We really wanted to host a July Fourth celebration this year,” Diaz-Trahan said in the town’s announcement. “This community needs it, but ultimately the decision is about public safety.”

The fireworks test shot will take place this Thursday, May 28, beginning at 8:30 p.m. The launch will take place from the fairway of Hole 1, just west of the community center. Residents should look in that direction and sort out the best vantage point for the July 4 show.

No on-site spectators will be permitted. For more information, email ask@orovalleyaz.gov.

Tribe aims to improve dental health by bringing smiles to the dental visit

Posted By on Thu, May 28, 2020 at 11:00 AM

SAN CARLOS – As she looked at the Disney characters decorating the walls of the San Carlos Apache Healthcare Dental Clinic and at the smiling, laughing children watching dental health demonstrations, Suzanne Haney thought back to what a trip to the dentist used to be.

“Back then, it was so different, it was in the ‘70s you know, the treatment wasn’t great,” said Haney, a grandmother and primary caretaker for three children under age 8. “It made you afraid to come to the dentist.”

That was just one of the challenges facing health care officials on the San Carlos Apache reservation as they struggled to improve dental health of tribe members.

While 36% of kindergartners in the U.S. experienced tooth decay, according to the 2016 edition of the First Things First’s Children’s Oral Health Report, the average in Arizona was 52%, and among Native children it was even higher. Numbers specific to the San Carlos Apache were not available, but the report said that 76% of Native American kindergartners nationwide had experienced tooth decay.

The San Carlos Apache tribe is looking to change those numbers with events like the Oral Health Month program that Haney and close to 300 others attended in February.

“We decorate the place, and we spend most of the day bringing Head Start children and the community members and let them go through and see the dental department in an environment which is fun rather than stressful,” said Dr. Gregory Waite, the chief of the San Carlos Apache dental program.

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Here's Where to Celebrate National Burger Day Today!

Posted By on Thu, May 28, 2020 at 10:00 AM

Fire N' Smoke's Farlow's Revenge—1/3 lbs. house-ground patty topped BBQ rib patty (yes, you read that right), bacon, pecorino & truffle cheese, grilled onions, spicy pickles, and chipotle sauce. - LINDY REILLY
  • Lindy Reilly
  • Fire N' Smoke's Farlow's Revenge—1/3 lbs. house-ground patty topped BBQ rib patty (yes, you read that right), bacon, pecorino & truffle cheese, grilled onions, spicy pickles, and chipotle sauce.
When it comes to fake national holidays it's hard to top the one that celebrates charbroiled ground chuck on a toasted sesame bun.

National Hamburger Day is upon the Republic and it is every citizen's duty to devour at least one at every meal today—including breakfast, especially if it's got a fried egg on top. While a burger is traditionally defined as a beef patty, fictitious lawmakers have loosened the definition allowing turkey, pork and meatless patties to be acceptable despite objections from the White House.

Here are a few places around the Old Pueblo that are more than willing to help you fulfill your civic duty:

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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Democratic Congressman Calls for Probe Into Former White House Official’s $3 Million Mask Deal

Posted By on Wed, May 27, 2020 at 4:30 PM

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ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Click here to read their biggest stories as soon as they’re published.

A senior Democratic congressman on Tuesday called for a watchdog probe into a $3 million Indian Health Service contract given to a former White House official to provide masks to Navajo Nation hospitals hit hard by the coronavirus.

ProPublica reported on Friday that IHS granted the contract for 1 million respirator masks to Zach Fuentes, a former deputy chief of staff to President Donald Trump, 11 days after Fuentes formed his company. The contract was granted with limited competitive bidding.

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