News

Friday, September 25, 2020

Return to the Classroom: Your Tucson-Area School Districts Roll Out Plans for Hybrid Learning

Posted By on Fri, Sep 25, 2020 at 1:43 PM


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Thousands of students across Pima County will soon return to their classrooms as local public school districts solidify their plans for new hybrid models of instruction.

According to the county health department’s COVID-19 Progress Report, five of the nine health criteria are making “progress” and three have been officially “met.” The progress report tracks local disease data, healthcare capacity and public health capacity.

As COVID-19 data trends downward from its spike in June and July, many families have expressed interest in sending their children back to school. As a precaution, most districts are preparing to offer a hybrid model of in-person and remote instruction.

However, the Marana Unified School District is planning to offer families a fully in-person traditional learning option beginning Monday, Oct. 19.

“This is a critical topic, it’s a challenging topic, it’s a topic that’s proven to be emotional and divisive at times, but I think this community has an opportunity to come out the other end together and stronger together as we work through this process,” said Superintendent Dan Streeter during the Sept. 17 special board meeting.

MUSD received about 12,000 responses to a parent survey about learning model preferences. Streeter reported about 70 percent of families want to return to in-person classroom instruction and 30 percent want to remain in remote learning.

These numbers allow the district to begin planning logistically about class sizes, physical distancing in schools and other mitigation strategies.



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Your Southern AZ COVID-19 AM Roundup for Friday, Sept. 25: Total Cases Top 216K; County Test Sites Open

Posted By on Fri, Sep 25, 2020 at 8:48 AM

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With 518 new cases reported today, the number of Arizona’s confirmed novel coronavirus cases topped 216,000 as of Friday, Sept. 25, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

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Pima County had seen 25,265 of the state’s 216,367 confirmed cases.

With 28 new deaths today, a total of 5,587 Arizonans had died after contracting COVID-19, including 622 deaths in Pima County, according to the Sept. 24 report.

The number of hospitalized COVID cases continues to decline from July peaks, although it has ticked upward over the last week. ADHS reported that as of Sept. 24, 521 COVID patients were hospitalized in the state. The number of hospitalized COVID patients peaked at 3,517 on July 13.

A total of 721 people visited emergency rooms on Sept. 24 with COVID symptoms. That number peaked at 2,008 on July 7.

A total of 119 COVID-19 patients were in intensive care unit beds on Sept. 23. The number of COVID patients in ICUs peaked at 970 on July 13.

On a week-by-week basis in Pima County, the number of positive COVID tests peaked the week ending July 4 with 2,396 cases, according to a Sept. 17 report from the Pima County Health Department. While a vocal minority continues to insist that masks do no good, the spread of the virus began to decline within weeks of Pima County’s mask mandate, as more people began wearing them in public, although the level of new cases has creeped back up in recent weeks with the return of UA students. For the week ending Aug. 29, 507 new cases were reported; for the week ending Sept. 5, a total of 667 cases were reported; for the week ending Sept. 12, 584 cases were reported. (Recent weeks are subject to revision.)

Deaths in Pima County are down from a peak of 55 in the week ending July 4 to 19 for the week ending Aug. 15, 13 in the week ending Aug. 22, 10 in the week ending Aug. 29 and three in the week ending Sept. 5. (As above, these numbers are subject to revision as recent deaths may not have been reported.)

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Claytoonz: Amy's Cult

Posted By on Fri, Sep 25, 2020 at 1:00 AM

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Thursday, September 24, 2020

Your Southern AZ COVID-19 AM Roundup for Thursday, Sept. 24: Total Cases Close215K; UA Cases Push Pima Numbers Past Benchmark for Safe School Reopenings but Officials Say It’s Only Temporary; County Test Sites Open

Posted By on Thu, Sep 24, 2020 at 9:34 AM

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With 566 new cases reported today, the number of Arizona’s confirmed novel coronavirus cases closed in on 216,000 as of Thursday, Sept. 24, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

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Pima County had seen 25,140 of the state’s 215,852 confirmed cases.

With 34 new deaths today, a total of 5,559 Arizonans had died after contracting COVID-19, including 617 deaths in Pima County, according to the Sept. 24 report.

The number of hospitalized COVID cases continues to decline from July peaks, although it has ticked upward over the last week. ADHS reported that as of Sept. 23, 565 COVID patients were hospitalized in the state. The number of hospitalized COVID patients peaked at 3,517 on July 13.

A total of 680 people visited emergency rooms on Sept. 23 with COVID symptoms, the lowest that number has been since June 3, when 638 people visited ERs. That number peaked at 2,008 on July 7.

A total of 122 COVID-19 patients were in intensive care unit beds on Sept. 23. The number of COVID patients in ICUs peaked at 970 on July 13.

