/ Modified mar 22, 2021 7:46 a.m.

Southern Arizona growth, Gila County vaccinations, understanding variants

As more companies and people relocate to the state, what does sustainable growth look like?

Before the pandemic, Arizona was one of the fastest growing states in the country. As we’ve reported, that growth continues in Southern Arizona. This week, we explored interest in this region and how it has endured over the last year. Sun Corridor plays a key role in bringing new companies to Pima County. The company’s vice president of economic development, Susan Dumon, discussed the pace of growth in Pima County.

As more companies relocate to Pima County, housing developers are taking note. This year Meritage Homes announced plans to break ground on housing communities in Marana and Vail that will add more than 200 homes to the Tucson metro. Regional President Jeff Grobstein discussed the pandemic’s impact on construction and current homebuying trends.

In the Sonoran Desert, the scarcity of water presents added challenges for growth. For insight into how these two issues intersect, we learned more from Joanna Allhands, the digital opinions editor for the Arizona Republic whose reporting has focused on the state’s water resources and sustainability.

Arizona marked a milestone this week with the announcement that more than a million residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Most people are vaccinating people ages 55 and up. But a few are ahead of the curve. With a population of just over 50,000, Gila County was the first to expand eligibility to include residents and workers ages 18 and up. Tony Paniagua visited a vaccination event in Globe to learn more about the county’s approach.

The CDC is tracking variants of the coronavirus that it considers concerning. The variant traced to the United Kingdom is the most prevalent with more than 5,500 confirmed cases across the U.S., including 50 cases in Arizona. As for how these variants evolve and whether the current vaccines available are effective at protecting people from serious illness or death we learned more from University of Arizona virologist Felicia Goodrum.

Arizona 360
Arizona 360 airs Fridays at 8:30 p.m. on PBS 6 and Saturdays at 8 p.m. on PBS 6 PLUS. See more from Arizona 360.
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