/ Modified feb 8, 2021 5:18 p.m.

News roundup: Feds send fewer vaccine doses to AZ, Biden takes virtual visit of distribution center

Recent coverage impacting Southern Arizona, Feb. 8.

Arizona COVID-19 cases: 7 days

Map shows COVID-19 cases and case rates over the week preceding the last update.

Credit: Nick O'Gara/AZPM. Sources: The New York Times, based on reports from state and local health agencies, Census Bureau. Case reports do not correspond to day of test.

Cases 782,887 | Deaths 14,055

On Monday, Feb. 8, the Arizona Department of Health Services reported 2,250 new cases of COVID-19 and seven additional deaths. As of Feb. 7, Arizona’s intensive care units had 13% of beds available, a high not seen since mid-November 2020, state health data reveals.

Pima County COVID-19 vaccine shortage due to federal government


Pima County will receive 12,000 fewer COVID-19 vaccines this week, and state officials said the problem lies with the federal government.

A spokesperson for the Arizona Department of Health Services, which distributes vaccines to the counties, said the shortage is due to fewer vaccines being sent to Arizona by the federal government.

“The current limitation on vaccine administration in Arizona is the number of doses made available by the federal government. The number of doses we're receiving impacts all of our local allocators, including Pima County,” wrote ADHS spokesperson Holly Poynter in an email to AZPM on Friday night.

Learn more here.

Biden, Harris “visit” state COVID-19 vaccination site


President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris made a virtual visit, Monday, to State Farm Stadium in Glendale where the state operates an around the clock COVID-19 vaccine site.

The site dispenses about 8,000 vaccines each day but could do 12,000, according to state officials, who told the President they want more vaccines.

During the virtual tour, Biden said the nation is looking at the site on the grounds of an NFL stadium as a model.

“I got a call from the Super Bowl from the commissioner of football and offering us, the federal government, the 30 major stadiums so I think there gonna be coming to you to look at how you did it because you are doing such a great job,” Biden said.

The President announced the federal government will cover the cost of using National Guard troops at vaccination sites. Biden also said FEMA is sending 100 staff members to Arizona to help give vaccines.

To help cover the cost of running vaccination sites around Arizona, FEMA is also giving the state $20 million.

Learn more here.

Navajo Nation confirms 23 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death


WINDOW ROCK — Navajo Nation health officials have reported 23 new COVID-19 cases and one death.

The latest numbers released Sunday raised the totals to 28,897 cases and 1,057 known deaths since the pandemic began.

U.S. President Joe Biden recently signed a long-awaited major disaster declaration for the Navajo Nation. It will provide more federal resources and prompts the release of federal funds for the reimbursement of emergency funds.

The tribe has extended its stay-at-home order with a revised nightly curfew to limit the spread of COVID-19. The Navajo Department of Health has identified 56 communities with uncontrolled spread of the coronavirus.

Learn more here.

Navajo Nation Hoping To Vaccinate 100K Residents By The End Of February

Fronteras Desk

The president of the Navajo Nation, Jonathan Nez, says he’s encouraged by progress he’s seeing on the COVID-19 vaccination effort on the reservation.

The Navajo Nation has administered more than 53,000 COVID-19 vaccinations and Nez is hoping to make even more progress this month.

“We can reach 100,000 by the end of the month in February. We have a short month but our goal is get 100,000 people vaccinated," he said.

The COVID-19 variants that have been popping up all around the country have raised the tribe's urgency to vaccinate as many people as possible, Nez said.

Learn more here.

Arizona Democrats move to expel lawmaker at Jan. 6 rally


PHOENIX — Democrats in the Arizona House are moving to expel a Republican lawmaker who attended the Jan. 6 rally that turned violent when demonstrators stormed the U.S. Capitol.

Democrats led by Rep. Athena Salman of Tempe say Republican Rep. Mark Finchem of Tucson violated his oath of office and undermined democracy.

Finchem is one of former President Donald Trump's most outspoken allies sharing disproven allegations of election fraud. He has said he remained 500 yards from the Capitol and didn't learn it was breached until hours after the mob broke in. He did not respond to an emailed request for comment Monday.

Expelling him would require support from two-thirds of the GOP-controlled house.

Senate planning to hold board in contempt in election fight


PHOENIX — Arizona Republicans who control the state Senate are poised to hold the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors in contempt for failing to turn over voting machines and ballots from the November election. If the contempt resolution passes, which appears likely, the five-member board could be subject to immediate arrest.

GOP Senate President Karen Fann met with two board members on Monday morning. There was no immediate word if the talks led to a deal.

Republican Sen. Warren Peterson says the Senate still plans to vote when it meets Monday afternoon to find the board in contempt.

Learn more here.

Immigrants, activists worry Biden won't end Trump barriers


HOUSTON — President Joe Biden rushed to send the most ambitious overhaul of the nation’s immigration system in a generation to Congress. And he signed nine executive actions to wipe out some of the toughest measures to fortify the U.S.-Mexico border implemented by his predecessor, President Donald Trump.

But a federal court suspended Biden’s 100-day moratorium on deportations, the immigration bill hasn’t been passed and many of the new president’s orders will take weeks, months — perhaps even years — to implement.

In the meantime, there is likely to be more overlap in the Biden and Trump hardline immigration policies than many of the activists who helped generate Latino support for Biden in the election had hoped.

Learn more here.

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