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COVID-19 cases and deaths are down sharply from the height of the pandemic, but COVID-19 has still been responsible for more than 2.3 million infections and 32,182 deaths in Arizona in the past three years, and health experts say it’s likely here to stay.

Almost three years after the first COVID-19 cases were detected in Arizona, here’s what we know: It hits the elderly hardest, it spikes in summer and winter, it killed men in Arizona at sharply higher rates than women and new strains continue to evolve. Read more»

Havasu Falls, one of five Havasupai waterfalls deep in Arizona’s Havasu Canyon, an offshoot of Grand Canyon National Park but on lands administered by the Havasupai Indian Tribe.

President Joe Biden approved a disaster declaration for Arizona's Havasupai Tribe and ordered federal aid to supplement the tribe’s response and recovery efforts in areas affected by October flooding within the community. Read more»

'It was a big scare at that time,' Valentina Nez of Tonalea says, referring to the early days of the pandemic. She received a booster shot at the Tuba City Regional Health Care mobile medical unit.

Newly compiled data reveals how severely the COVID-19 pandemic impacted Indigenous communities in Arizona at the onset of the pandemic, and it shows how the community’s response helped reverse the trends in 2021.  Read more»

Nonviolent offenses had the most significant percentage reduction while the number of people charged with violent crimes increased.

According to a Bureau of Justice Statistics report, federal arrests declined by 35 percent from fiscal year 2020 to 2021, ending at the lowest number of arrests in two decades - but the number of people charged with a federal offense decreased less than 1 percent.  Read more»

Medicare wasn’t the only government program targeted for laboratory fraud - health care providers found quick access to money in the federal fund for testing people without insurance.

Medicare’s COVID-19 testing costs reached over $2 billion in 2022 - and the growing costs concern some experts, who say financial incentives and a lack of regulation early in the pandemic led to fraud and overspending. Read more»

Arizona’s vaccination rates, which have been declining for years, dropped sharply during the pandemic and haven’t rebounded.

Vaccination rates among schoolchildren in Arizona have steadily declined since 2012, but the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the drop across the state - and the trend is unlikely to reverse any time soon, which could result in serious health consequences in the future. Read more»

A view of the Tucson City Hall in 2022.

The IDEA beat in 2022 reported on Southern Arizona, Pima County and Tucson during a time of shocking violence in the community, the end to COVID-19 measures and funding and an important midterm election. Read more»

Title 42’s demise began when a federal judge struck down the policy at the request of immigration advocates. When the Biden administration revealed its intention to comply with the ruling, 19 Republican states -led by Arizona - intervened.

In a split decision, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a fight over the conclusion of Title 42 - and while the Biden administration’s immigration policy hangs in the balance, the court agreed only to decide if the 19 states have a basis to intervene in the case.  Read more»

Tyequan Colkey, 19, es un estudiante de 12º grado de El Dorado High School, una preparatoria chárter de Chandler, Ariz., que no suspende a los estudiantes por infracciones de asistencia.

Para el año escolar 2021-22, los distritos de todo el país enfrentaban lo que muchos denominaron una crisis de ausentismo debido a que el cierre de escuelas relacionado con la pandemia causó estragos en la asistencia, y los educadores tuvieron que actuar. Read more»

Arizona Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs has picked Dr. Theresa Cullen, Pima County health director, to lead the state Department of Health Services. Cullen has spent 35 years working in public health and took the helm in Pima County in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more»

The Supreme Court weighed in after a federal judge previously ordered the Biden administration to end the use of Title 42 to expel immigrants.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the Biden administration has to continue with an emergency health order the federal government has used for more than two years to quickly turn away migrants, including those seeking asylum, at the southwest border. Read more»

This year’s Inflation Reduction Act allocates $80 billion to the IRS over the next decade to boost enforcement, operations, taxpayer services and modernization of technical systems.

If you’re trying to evaluate a charity this year, you might have a hard time as the IRS is behind on releasing Form 990s, limiting access to key financial information the public uses to evaluate the nation’s tax-exempt companies. Read more»

Una puerta cerrada con llave en la frontera en Nogales. La atención médica en los centros de detención de inmigrantes era deficiente incluso antes de la pandemia y en septiembre expiró una orden judicial que requería que los funcionarios federales de inmigración consideraran la liberación de los detenidos con riesgos de COVID.

Para aproximadamente 30,000 personas que viven en espacios cerrados en la red de instalaciones de inmigración del país, COVID sigue siendo una amenaza siempre presente. Read more»

A locked gate at the border in Nogales. Medical care in immigration detention facilities was deficient even before the pandemic and in September, a court order expired that required federal immigration officials to consider releasing detainees with COVID risks.

Across the country, the chance of developing severe illness or dying from COVID has fallen - but for the roughly 30,000 people living in close quarters in the country’s network of immigration facilities, COVID remains an ever-present threat. Read more»

The measure was the last Senate vote of the current Congress; lawmakers will reconvene in January.

The U.S. Senate passed a massive $1.7 trillion funding package that carries emergency aid for natural disaster recovery and the Ukrainian war effort, pushing past disputes over immigration policy and barely meeting a Friday deadline when current funding runs out. Read more»

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