COVID-19

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Your Southern AZ Coronavirus AM Roundup for Saturday, April 4: AZ Confirmed Cases Top 2K, More Businesses Closing Today

Posted By on Sat, Apr 4, 2020 at 9:15 AM

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The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Arizona has topped 2,000, according to the morning report from the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Pima County had 326 of the state’s confirmed 2,019 cases.

The coronavirus had killed 52 people statewide, including 11 in Pima County.

In Maricopa County, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases had risen to 1,171.

Gov. Doug Ducey yesterday narrowed the list of “essential businesses” that are allowed to remain open under his stay-at-home order, saying that barbershops; cosmetology, hairstyling, nail salons, and aesthetic salons; tanning salons; tattoo parlors; spa, massage parlors, and swap meets all must close by 5 p.m. today.

Ducey also called for the closing of basketball courts, splash pads, playgrounds, and public restrooms in public parks and said that communal pools at hotels, condominiums, apartment complexes, and parks should be closed but maintained by management. The expanded list of shuttered businesses and amenities comes after Ducey faced criticism by Tucson Mayor Regina Romero and others that he had allowed too many businesses to remain open under a list of "essential services."

Under the stay-at-home order, Arizonans are still able to shop for groceries, medical and household needs, and pet supplies. They can also go work, pick up a take-out meal from a restaurant, travel to take care of a family member, friend or pet, and can still go walking, hiking, biking and golfing, provided that they adhere to social distancing guidelines.

“Slowing the spread of COVID-19 will ensure we build capacity in our healthcare system, and help protect the lives of those we love most,” Ducey said Monday. “It’s important to emphasize that there are no plans to shut down grocery stores. People should continue to buy what you need for a week’s worth of groceries."

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Friday, April 3, 2020

Your Southern AZ COVID-19 PM Update for Friday, April 4: Nearly 1,800 Confirmed Cases in AZ; Ducey Orders Barbershops, Playgrounds, Pools & More Closed by Tomorrow; County Closes Most Public Shooting Ranges; & More

Posted By on Fri, Apr 3, 2020 at 5:00 PM

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Here's a roundup of stories we've been following today:

• Pima County has 280 of the state's confirmed 1,769 COVID-19 cases as of this morning's report from the Arizona Department of Health Services. A total of 41 people had died statewide, including 11 in Pima County. Details here.

• Gov. Doug Ducey expanded his stay-at-home order by telling a new set of businesses they had to close by 5 p.m. tomorrow: barbershops; cosmetology, hairstyling, nail salons, and aesthetic salons; tanning salons; tattoo parlors; spa, massage parlors, and swap meets. In the parks, Ducey called for the closing of basketball courts, splash pads, playgrounds, and public restrooms. He also said communal pools at hotels, condominiums, apartment complexes, and parks should be closed by maintained by management. The expanded list of shuttered businesses and amenities comes after Ducey faced criticism by Tucson Mayor Regina Romero and others that he had allowed too many businesses to remain open under a list of "essential services."

• Pima County closed most of its county-run shooting ranges—Southeast Regional Park Shooting Range, Southeast Archery Range, Southeast Clay Target Center, and Tucson Mountain Park Rifle and Pistol Range—because it could no longer provide qualified staffers to keep on eye on things. The county has left open the Tucson Mountain Park Archery Range, along with the Virgil Ellis Rifle and Pistol Range in Ajo, because both are unstaffed.

• The Weekly has an expanded online list of restaurants doing takeout and delivery. Consider supporting your local eateries by picking up little dinner this weekend.

• If you've lost your job lately and need some financial help with young children in the home, the Pima County Health Department may be able to help.

• The labor union for Arizona's prison guards is demanding that all correctional officers be allowed to wear personal protective equipment.

• The UA Cooperative Extension has teamed up with a 4-H program to create face shields and other personal protective equipment, which remains in short supply across the nation.

• Pima County suggests you put together an emergency plan for pet care during the outbreak.

• The Tucson tourism sector is taking a big hit.


