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Governors in states that still have mask requirements for indoor settings have already begun letting them expire or have announced sunset dates in the coming weeks.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is preparing guidance for governors about when to relax masking and other measures meant to slow the spread of COVID-19, but doesn’t want to release those instructions just yet. Read more»

As the Omicron variant of COVID-19 continues to spread like wildfire in Arizona and shatter previous records in the pandemic, health experts are pleading with people to vaccinate, mask up and socially distance themselves to reduce stress on the health care system. Read more»

'We’ve come a long way,' says Graciela Holguin, a promotora who helped the town and the Pascua Yaqui Tribe reduce high rates of COVID-19 infection.

A mix of stigma, misinformation and bad accounting let COVID-19 run rampant through this small Arizona town in 2020 - but the community stepped back from that brink by building partnerships and fostering trust to track cases and increase vaccinations. Read more»

Teachers and staff at Des Moines Public Schools wait for a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Officials in many states are urging vaccinations and booster shots as the Omicron variant arrives in the United States.

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»

Donna and Buddy Fowler moved to sunny Arizona after his retirement from the Blackfoot Police Department. But when the pandemic hit in 2020, they spent more time at home to minimize their risk of COVID-19. They both got vaccinated, but Buddy’s suppressed immune system made him vulnerable.

Retired Blackfoot Police sergeant Buddy Fowler and wife Donna moved to Surprise to spend their golden years, but with too few people vaccinated and following COVID-19 guidelines, Fowler was hit hard by a case of COVID-19 and died despite being vaccinated. Read more»

School board meetings across the country have been roiled by debates over COVID-19 policies.

Democrats worried about their chances next fall will likely pay even closer attention to the fury playing out in school board meetings across the country as voters turned out big for Republicans in statewide races in Virginia this week. Read more»

The timing of the FDA authorization — which was pushed back after the pediatric vaccine trials were expanded to gather more data — will be a relief to millions of parents who have been navigating a gauntlet of school quarantine and masking rules.

The next wave of the massive COVID-19 vaccination campaign could begin as soon as next week, after federal regulators decide if elementary school students across the U.S. should begin rolling up their tiny sleeves. Read more»

As the summer months ended amid more mitigation measures implemented by Gov. Doug Ducey, cases fell and so did deaths.

A new report by the Arizona Public Health Association found that COVID-19 was the leading cause of death in Arizona during the pandemic, unlike in other similar states that had more aggressive mitigation measures. Read more» 1

Young unaccompanied migrants at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility, the main detention center for unaccompanied children in the Rio Grande Valley, in Donna, Texas on February 25, 2021.

Calling a nationwide injunction on ICE’s COVID-19 response “sweeping” and unwarranted, a divided Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals panel on Wednesday ended requirements for ICE to adopt policies to protect vulnerable immigrants from COVID-19 at 250 U.S. detention centers. Read more»

'Crear un escudo de personas vacunadas alrededor del niño es importante para que la transición de regreso a la escuela sea lo más segura posible', dijo la Dra. Christine Bottrell Mirzaian, pediatra del Children's Hospital Los Ángeles.

El regreso a la escuela plantea problemas de salud para muchos de niños y adultos jóvenes que corren un riesgo de episodios de COVID-19, y las escuelas deben estar más atentas al uso de máscaras, la higiene de las manos y el distanciamiento social con aquellos alumnos. Read more»

'Creating a shield of vaccinated individuals around the child is important to making the transition back to school as safe as possible,' said Dr. Christine Bottrell Mirzaian, a pediatrician at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

The return to school raises health issues for many of the roughly 7 million U.S. children and young adults who are at increased risk for serious bouts of COVID-19, and schools have to be more vigilant about mask-wearing, hand hygiene and social distancing with those students. Read more»

New citizens take the oath of allegiance during a naturalization ceremony in San Francisco in 2015. More than 900,000 citizenship applications are pending in the U.S., with over 11,000 of those in Arizona, as the pandemic and other issues have caused a backlog at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

More than 11,000 U.S. citizenship applications currently pending in Arizona - nearly double the backlog of 6,307 cases at the end of 2015 - and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said the backlog comes from delays caused by pandemic service reductions last year. Read more»

Arizona Snowbowl’s gondola offers a snow-free perspective during the summer. That view will change soon and one resort already saw a light dusting.

Winter officially does not begin for 82 days, but employees at Sunrise Park Resort near Greer woke Thursday morning to a fresh dusting of powder as Arizona ski resorts and specialty shops have had to shift modes in preparation for what could be another unconventional ski season. Read more»

The same factors that impact children’s learning — poverty, lack of resources in rural communities and systemic racism — also impact health outcomes.

With conflicts over masking, vaccinations and confusing quarantine policies, families already on the brink now find themselves once again yo-yoing between in-person and remote learning while making impossible decisions about whether to risk their children’s health for their education. Read more»

The BirdGang travel group represents the 'Red Sea' at a home Arizona Cardinals game.

The 2021 season is the NFL’s biggest ever with a 17-game schedule, but differing COVID-19 guidelines by teams have confused many fans - thus far, the Las Vegas Raiders are the only NFL franchise to require proof of vaccination to enter Allegiant Stadium. Read more»

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