Arizona COVID-19 one-week snapshot, Oct. 30
Cases 212,942 | Deaths 5,451
On Friday, Sept. 18, Arizona reported 1,281 new cases of COVID-19 and 42 additional deaths. Officials said that new case counting guidelines are to blame for the relatively high case numbers, according to the Associated Press.
Races for Pima County recorder and Santa Cruz County sheriff
Retiring officials have created open races for the Pima County recorder and Santa Cruz County sheriff. This week, the Buzz continues its election coverage by bringing listeners interviews with recorder candidates Democrat Gabriella Cázares-Kelly and Republican Benny White about their experience for the position and priorities for office.
Listen to the full episode here
Race for Santa Cruz County sheriff, Latino vote, debate preview
This week, Arizona 360 hears from the candidates running to replace Santa Cruz County Sheriff Tony Estrada, who has held that post for nearly 30 years and is retiring. Lorraine Rivera sits down individually with Democrat David Hathaway, as well as Joe Agosttini and Andrew Ibarra, who are both running as independents.
Tony Estrada reflects on his time as Sheriff of Santa Cruz County and a career in law enforcement that spans over 50 years.
Tony Paniagua reports on efforts in Arizona to register Latino voters and issues important to this voting bloc.
Watch the full episode here.
Seeking to increase transparency, TPD releases data showing disproportionate use of force against Black people
Only about one in every thousand Tucson police interactions lead to an officer using physical force, such as punches, neck holds, shoves or Mace. But when things do get physical, the person on the receiving end is more likely to be Black, relative to the city’s overall population.
Tucson police use force against Black people at four times the rate of white people, according to data released this week by the Tucson Police Department. TPD released the data to increase transparency of the department amid calls for greater police accountability following the death of Carlos Ingram-Lopez in TPD custody in April.
About 5% of Tucson’s population of 548,000 is Black, yet when policing involves punches, Tasers, dogs or guns drawn, Black people are on the receiving end 17% of the time. The data mirrors previous findings that Tucson police disproportionately arrest and shoot Black people.
AZ unemployment numbers a mixed bag
The unemployment rate in Arizona fell from 10.7% to 5.9% in August according to the state Office of Economic Opportunity.
“I can’t imagine a month in modern history where we’ve had more employment available,” said Gov. Doug Ducey.
But the numbers are not all positive. Included in the monthly unemployment report is the fact that 145,673 Arizona residents are no longer in the workforce.
Those are people who the state does not count in the unemployment rate because they have stopped looking for a job.
Pima County opening free flu shot clinic
Pima County is opening a semi-permanent, free flu shot clinic in partnership with Passport Health starting Monday in Tucson. The county health department says the clinic will provide flu shots to anyone over 4 years old, regardless of their insurance status.
County health officials say the vaccination will not only reduce your chance of getting the flu, it's a critical part of reducing the strain on the health care system during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The clinic will be at Passport Health, at 22nd Street and Wilmot Road. Preregistration is requested, but not required.
Pima County also provides free flu shots at their East, North, and Theresa Lee Clinics, and convenient and affordable — often free — flu shots are available at most pharmacies, grocery stores, doctors’ offices, and community health centers. Vaccinations for children under 4 can be received at the other Health Department clinics, or through their primary care provider.
Arizona reports 2nd big case jump, again cites method change
PHOENIX — Arizona health officials on Friday reported for the second consecutive day a sizable increase in additional COVID-19 cases, again largely attributing the hike to a change in the state’s counting method.
State officials reported 1,281 additional confirmed cases, well above the several hundreds typically reported daily in recent weeks, but below the 1,753 cases reported Thursday. The department on Friday also reported 42 additional deaths. Of the newly reported cases, 764 were attributed to positive results from antigen tests dating back several months.
The department announced Thursday that it was adopting an updated national definition. The change includes “probable” case findings from antigen tests of people without symptoms or contact with people known to have COVID-19.
UA surpasses ASU in recent case numbers
The University of Arizona saw a harp increase in COVID-19 cases. Between Sept. 14 and Sept. 16, it identified 678 new cases of COVID-19. Arizona State University reported 112 new cases during the same time period.
The UA’s increasing case numbers caused the university to request that students living near campus shelter in place for two weeks.
Trump looks to keep a changing Arizona in his column
LITCHFIELD PARK — Vice President Mike Pence made two appearances in Arizona as Republican President Donald Trump works to solidify his support among Hispanics and veterans in the battleground state.
Friday’s trip comes after visits this week by the president, his daughter Ivanka Trump and Pence’s wife, Karen. Republicans are trying to shore up their position in a historically red state where polling shows Democrat Joe Biden with a slight advantage.
Pence appeared at Grand Canyon University at an event put on by a right-leaning Hispanic group before heading to a resort in the Phoenix-area city of Litchfield Park for a “Veterans for Trump” rally.
Scholars offering free online Chicano Studies classes
PHOENIX — A group of Chicano Studies professors has launched a program to offer free Chicano Studies classes amid the pandemic. MeXicanos 2070 this week began holding virtual courses through their program called Colegio Chicano del Pueblo and so far have enrolled more than 75 students.
Prescott College's Ernesto Todd Mireles says the classes will run eight weeks and cover issues around Chicano politics and Chicano history. He says the classes are rolling and students will have an option later to earn college credit for the courses. The curriculum’s goal is to build a 32-credit program equivalent to a minor in an academic field.