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Ducey Orders Barbers, Tattoo Parlors, Basketball Courts, Pools & More Closed By Tomorrow

Posted By on Fri, Apr 3, 2020 at 2:30 PM

COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo
Gov. Doug Ducey has ordered barber shops, beauty parlors, nail salons, tattoo parlors and several other businesses to close by 5 p.m. Saturday, April. 4.

He also said parks should close basketball courts, playgrounds and other recreational amenities, but said that parks should remain open as much as possible.

While Ducey issued a stay-at-home on Monday, some local officials, including Tucson Mayor Regina Romero, have been calling on him to narrow his order to include the above businesses and others because they pose a risk of spreading COVID-19, the highly infectious novel coronavirus which is sweeping across Arizona and the rest of the United States.

“During these unprecedented times, providing clarity for small businesses and employers is an important measure to ensure we protect our citizens, slow the spread of COVID-19, and protect this critical part of our economy,” said Governor Doug Ducey. “As guidance from public health officials evolves, we will continue to release information and direction.”

Among the businesses that must close: barber shops; cosmetology, hairstyling, nail salons and aesthetic salons; tanning salons; tattoo parlors; spa, massage parlors and swap meets.

In the parks, Ducey called for the closing of basketball courts, splash pads, playgrounds and public restrooms.

He also said communal pools at hotels, condominiums, apartment complexes and parks should be closed by maintained by management.

The coronavirus had killed 41 people statewide, including 11 in Pima County, as of Friday, April 3, according to the morning report from the Arizona Department of Health Services. In Maricopa County, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has risen to 1,049. Pima County had 280 of the 1,769 cases of COVID-19 that had been confirmed in Arizona.


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AZ Correctional Peace Officers Association Demands PPE in Prisons

Posted By on Fri, Apr 3, 2020 at 12:00 PM

ARIZONA CORRECTIONAL PEACE OFFICERS ASSOCIATION
  • Arizona Correctional Peace Officers Association
Yesterday the Arizona Correctional Peace Officers Association—a labor union representing correctional officers in prisons throughout the state—demanded that all officers wear personal protective equipment such as face masks during work, due to the high risk of COVID-19 infection.

This move is in response to Arizona Department of Corrections Director David Shinn's direct order that employees not wear PPE in prisons. The AZCPOA wrote in a press release that Shinn, Governor Doug Ducey, and Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Crist have all "utterly failed" to protect correctional officers, incarcerated people and the general public from COVID-19.

"Contrary to Director Shinn, COVID19 is in the Arizona prisons," the release states. "Officers have tested positive for COVID19 in Winslow and Tucson prisons. ADC concealed officers' positive test results from coworkers. ADC only admitted to COVID19 results after AZCPOA revealed the positive results to the media."

The association says ADC's "complete disregard for public health" has caused over 100 correctional officers to be sent home from work due to flu-like symptoms, who were then allowed back to work within three days without any testing.

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Your Southern AZ Coronavirus AM Roundup for Friday, April 3: 1,769 Confirmed COVID-19 Cases in State; 41 Now Dead; Statewide Stay-At-Home Order in Place

Posted By on Fri, Apr 3, 2020 at 9:07 AM


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The coronavirus had killed 41 people statewide, including 11 in Pima County, as of Friday, April 3, according to the morning report from the Arizona Department of Health Services.
In Maricopa County, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has risen to 1,049.

Pima County had 280 of the 1,769 cases of COVID-19 that had been confirmed in Arizona.

Arizona remains under Gov. Doug Ducey’s stay-at-home order to discourage people from venturing out as the outbreak spreads. Because symptoms can take as long as two weeks to appear after exposure to the virus (and some people can remain entirely asymptomatic), health officials say community spread of the disease is far worse than the official numbers suggest. They have urged the public to avoid unnecessary trips and gatherings of more than 10 people.

