Arizona COVID-19 two-week snapshot
State reminds hospitals to activate emergency plans
Arizona Department of Health Services Director Cara Christ sent a letter to hospitals Saturday reminding them of the emergency plan outlined in an executive order issued by Gov. Doug Ducey in March.
The order directed hospitals to be able to expand their capacity by 25% to deal with a surge in COVID-19 cases.
Christ’s letter came one day after Banner Health held a news conference to announce they were nearing capacity. Over the weekend, Banner added that they are running out of a specific kind of ventilator.
The letter from the state’s top doctor was greeted by a terse statement from Banner in which they said they put their emergency plan in place in March.
Black Lives Matter say police presence at UA event broke agreement
At least 3,000 people gathered on the University of Arizona campus Saturday afternoon for Black Lives Matter Tucson: Celebration of Black Lives, an event commemorating George Floyd and highlighting racism and police brutality problems speakers said still persist in Arizona.
Tiera Rainey, one of the speakers at the event, said in the past the Tucson community has failed to support Black Lives Matter causes and denounce racism in a meaningful way. She also said despite assurances from UA President Robert Robbins that police would not be on campus, a heavy police presence was still spotted before the event began. On Sunday, Black Lives Matter Tucson said on Twitter it would no longer work with the university to host events because the agreed-upon limit on police presence had not been honored.
Ducey not renewing curfew
Capitol Media Service
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said he won't be renewing a curfew he put in place a week ago amid protests that were spreading across the country over police brutality.
The 8 p.m.-5 a.m. curfew was put in place May 31 following property damage and looting at Scottsdale Fashion Square. The bulk of subsequent demonstrating throughout the state was peaceful.
The curfew expired Monday morning at 5 a.m., and Ducey announced he would not be extending it in a series of tweets that day.
Read more at Tucson.com.
I want to thank both the peaceful protestors and law enforcement professionals for their cooperation during Arizona’s statewide curfew. Arizona has avoided much of the violence we’ve seen in other states and large metro areas. 1/— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) June 8, 2020
Federal data shows COVID-19 spread in some Arizona long-term care facilities
More than 350 long-term care facilities in Arizona have reported cases of COVID-19 among residents or staff.
The residents of those facilities are often the elderly or people with underlying health issues. Those are the same groups that are most vulnerable to the disease.
“There are nearly 2,500 cases in Pima County and 24% of those are associated with long-term care settings, but 60% of the deaths are from long-term care,” said Kate Ellingson with the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health.
Last week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services published the names of facilities that take federal dollars and their rates of COVID cases. Learn more here.
Fire in Pusch Ridge area grows over the weekend
A fire that started in the Pusch Ridge Wilderness Friday grew over the weekend, coming within a mile of some communities in the Tucson area.
As of Sunday evening, a government website said the fire had grown to 1,700 acres. Though the fire grew on Sunday, there was no growth in the southwest sector of the fire near communities like La Reserve. On Saturday, the fire came within a mile of some Oro Valley communities on the east side of Oracle Road.
Phoenix man hit by police rubber bullets plans $11M lawsuit
PHOENIX — A young black man who was hit with rubber bullets and wrestled to the ground in January by white Phoenix police officers in a case of mistaken identity says the encounter did more than long-term physical damage.
Dion Humphrey told reporters Monday he now panics every time he sees police. Humphrey's lawyers announced the filed a notice of claim seeking $11.5 million. They say the rubber bullets hit him near his heart and groin. The claim says Humphrey was hospitalized and needs heart surgery. The claim accuses four officers of excessive use of force, intentional infliction of emotional distress and gross negligence. Humphrey is black and the four officers are white.
[Learn more here.}(https://apnews.com/57e6cb213dae98b70eacb8242706ace8)
ASU retracts job offer to newly hired journalism school dean
PHOENIX — Arizona State University has rescinded a job offer to the newly hired dean of its prestigious journalism school following allegations of racism and mistreatment of students.
The Arizona Republic reports that university Provost Mark Searle said in an email that Sonya Forte Duhé would not lead the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in Phoenix. Duhé was scheduled to take over July 1 as the school’s dean and CEO of Arizona PBS. She faced accusations from nearly two dozen former students at Loyola University in New Orleans, where she was director of the School of Communication and Design.
Mexico-U.S. imports and exports fall almost 50%
MEXICO CITY — Mexico is the United States’ — and Arizona’s — main trading partner. But trade between both countries has been seriously impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, as imports and exports have dropped.
The latest Census trade data from April shows that both exports and imports from Mexico fell almost 50% each, from month-to-month and year-to-year.
Exports from Mexico to the U.S. fell 47.9% in April compared to the same month in 2019; imports fell 43.8% for the same period.
From March to April 2020, exports fell from about $20 billion to $12.5 billion, while imports dropped from $30.1 billion to $15.8 billion.
Arizona demonstrators march in Phoenix, Scottsdale protests Sunday
PHOENIX — Demonstrators have marched through the streets of Phoenix and Scottsdale in two separate protests for social justice in memory of a black man who was killed by an Arizona police officer.
The Arizona Republic reports organizers in Phoenix say a line of demonstrators stretched nearly a mile Sunday. Protesters kneeled outside of the Arizona Department of Public Safety headquarters to denounce the deaths of black men and women at the hands of police nationwide, including Dion Johnson in Phoenix. In Scottsdale, up to 1,000 protesters demonstrated, with Police Chief Alan Rodbell marching in uniform near the front.
Northern Arizona University to start school year early
FLAGSTAFF — Northern Arizona University will start and end the fall semester earlier this year to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
President Rita Cheng announced in an email Thursday that classes will start Aug. 12 and end before Thanksgiving Day. The university plans to increase cleaning and sanitation measures, require facial coverings in common areas and maintain social distancing guidelines and protocols for testing and screening.
On Saturday, the state reported more than 1,000 new cases, increasing the statewide total to nearly 25,500. More than 1,000 people have died from the virus in Arizona.
Family of man killed by Arizona cop wants federal probe
PHOENIX — The family of an unarmed man shot and killed by an Arizona state trooper the same day George Floyd died wants a federal investigation. Dion Johnson's mother, Erma, said Friday she has not heard from Phoenix Police, who are overseeing the investigation of the Memorial Day shooting.
Family members expressed growing frustration that the trooper, who is on paid administrative leave, has not been identified to them. Democratic state Rep. Reginald Bolding said he has sent a letter requesting the U.S. Justice Department review the case for possible civil rights violations.
The family is particularly bothered that the 28-year-old Johnson was deprived of emergency medical aid for several minutes after he was shot and cuffed.