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COVID conflicts smolder in states

The divide over the politics of the COVID-19 pandemic continues in states as the crisis grinds toward its third lethal year and hospital systems in every corner of the country are strained - and the divide continues playing out even in how lawmakers conduct business.... Read more»

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CDC chief defends shortened isolation and quarantine guidelines amid Omicron surge

One day after the number of COVID-19 cases reached a pandemic high in the United States, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky defended this week's announcement of shortened isolation and quarantine stints for people who have tested positive for or been exposed to the virus. ... Read more»

CDC shortens COVID-19 isolation, quarantine periods

People exposed to COVID-19 who aren't vaccinated, and those who test positive but don't have symptoms should isolate and quarantine for five days, followed by five days of strict mask use, the CDC announced Monday.... Read more»

Amid Omicron uncertainty, states resist new mandates

Despite the new COVID-19 variant that has quickly spread across the globe, there is little appetite in either red or blue states for reimposing lockdowns or mask mandates - a recognition of the public’s exhaustion after 21 months of the coronavirus pandemic.... Read more»

As Arizona's COVID-19 testing numbers rise, Embry Health hopes to expand services

Embry Health launched an initiative in Arizona this month to hire 800 workers across its COVID-19 testing sites as schools reopened and the number of children of all ages being tested increased - while Arizona on Friday passed more than 1 million cases of COVID-19.... Read more»

Reading, 'rithmetic and resisting COVID: The new 3 r's as kids head back to school

When some kids head back to school, it will be the first time they’ve been in a real classroom with other students since the pandemic began - and even if they attended classes in person last year, the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19 will require a new safety calculation.... Read more»

'We had to keep going': After COVID setbacks, Arizona's Navajo police chief looks forward

Navajo Chief of Police Phillip Francisco - with a 200-member department that polices a rural Arizona area larger than West Virginia - hopes the federal government’s most recent COVID-19 relief bill will help pay for some of the department’s critical needs after the stresses of the pandemic.... Read more»

The other pandemic: Loneliness widespread with loss of social connections

One issue that has affected Americans across the country is the loss of social connectedness. Even before the pandemic shuttered schools, restaurants and workplaces last spring, an estimated 3 in 5 Americans reported a growing sense of loneliness, according to Cigna’s 2020 Loneliness Index. ... Read more»

COVID vaccines appear safe and effective, but key questions remain

The unknowns add to the challenge faced by governments, local health authorities, medical professionals and private sector entities as they seek to persuade people across the broadest possible swath of the population to get a vaccine.... Read more»

House calls: Arizona lawmakers land in COVID-19 quarantine more often

Four of Arizona’s nine House members have quarantined since the start of the outbreak. Except for states with just one House member, Arizona has the highest percentage of delegation members who have quarantined.... Read more»

States with few restrictions are spreading COVID-19 beyond their borders

Lax states are attracting shoppers and students from stricter neighbors — and sending back COVID-19 cases. The imbalance underscores the lack of a national policy.... Read more»

Biden promises 'no national shutdown' despite surge in COVID-19

President-elect Joe Biden pressed the urgent need for economic relief and a vaccine distribution plan for states and tribes after a video meeting Thursday with bipartisan leaders of the National Governors Association.... Read more»

Rapid coronavirus testing less accurate than government wants to admit

Rapid antigen testing is a mess. The federal government pushed it out without a plan, and then spent weeks denying problems with false positives.... Read more»

Overall crime drop in Tucson, Phoenix as COVID-19 took hold

The latest police data show reported crimes fell in Phoenix and Tucson during the second quarter of the year, a period in which Arizonans were largely confined to their homes by the governor’s COVID-19 stay-at-home order.... Read more»

Unhappy hour: Bar owners sue, call Ducey closure order unconstitutional

When he announced an extension Thursday of his order closing bars, gyms, movie theaters and more, Gov. Doug Ducey acknowledged that “businesses and employees have sacrificed” as the state fights the spread of COVID-19.... Read more»

Navajo leaders consider phased reopening as soon as next week

Navajo leaders said the tribe could begin moving toward the phased reopening of the reservation as early as next week, but they continued to urge members to take precautions to keep the number of COVID-19 cases trending downward.... Read more»

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