May 6, 2020 / Modified may 6, 2020 5:44 p.m.

Arizona coronavirus news in brief, May 6

Recent coverage impacting Southern Arizona: ADHS asks researchers to stop modeling, plasma donor, and more.

Arizona COVID-19 cumulative counts, July 7

Cases: 105,094 | Deaths: 1,927 | Diagnostic tests: 628,275
The state reported 3,653 more cases and 117 deaths on this day. Choose a Layerlayer and click on county for more.

Credit: Nick O'Gara/AZPM. Sources: ADHS, county health departments, Census 2018 Quick Facts. Test numbers and rates are for reported PCR tests and do not include antibody tests, unlike previous versions of this map. Cumulative totals are based daily numbers posted by the state. Daily changes don't necessarily reflect the previous 24 hours.

Select regional and national coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic as of Wednesday, May 6. For more coverage, visit our resource page. This story may be updated.

Health officials ask university to stop COVID-19 modeling amid lockdown easing

Arizona Republic, May 5

Arizona Department of Health Officials asked a team of researchers at Arizona universities to "pause" its work on COVID-19 models.

That request reportedly came in an email from a top health official shortly after the announcement was made that Arizona would start to lift its distancing restrictions. The team of experts from Arizona's two biggest public universities were creating the state's most robust public model, which suggested that waiting until the end of May to reopen was the only scenario that didn't involve a dramatic rise in cases.


COVID-19 survivor seeks to help others by donating plasma

AZPM, May 6

A Tucsonan is giving back after recovering from a fight with the coronavirus.

Paula Sommers is donating plasma to help doctors discover antibody information that can help in the battle against COVID-19.

Sommers made a successful recovery after seven days. She says people should continue to take precautions for themselves and for others who have health challenges.

Learn more here.

Tucson program offering no-interest loans to small businesses

Arizona Daily Star, May 6

The city of Tucson is offering a coronavirus relief program that allows businesses with fewer than 50 employees to get an interest-free loan.

The City Council on Tuesday moved to set rules for the program, which targets the neediest small businesses, including those owned by minorities, women, persons with disabilities and others. The program reportedly will offer loans of up to $25,000.

Learn more at

As blood donations fell, FDA eased rules to roll up a sleeve and give

Cronkite News, May 6

WASHINGTON – It’s a familiar ritual to anyone who has donated blood – after the finger prick and before the needle stick comes a medical history form that includes a long list of factors than can exclude or defer a donation.

The list is still long, but in an era of COVID-19 the deferrals are not.

The Food and Drug Administration in April eased a number of restrictions on blood donations in order to help blood banks across the nation keep up with the demand for blood. It came as infection concerns and stay-home orders were leading to widespread cancellations of blood drives and donation appointments.

Read more here.

Navajo Nation GoFundMe gets many international donations

Fronteras Desk, May 5

The Navajo Nation has raised $2 million and a GoFundMe campaign has raised almost an additional $2 million for the tribe, which has been hit hard by the coronavirus. Some recent donations came all the way from Ireland.

Learn more here.

Some Arizona nonprofits may not overcome virus-driven losses

AP, May 6

PHOENIX (AP) — Nearly half of nonprofits in Arizona will be unable to serve the public within the next month because of the heavy toll brought by the coronavirus pandemic.

Arizona State University released a survey Tuesday that found many nonprofits are facing bleak prospects due to losses in revenue and volunteering. While some programs like food banks and child care are seeing their demand balloon, other nonprofits such as performing arts groups continue to spiral.

Those surveyed cited cancellations of major fundraisers and few donations because of rising unemployment. Stay-at-home orders also forced groups to cease in-person programs.

Read more here

Handful of Pac-12 schools expecting to reopen in fall

AP< May 6

Five Pac-12 schools are expecting to reopen campuses this fall, a key step to the return of college sports. Many more steps still need to be taken before football or any other sport is going to played in 2020 as the world copes with the coronavirus pandemic.

Both Arizona schools, the Washington schools and Oregon last week announced plans to hold in-person classes in the fall. That leaves seven others still left mulling whether to follow suit or continue holding online classes.

Read more here.

Community fishing's a popular outlet during pandemic

AP, May 6

CHANDLER, Ariz. (AP) — Families and fishermen are heading to community lakes as an outdoor outlet during the coronavirus pandemic.

Countless federal, state and county waters have been deemed off-limits. But many community lakes are open and still being stocked. The lure has been too much to resist for fishermen and families. Fans say it's a perfect activity for social distancing. Searches for how and where to fish have increased in recent weeks.

The website of the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation has an interactive map showing what’s open in every state during the pandemic.

Read more here.

Poll: Pandemic especially tough on people of color

AP, May 6

DETROIT (AP) — People of color have not only been hit harder by the deadly coronavirus than have Americans overall, but they’re also bearing the brunt of the pandemic’s financial impact. \

That's according to a recent survey from the The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The poll found that 61% of Hispanic Americans say they’ve experienced some kind of household income loss as a result of the outbreak. That’s compared with 46% of Americans overall.

Thirty-seven percent of Latinos and 27% of black Americans say they’ve been unable to pay at least one type of bill. Only 17% of white Americans say the same.

Read more here.

Why are some planes crowded even with air travel down?

AP, May 6

Social media has been bursting with photos of crowded planes amid the pandemic. That raises the question of how it's even possible when air travel is down more than 90% from a year ago.

In some cases, airlines are creating the crowds by canceling other flights and packing passengers onto fewer planes. But the carriers say they are taking action to ease passengers' fears about coronavirus contagion. Some are blocking middle seats or letting passengers pay extra to guarantee an empty seat next to them. They are also starting to require passengers to wear facial coverings.

Read more here.

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