/ Modified aug 10, 2020 4:40 p.m.

News roundup: Signs of virus slowing, crime in Tucson falls

Recent coverage impacting Southern Arizona, Aug. 10.

Cases 187,523 | Deaths 4,154 | Diagnostic tests 1,026,888.

On Monday, Aug. 10, the Arizona Department of Health Services reported 600 new cases of COVID-19 and four additional deaths. This represents the lowest number of new coronavirus cases in a single day since early June, according to the Associated Press. Intensive care unit bed and ventilator usage both continue to trend downward.

Virus outbreak slows as Arizona reports 600 cases, 4 deaths


PHOENIX — Arizona health officials reported 600 additional confirmed COVID-19 cases with four more deaths amid a slowing of the state’s coronavirus outbreak. The Arizona Department of Health Services’ latest figures Monday increased the state’s total confirmed COVID-19 cases to 187,523 and the reported death toll to 4,154.

It’s the second straight day that fewer than 1,000 new cases have been reported. The last time new cases numbered in the triple digits was June 8.

COVID-19 hospitalizations and related usage of intensive care beds and ventilators in Arizona continued a downward trend that started in mid-July.

Learn more here.

Crimes in Tucson, Phoenix fell in second quarter, as COVID-19 took hold

Cronkite News

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. Property crimes in both cities fell.

Tucson saw a rise in aggravated assaults, but not large enough to offset the overall drop in other violent crimes – murders, rapes and robberies.

Michael Scott, a criminology professor at Arizona State University, said the increase likely reflects a “rising tide” of stress, frustration and anger among Arizonans during the pandemic.

Learn more here.

State unsure what to do with president’s unemployment order


Arizona officials are trying to figure out how to implement an executive order issued by President Donald Trump over the weekend.

The order included a provision for a $400 weekly payment for those on unemployment. The President’s order came after Congress and the White House failed to agree on a new stimulus package and let a $600 weekly federal payment expire at the end of July.

The funds for Trump’s payment comes from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). It provides $300 of federal money and requires each state to come up with the final $100 for each payment.

Learn more here.

Poll: Majority of Arizonans uncomfortable sending kids back to school


57% of Arizona voters are not comfortable sending children back to school for in-person classes, according to a new poll from OH Predictive Insights in Phoenix.

The poll found that number changes if more safety measures are implemented, such as daily cleaning, daily temperature checks for staff and students and mandatory mask wearing.

The poll also found that only 38% of people are satisfied with the way Arizona officials are handling COVID-19’s effects on education.

The state released its guidelines for reopening schools the day before the poll was published.

Learn more here.

Life on the line: Pandemic fuels social movement in Sonoran border town

Fronteras Desk

A border town of about 17,000 people, Sonoyta is perhaps best known to Arizonans as the town they cross through on the way to nearby Rocky Point. But local residents drew international attention over the Fourth of July weekend for rejecting those beach-bound travelers.

Protesters set up blockades outside the town’s port of entry, turning back southbound tourists hoping to spend the holiday weekend in Rocky Point.

Just days before, Sonora Gov. Claudia Pavlovich announced she was implementing travel restrictions and border checkpoints to bar nonessential travel from the United States over the holiday weekend to prevent outbreaks of COVID-19. But she later made an exception for visitors passing through Sonoyta on their way to Rocky Point.

Already struggling amid the pandemic, that was the last straw for many in Sonoyta.

Learn more here.

Mexican President Pledges Support For Yaquis In Sonora

Fronteras Desk

Mexico’s president pledged this week to address several long standing grievances of Yaqui indigenous communities in Sonora.

During a visit with tribal leaders in Vicam, Andrés Manuel López Obrador acknowledged the historic abuses endured by the Yaqui people. He also announced the signing of a Justice Plan for Yaquis that focuses on land and water.

The plan’s wellness program include improvements to basic services like health care and education. The president also said his government is committed to resolving other disputes, like a controversial gas pipeline that runs through Yaqui territory.

In recent weeks, Yaqui protesters have shut down a rail line and the state’s main interstate in part to demand resolution to such issues.

Navajo Nation reports 15 more COVID-19 cases, 2 more deaths


WINDOW ROCK — Navajo Nation health officials have reported 15 more cases of COVID-19 and two additional deaths. That brings the total number of people infected to 9,308 and the known death toll to 472 as of Sunday night. Navajo Department of Health officials said 85,206 people have been tested for the coronavirus and 6,859 have recovered.

Tribal President Jonathan Nez pointed to the latest coronavirus figures as evidence that most Navajo Nation residents are complying with lockdown orders and the advice of medical experts. The Navajo Nation recently changed its 57-hour weekend lockdown to a 32-hour one. The vast reservation covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

Learn more here.

8 arrested at Phoenix protest honoring Michael Brown


PHOENIX — Authorities say eight people were arrested at a Phoenix protest marking the anniversary of the killing of Michael Brown by police in Ferguson, Missouri.

A few dozen demonstrators rallied at around 6 p.m. Sunday downtown to honor 18-year-old Brown. They marched to Phoenix police headquarters shortly after 7 p.m. and walked past a barricade. Police in riot gear then tried to disperse the crowd from the area and called it unlawful assembly.

Officers fired what appeared to be flash-bang grenades into the air. Witnesses say they then fired pepper spray at one protester. The crowd dispersed but continued their rally down the street.

Learn more here.

Onions sold in popular West Coast grocery chains recalled


COMMERCE, Calif. — Some red and yellow onions sold in the West at Trader Joe's and Ralphs are being recalled in relation to an ongoing salmonella outbreak linked to the vegetable. Progressive Produce said Monday that it received affected onions by Thomson International, the California company identified by The Food and Drug Administration as the likely source of the outbreak. No other produce sold by the company has been recalled.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that Salmonella Newport has sickened 640 people and sent 85 to the hospital. There have been no deaths linked to the outbreak.

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