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'Turbulent times' as COVID spikes in schools; area hospitals burdened, Pima health chief says

High numbers of new COVID cases are burdening local hospitals and raising concerns about outbreaks in K-12 and UA classrooms, despite a slight increase in vaccinations, Pima Health Director Theresa Cullen said Tuesday. About 4,000 people have been told to quarantine after school-related exposures.... Read more»

Ducey wants savings from K-12 enrollment decline to help students who have fallen behind in pandemic

Gov. Doug Ducey plans to use hundreds of millions of dollars that schools will lose from declining enrollment for programs to help students who have fallen behind during the COVID-19 pandemic, which left many schools relying on virtual learning instead of in-person education.... Read more»

Arizona inmate COVID vaccinations expected to begin by early March

Under the Arizona DHS plan, the 35,000 or so people who are incarcerated in the state’s correctional system are part of Phase 1C of the state’s vaccination plan. Correctional officers, considered essential workers by the state, will be vaccinated as part of Phase 1B.... Read more»

Trouble sleeping this year? You’re not alone, UA researchers say

A sleep study conducted by University of Arizona researchers monitored the role of insomnia during the pandemic, and more than 50% of 1,000 participants reported experiencing insomnia.... Read more»

No new restrictions as Ducey warns pandemic end is 'not on the horizon'

Gov. Doug Ducey will not enact a statewide mask mandate or other new restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19 as the state faces rising case numbers, hospitalizations and deaths from the disease amid a nationwide resurgence of the coronavirus.... Read more»

Prop. 208 ahead in early returns; would provide school funds that legislators have not

The proposition would allow districts to hire more teachers and raise salaries of a workforce that is at high risk during the pandemic in a state that consistently ranks low on teacher pay, school funding and student performance.... Read more»

Party? Hardly. COVID-19 puts a damper on post-election celebrations

The post-election victory party – which can only really be a victory for half of those throwing them, after all – has become another victim of COVID-19.... Read more»

Az adds $2 million for rental aid program that has only helped 7% of applicants

The state will make an additional $2 million available for Arizona renters who need assistance paying their rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Doug Ducey announced Wednesday.... Read more»

Az jobless rate plummets in August, nearing pre-pandemic levels

Arizona’s unemployment rate plummeted last month to almost pre-pandemic levels, falling from 10.7% in July to 5.9% in August, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.... Read more»

Senate GOP emergency relief plan leaves out direct aid to states, cities

The GOP plan failed to include direct aid to cities and states, a priority for Democrats, or rental relief or nutrition assistance.... Read more»

Judge says Ducey must give gyms opportunity to apply for reopening

Maricopa County judge handed Mountainside Fitness a partial victory in its challenge to Gov. Doug Ducey's order closing gyms, ruling that the governor must give them an opportunity to apply for reopening within a week but leaving the order in place.... Read more»

Thousands of evictions loom as moratorium set to expire this month

Legal advocates are preparing for what could be a tsunami of evictions in the next few weeks when a temporary state ban on most evictions expires. But there is evidence that hundreds of evictions have been filed in violation of a federal ban in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.... Read more»

Guest opinion

Tucson teachers: 'Devastating consequences' in reopening schools amid CV-19 outbreak

"Physically reopening school sites on August 17 will have devastating consequences. It is essential that Arizona waive the requirement for students to be physically present in order to broaden options that ensure the safety of our community."... Read more»