Under the order, Arizonans are still able to shop for groceries, medical and household needs, and pet supplies. They can also go work, pick up a take-out meal from a restaurant, travel to take care of a family member, friend or pet, and can still go walking, hiking, biking and golfing, provided that they adhere to social distancing guidelines.

“Slowing the spread of COVID-19 will ensure we build capacity in our healthcare system, and help protect the lives of those we love most,” Ducey said Monday. “It’s important to emphasize that there are no plans to shut down grocery stores. People should continue to buy what you need for a week’s worth of groceries."

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Thursday, April 2, 2020

Your Southern AZ Coronavirus PM Roundup for Thursday, April 2: Nearly 1600 Coronavirus Cases in AZ, 32 Dead; Prison Guard Warns "It's Gonna Be Hell"; Health Official Pleads for Nurses; Local Chefs Ask for Help & More!

Posted By on Thu, Apr 2, 2020 at 5:00 PM

AZ DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
  • AZ Department of Health
• Pima County now has 237 of Arizona's 1,598 confirmed cases of coronavirus. A total of 32 people in the state have died after coming down with the bug. Pima County Health Director Bob England has asked retired nurses and other healthcare workers to consider returning to work.

• A local prison guard warns that without personal protective equipment, the prisons are "gonna be hell" when the coronavirus hits.

• Local chefs are asking you to order takeout once a week from a local restaurant to keep them in business through the outbreak.

• Here's what you can still do in the great outdoors while maintaining proper social distance.

Candidates are scrambling to get enough signatures to run for the late Richard Elias' seat on the Pima County Board of Supervisors.

• Need a place to stay? Consider Hotel McCoy, which is renting discounted rooms by the month to those affected by the outbreak.

• The IRS is warming that scammers are going to try to steal your upcoming check from government.


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IRS Issues a Warning on Scams Tied to Coronavirus Economic Impact Payments

Posted By on Thu, Apr 2, 2020 at 4:30 PM

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As much as we'd all love to believe that all of us are doing what we can to keep each other safe and well, there are those out there who don't care about anyone but themselves. Scummy scammers who take advantage of people's fear during times of chaos are some of the lowest in the barrel, but unfortunately, they're out there—pandemic or not.

Today the IRS has warned about scammers who trying to use the COVID-19 outbreak to scam people by tricking them about the upcoming government stimulus checks via various forms of communication, including texting, emails, websites, and social media to reach people who are vulnerable. Here's the deal: If someone calls you and asks you sign over your stimulus check, don't do it!

Here's the IRS release:

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State of AZ Prison Guard: "Once the Coronavirus Hits, Then It's Gonna Be Hell"

Posted By on Thu, Apr 2, 2020 at 2:45 PM

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While there are currently no known cases of COVID-19 in Arizona’s 16 prisons, it’s an ideal breeding ground for the novel coronavirus that is now sweeping across the United States:

But with personal protective gear such as masks and gloves in short supply everywhere, the Arizona Department of Corrections is actively discouraging the guards and other prison staff from using it.

A correctional officer who works inside the Arizona State Prison Complex in Tucson shared multiple emails from superiors dictating that no face masks were allowed to be worn during work. They witnessed a coworker attempt to come into the prison with a mask and immediately be sent home.

The correctional officer, who spoke to The Weekly under terms that they remain anonymous to protect their identity, said both correctional officers and incarcerated people are becoming nervous about a potential outbreak.

“It’s a lot of people in such a little space and everyone knows what that means,” the officer said. “So yeah, it makes me nervous and I think they’re safer in there for now, but once the coronavirus hits, then it’s gonna be hell.”

Criminal justice advocates across Arizona and the entire United States have urged the state government to begin expedited releases of nonviolent prisoners to reduce the risk of infection within prison facilities.

ADC is discouraging their employees from bringing in masks to work because they don’t want to “create panic” in the prison. But in this particular facility, many incarcerated people have access to news broadcasts on television, so they are already aware of what’s happening on the outside.

“I’ve gotten a lot of questions about what it’s like out there right now,” the officer said. “They’re curious, they all know what the media is saying.”

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