On a week-by-week basis in Pima County, the number of positive COVID tests peaked the week ending July 4 with 2,396 cases, according to a Sept. 17 report from the Pima County Health Department. While a vocal minority continues to insist that masks do no good, the spread of the virus began to decline within weeks of Pima County’s mask mandate, as more people began wearing them in public, although the level of new cases has creeped back up in recent weeks with the return of UA students. For the week ending Aug. 29, 507 new cases were reported; for the week ending Sept. 5, a total of 667 cases were reported; for the week ending Sept. 12, 584 cases were reported. (Recent weeks are subject to revision.)

Deaths in Pima County are down from a peak of 55 in the week ending July 4 to 19 for the week ending Aug. 15, 13 in the week ending Aug. 22, 10 in the week ending Aug. 29 and three in the week ending Sept. 5. (As above, these numbers are subject to revision as recent deaths may not have been reported.)

Hospitalization peaked the week ending July 18 with 237 COVID patients admitted to Pima County hospitals. For the week ending Aug. 29, 38 COVID patients were admitted to Pima County hospitals; in the week ending Sept. 5, 24 patients were admitted to Pima County hospitals; and in the week ending Sept. 12, 16 patients were admitted. (Numbers are subject to revision.)

Campus cases push Pima County school benchmarks over the line

The increase in cases around the University of Arizona has pushed one of Pima County’s benchmarks for school reopening back into the red zone.

As of the week ending Sept. 6, Pima County no longer had fewer than 100 cases per 100,000 individuals or a decline in cases for two consecutive weeks.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Your Southern AZ COVID-19 AM Roundup for Wednesday, Sept. 23: Total Cases Top 215K; Pima County Cases Top 25K; County Test Sites Open

Posted By on Wed, Sep 23, 2020 at 9:09 AM

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With 438 new cases reported today, the number of Arizona’s confirmed novel coronavirus cases topped 215,000 as of Wednesday, Sept. 23, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

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Pima County had seen 25,004 of the state’s 215,284 confirmed cases.

With 27 new deaths today, a total of 5,525 Arizonans had died after contracting COVID-19, including 613 deaths in Pima County, according to the Sept. 23 report.

The number of hospitalized COVID cases continues to decline from July peaks, although the total has jumped by more than 100 people since Sunday. ADHS reported that as of Sept. 22, 583 COVID patients were hospitalized in the state. The number of hospitalized COVID patients peaked at 3,517 on July 13.

A total of 701 people visited emergency rooms on Sept. 22 with COVID symptoms, the lowest that number has been since June 2, when 587 people visited ERs. That number peaked at 2,008 on July 7.

A total of 114 COVID-19 patients were in intensive care unit beds on Sept. 22. The number of COVID patients in ICUs peaked at 970 on July 13.

On a week-by-week basis in Pima County, the number of positive COVID tests peaked the week ending July 4 with 2,396 cases, according to a Sept. 17 report from the Pima County Health Department. While a vocal minority continues to insist that masks do no good, the spread of the virus began to decline within weeks of Pima County’s mask mandate, as more people began wearing them in public, although the level of new cases has creeped back up in recent weeks with the return of UA students. For the week ending Aug. 29, 507 new cases were reported; for the week ending Sept. 5, a total of 667 cases were reported; for the week ending Sept. 12, 584 cases were reported. (Recent weeks are subject to revision.)

Deaths in Pima County are down from a peak of 55 in the week ending July 4 to 19 for the week ending Aug. 15, 13 in the week ending Aug. 22, 10 in the week ending Aug. 29 and three in the week ending Sept. 5. (As above, these numbers are subject to revision as recent deaths may not have been reported.)

Hospitalization peaked the week ending July 18 with 237 COVID patients admitted to Pima County hospitals. For the week ending Aug. 29, 38 COVID patients were admitted to Pima County hospitals; in the week ending Sept. 5, 24 patients were admitted to Pima County hospitals; and in the week ending Sept. 12, 16 patients were admitted. (Numbers are subject to revision.)

Get a Flu Shot

The Arizona Department of Health Services is implementing an aggressive plan of action during this flu season by distributing free flu shots vaccination to all Arizonans through doctor’s offices, pharmacies, local health departments and community healthcare centers statewide.

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‘Crazy, crazy’ real estate market puts Gilbert near top of rankings

Posted By on Wed, Sep 23, 2020 at 8:44 AM

A strong housing market, combined with other lifestyle and economic data, landed five Valley cities in the top 25 on a recent list of the best real estate markets in the country, with Gilbert finishing fifth. - PHOTO BY TRAVIS WISE/CREATIVE COMMONS
  • Photo by Travis Wise/Creative Commons
  • A strong housing market, combined with other lifestyle and economic data, landed five Valley cities in the top 25 on a recent list of the best real estate markets in the country, with Gilbert finishing fifth.

