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Tucson, Pima County plan zoning changes to allow recreational-only pot dispensaries

The city of Tucson and Pima County have launched public outreach campaigns as they prepare changes in zoning codes to allow the opening of dispensaries that sell only recreational marijuana.... Read more»

Ducey ends Arizona's COVID-19 state of emergency, 2 years after pandemic began

Gov. Doug Ducey ended Arizona's declaration of a public health emergency on Wednesday, dialing back the measure he instituted more than two years ago in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. ... Read more»

Pima County urges booster shots for all 'as soon as possible' as COVID-19 cases spike again

Everyone 18 years and older should get a COVID-19 booster "as soon as possible" as the rate of COVID-19 cases continues to increase, the Pima County Health Department said Monday. ... Read more»1

As COVID shots for kids 5-11 roll out, pediatricians & pharmacies begin scheduling appointments

As pediatric doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine began arriving in Pima County for children 5-11, doctors and pharmacies began scheduling appointments for this weekend after the CDC green-lighted the vaccine. ... Read more»

TUSD requiring COVID masks in schools, pushing back against state law

Students, teachers, parents and visitors on campuses in Tucson Unified School District must wear COVID-19 masks, the Governing Board voted Wednesday — a move that runs counter to a new state law intended to block such mandates. ... Read more»

As COVID cases increase again in Arizona, Gov. Ducey urges vaccinations

Highlighting the rise in COVID-19 cases because of the Delta variant, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey urged people to get vaccinated against the disease — but says the state will not listen to the 'lockdown lobby.'... Read more»

Masks 'optional' at TUSD after Republicans ban schools from requiring face-coverings or vaccines

Masks will be optional at Tucson Unified School District this fall, after GOP lawmakers blocked Arizona schools from requiring face coverings as a way to mitigate COVID-19 infections. The bill also bars schools from requiring coronavirus vaccinations. ... Read more»

Arizonans with disabilities get COVID vaccinations, thanks to group effort

More than 1,600 people got their first COVID-19 vaccinations at a recent event targeting an especially vulnerable population – people with intellectual or developmental disabilities, and second doses are scheduled for this weekend under a partnership between the state and groups including Ability360 and The Arc, which serve people with disabilities, their families and caregivers.... Read more»

Travel nurses, staffing industry pushed to the limits by COVID-19

Tens of thousands of travel nurses cycle between hot spots, adjusting to new work settings, different co-workers, unfamiliar assignments and long hours, but after more than a year of witnessing unrelenting death and risking their own exposure on the front lines, some travel nurses are burning out.... Read more»

Border deployment the latest in Arizona National Guard’s 'roller coaster' year

From stocking pandemic-depleted grocery shelves to fighting wildfires, from setting up vaccination sites to providing support in cities hit by civil unrest, the nearly 8,300 members of the Arizona National Guard have been constantly pulled in different directions for the past year.... Read more»

Do less harm: Testing for fentanyl program pioneered in Baltimore is illegal in Arizona

Baltimore and Phoenix are two completely different cities culturally and geographically, but they’re both experiencing the same problem: increased deaths due to opioid overdoses, specifically those involving powerful fentanyl.... Read more»

Drop in vaccinations puts Arizona at risk of outbreak, AZDHS warns

The Arizona Department of Health Services issued a report warning that increased exemptions from vaccines are putting the state at risk this year for an outbreak of measles, mumps and other preventable diseases.... Read more»

Pregnant & addicted

Az’s opioid epidemic grew twice as fast among pregnant mothers & newborns

At the urging of Gov. Doug Ducey, Arizona lawmakers approved sweeping new regulations of drugs designed to curb the state’s sprawling opioid epidemic, which has seen overdose deaths nearly double in the past decade. ... Read more»

AG: Az opioid firm fraudulently promoted over-prescribing of drug

Arizona on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against Chandler-based opioid firm alleging that they participated in fraudulent practices that led to overprescription of a powerful opioid drug.... Read more»

Sudden closure of assisted-living homes sends residents packing

Thirteen residents of two Sahuarita assisted-living homes found themselves abruptly moved to new facilities Thursday and Friday, but exactly why remains unclear. The owner of the "Rancho Verde" facilities has been operating seven homes in Tucson and Sahuarita. The total number of residents affected is unknown.... Read more»1

Docs: Prolonged unemployment straining mental health

Psychiatrist Daniel Merrill is seeing it more and more in the tough economy: Someone ends up in the hospital suffering from depression or anxiety brought on by the stress of unemployment. Sometimes the condition leads to a substance-abuse problem or suicide attempt.... Read more»