/ Modified sep 14, 2020 5:29 p.m.

News roundup: Virus numbers grow at UA, Biden increases lead in AZ, flu shots crucial

Recent coverage impacting Southern Arizona, September 14

Cases 207,523 | Deaths 5,288

On Monday, Sept. 14, the state reported 213 new cases of COVID-19. The University of Arizona announced today its highest number of daily coronavirus cases so far.

New poll shows Biden lead increasing over Trump


An Arizona pollster says Democrat Joe Biden continues to widen his lead over Republican President Donald Trump.

OH Predictive Insights interviewed 600 likely voters last week and produced the widest margin of any current Arizona poll, with Biden a full 10 points ahead of Trump, compared to the four to six point margin in most competing polls.

Pollster Mike Noble says Biden's current lead is likely a result of Trump pulling TV advertising in Arizona, as his campaign faces a reported cash shortage.

"One of the biggest things we see is a his big pull back especially in the last 3 weeks on broadcast spending," he said. "The Biden campaign's been outspending Trump by 10 to 1 on the airwaves, which is still the best way to communicate and move voters."

Noble says Trump might narrow the distance between himself and Biden if he puts commercials back on the air here.

Noble acknowledges his poll shows a wider lead for Biden than most other polls, but he stands by his company's results, and says what really matters is the trend line: Trump's continues to point downward, While Biden's continues to rise.

Doctors say flu shots crucial during COVID pandemic


COVID-19 means taking precautions against the flu is more important than ever this season.

Gordon Carr is the chief medical officer at Banner University Medical Center Tucson. He thinks the pandemic should force people to take the annual warning against the flu more seriously.

"We are strongly recommending that everybody get a flu shot to protect themselves and keep themselves healthy, but also to help us reduce the health care burden on us this winter," he said.

Both COVID-19 and the flu share certain symptoms. Each causes upper respiratory infections. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes diagnostic testing helps determine if you are sick with the flu or COVID-19.

Flu shots are being offered across Tucson. The city and Pima County are providing links to where flu shots are available in the area.

UA, Pima County asks off-campus students to shelter in place


The University of Arizona and the Pima County Health Department are asking students who live in Greek houses and high-rise apartments around the campus to shelter in place for 14 days.

“Obviously, we don’t want to impede their going to classes that are essential and meeting in person or get medical care or get food,” said Dr. Theresa Cullen, head of the Pima County Health Department.

Last week, the university reported nearly 600 new cases of COVID-19 on campus. More than double the number of total cases on campus are from students who live off campus. Of particular concern, according to Cullen, are Greek Houses and the high-rise apartments that border the campus.

The positivity rate on campus at the end of last week was 8.8% with most of the cases coming from students who live off campus.

“We know that most of it is happening because of selfish behavior of a few individuals who are gathering in large gatherings. We know that is where most of the transmissions happen,” said UA President Robert Robbins.

Robbins said during the summer and early August there were thousands of people on campus doing research and getting the campus ready for the return of students. He said during that time there were fewer than 100 cases.

“In the last ten days we’ve had 847 cases, so what changed? Students came back and they started partying. I would suggest if they stayed in their place, they went to class and they studied, they went and got the basic necessities then we would see the rate we had back in the summer,” said Robbins.

The shelter in place request is just that — a request. But county officials said that change to mandatory quarantines if the numbers don’t begin to improve.

Tucson breaks ground on a new park for children with autism


Parents with children on the autism spectrum will soon have a park where they can take their kids without worrying about their safety.

Intermountain Centers is a Tucson-based non profit that helps children and families facing a variety of challenges, including the challenge of growing up on the autism spectrum. Its head of development, Paul O'Rourke, says many parents with autistic kids dread going to the park, because about half of those kids are runners, meaning they can bolt without warning:

"It's really impossible for you to take your child to a regular park. A, most parks are near busy streets and B, you would constantly have to be within arm's reach of your child and that's no fun for anyone." :16

Today at 3:30 Intermountain and the city of Tucson are breaking ground for what's believed to be the first "sensory park" for autistic children west of the Mississippi. It'll have separate zones for younger and older children, and tactile features to engage their minds as they play. O'Rourke says one of the first parts to go in will be a six foot perimeter fence, so runners can run all they want, but they just can't go very far.

Finishing the park, on Bonita Avenue near downtown, could take up to two years. While the city is providing the land, O'Rourke says Intermountain has to raise about a million dollars to pay for the improvements.

US citizens in Mexico watching elections north of the border carefully


Immigrants from the United States are among those in Mexico paying close attention to the general election in November.

More than a million people living in Mexico are officially identified as American immigrants. Chris Lundry is a political science professor in Mexico City. He’s an Arizona voter and believes in the importance of his ballot.

"Arizona is a shifting state, with regards to politics, and so I like the fact that I maintain my registration in Arizona.,” he said

One issue he discusses with Mexicans is how a candidate can receive more votes and still lose the election in the United States, unlike the Mexican election system.

By posting comments, you agree to our
AZPM encourages comments, but comments that contain profanity, unrelated information, threats, libel, defamatory statements, obscenities, pornography or that violate the law are not allowed. Comments that promote commercial products or services are not allowed. Comments in violation of this policy will be removed. Continued posting of comments that violate this policy will result in the commenter being banned from the site.

By submitting your comments, you hereby give AZPM the right to post your comments and potentially use them in any other form of media operated by this institution.
AZPM is a service of the University of Arizona and our broadcast stations are licensed to the Arizona Board of Regents who hold the trademarks for Arizona Public Media and AZPM. We respectfully acknowledge the University of Arizona is on the land and territories of Indigenous peoples.
The University of Arizona