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Fourth wave: As mask mandates are lifted, Arizona health researchers urge COVID-19 caution

Health researchers on Wednesday urged caution despite the state’s lifting of restrictions on businesses and government, echoing a federal warning of a possible fourth wave of COVID-19 if Arizonans become too complacent. Dr. Joshua LaBaer, executive director of the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, ticked off positive developments, bookended by warnings.... Read more»

Ducey didn’t consult Az hospital leaders before scrapping mask mandates, business rules

Leaders of hospitals across Arizona are voicing disapproval with Gov. Doug Ducey’s decision to roll back local mask mandates and business restrictions meant to stop the spread of COVID-19, and the state’s public health chief said Friday the governor did not consult hospitals before ending restrictions. During a Friday press conference, Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ said the only conversations about the decision to roll back local mask mandates and statewide requirements that businesses enforce mask-wearing and physical distancing were between the Governor’s Office and ADHS. ... Read more»

Arizona highway deaths rose during pandemic, as driving was declining

Traffic deaths in Arizona surged during the COVID-19 pandemic, even as the number of miles driven in the state appeared to be decreasing, according to preliminary statistics from 2020. There were 1,072 deaths on the state’s highways in 2020, the most in at least the past 10 years and a sharp increase from the 980 deaths recorded in 2019, according to preliminary data from the Governor’s Office on Highway Safety.... Read more»