WASHINGTON – Gilbert resident Nadia Saco bought the home of her dreams this August. But landing it, she said, was a “nightmare.”

Saco, 32, and her husband, who spent a year and a half looking for a larger home for their growing family, were outbid on two houses before finally winning a bidding war for the home they’re in now.

“We had to pay all their closing costs. We wrote a personalized letter with a photo of our family. And we still barely got it. We offered, I think, $10,000 over asking price,” Saco said.

“It’s just a crazy, crazy market, especially in Gilbert,” she said.



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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Your Southern AZ COVID-19 AM Roundup for Tuesday, Sept. 22: Total Cases Close in on 215K; UA Delays Phase 2 of Campus Reentry, Cracks Down on Partying Students; County Test Sites Open

Posted By on Tue, Sep 22, 2020 at 10:15 AM

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With 595 new cases reported today, the number of Arizona’s confirmed novel coronavirus cases closed in on 215,000 as of Tuesday, Sept. 22, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

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Pima County had seen 24,798 of the state’s 214,846 confirmed cases.

With 20 new deaths today, a total of 5,498 Arizonans had died after contracting COVID-19, including 617 deaths in Pima County, according to the Sept. 22 report.

The number of hospitalized COVID cases continues to decline from July peaks, although it jumped by 55 people yesterday. ADHS reported that as of Sept. 21, 527 COVID patients were hospitalized in the state. The number of hospitalized COVID patients peaked at 3,517 on July 13.

A total of 867 people visited emergency rooms on Sept. 21 with COVID symptoms, a jump of 38 from the previous day. That number peaked at 2,008 on July 7.

A total of 122 COVID-19 patients were in intensive care unit beds on Sept. 20. The number of COVID patients in ICUs peaked at 970 on July 13.

On a week-by-week basis in Pima County, the number of positive COVID tests peaked the week ending July 4 with 2,396 cases, according to a Sept. 17 report from the Pima County Health Department. While a vocal minority continues to insist that masks do no good, the spread of the virus began to decline within weeks of Pima County’s mask mandate, as more people began wearing them in public, although the level of new cases has creeped back up in recent weeks with the return of UA students. For the week ending Aug. 29, 507 new cases were reported; for the week ending Sept. 5, a total of 667 cases were reported; for the week ending Sept. 12, 584 cases were reported. (Recent weeks are subject to revision.)

Deaths in Pima County are down from a peak of 55 in the week ending July 4 to 19 for the week ending Aug. 15, 13 in the week ending Aug. 22, 10 in the week ending Aug. 29 and three in the week ending Sept. 5. (As above, these numbers are subject to revision as recent deaths may not have been reported.)

Hospitalization peaked the week ending July 18 with 237 COVID patients admitted to Pima County hospitals. For the week ending Aug. 29, 38 COVID patients were admitted to Pima County hospitals; in the week ending Sept. 5, 24 patients were admitted to Pima County hospitals; and in the week ending Sept. 12, 16 patients were admitted. (Numbers are subject to revision.)

UA keeps Phase 2 of reopening plan on pause, cracks down on partying students

Dozens of official actions have been taken against students who violated COVID-19 safety precautions and hosted weekend social gatherings off-campus.

The university and the Tucson Police Department administered 20 red tags, 19 citations and 24 Code of Conduct violations over the weekend for student parties, according to UA President Robert C. Robbins, who shared the numbers during a press conference yesterday.

Robbins and other university leaders point to this behavior as the reason COVID-19 is spreading among the community, not the essential in-person classes that are currently taking place.

Robbins described a party he witnessed last weekend that drew more than 300 college students. He said the gathering was dispersed and student sanctions resulted from the incident.

“This kind of behavior will negatively affect everyone,” he said.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2020

TEP Continues Suspension of Service Disconnection Through 2020

Posted By on Wed, Sep 16, 2020 at 2:19 PM

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Tucson Electric Power will continue to suspend service disconnections and late fees for nonpayment till the end of 2020 in an effort to help those affected by the pandemic.

The disconnection moratorium, approved by the Arizona Corporation Commission, was slated to end on Oct. 15.

“We know that many families and small businesses are facing financial hardships right now, so we want to be as flexible as we can to support them,” said TEP COO Susan Gray “We also want to help customers avoid falling too far behind on bills during this difficult period.”

TEP is creating payment plans for residential customers with overdue balances starting Oct. 15, to help avoid future service interruptions as the new year begins.

The electric company encourages customers with overdue balances to call 520-623-7711 for assistance with payment extensions or customer assistance programs.

Last March, TEP voluntarily suspended service disconnections to help alleviate financial hardships due to statewide closures in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. Soon after, the Arizona Corporation Commission approved a moratorium on the disconnection of residential electric service from June 1 to Oct.15.

TEP serves more than 430,000 customers in Southern Arizona.

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