/ Modified may 4, 2021 3:58 p.m.

News roundup: County FEMA vaccination sites open, UA mobilizes vaccines

Recent coverage impacting Southern Arizona, May 4.

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 865,280 | Deaths 17,355

On Tuesday, May 4, Arizona reported 701 new cases of COVID-19 and 11 additional deaths. The state’s rolling average of new cases has increased in the past two weeks, the Associated press reports.

FEMA vaccination sites open in Pima County


Two COVID-19 vaccination sites staffed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency opened Monday in Pima County.

The mobile "pods" will travel to outlying areas of the community, serving populations that might not get the vaccine otherwise. The first sites are at Pima Community College's Desert Vista and West campuses.

Regional FEMA Administrator Tammy Littrell says the mobile walk-thru clinics help lower the barriers for vaccination.

Officials at Monday's opening ceremony acknowledged that the initial demand for the vaccine has worn off. Sites like these will serve people who don't have easy access to clinics, and those who are vaccine-hesitant.

Learn more here.

UA delivering mobile COVID-19 vaccines


The University of Arizona is using mobile vaccine clinics throughout southern Arizona targeting groups that are less likely to get vaccinated.

The university is working with a number of groups including the Mexican consulate’s office in Douglas.

Dr. Cecilia Rosales, Associate Dean in the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at the University of Arizona, said the university also held a mobile clinic in Nogales, Arizona. During that session, close to 200 truck drivers were vaccinated.

The mobile vaccine program will continue as the university shuts down its on-campus mass vaccination pod at the end of June.

Learn more here.

UA shifts all COVID-19 vaccines indoors


Drive-through COVID-19 vaccines have ended at the University of Arizona. The state-run vaccine pod is moving indoors due to increasing temperatures.

The mass vaccination pod in the Ina Gittings Building, on the UA campus, is open from 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. for the time being but hours will be cut back if demand continues to decrease.

University officials expect the mass-vaccination site to close in a little more than a month.

“We are going to decommission the pod, it looks like as of right now our last day for indoor operations will be June 25,” said Holly Jensen, Vice President of Communications at the university.

Learn more here.

In march through Nogales, migrants ask Biden to restore asylum process


Dozens of asylum seekers marched through Nogales, Sonora on Friday asking President Joe Biden to restore the asylum system.

Young migrants shook aluminum cans filled with rocks and held handmade signs as they walked toward the Deconcini Port of Entry in Nogales. The march was the latest in a series of demonstrations on both sides of the Nogales border, where hundreds of migrants have passed through and spent time waiting to make asylum claims in the U.S.

Advocates also gathered on the other side of the border. Alex Miller, a lawyer with the legal aid group Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project, said the binational groups are hoping to see Biden undue barriers to the asylum process enacted under the Trump administration.

Learn more here.

Phoenix-area businessman Jim Lamon declares for Senate


Jim Lamon, a Phoenix-area businessman, announced Monday his is entering the race to challenge Democratic U.S. Senator Mark Kelly next year.

Lamon is the first Republican to officially enter the race for U.S. Senate in Arizona.

In a news release from the campaign, Lamon said he “wants to put America first, secure the border, and streamline the federal government.”

Lamon has never held public office, but is an Army veteran.

He also is the founder of a Scottsdale-based solar engineering and construction company.

Officials: Over 1,600 weekend arrests of migrants in Yuma


YUMA — Border Patrol officials say their agents over the weekend arrested more than 1,600 migrants who were dropped off by buses in Mexico before crossing into the U.S. near Yuma.

Special Operations Supervisor Vincent Dulesky says the migrants were in groups of 30 or more who came illegally between late Friday and early Monday, crossing where there are open gaps or vehicle barriers.

It was not immediately known how many were traveling in families or as unaccompanied children. Authorities have not said what countries they are from.

The Border Patrol in April apprehended nearly 14,000 migrants in its Yuma sector.

Learn more here.

Arizona reports 701 additional COVID-19 cases, 11 new deaths


PHOENIX — Arizona on Tuesday reported 701 additional confirmed COVID-19 cases and 11 more deaths as the rate of new cases increased while the rate of new deaths was fairly stable.

The state’s pandemic totals rose to 865,280 cases and 17,355 deaths. That's according to the state’s coronavirus dashboard.

According to Johns Hopkins University data, the state’s seven-day rolling average of daily new cases rose over the past two weeks from 602 on April 18 to 727 on Sunday, while the rolling average of daily deaths slipped from 11.5 to 10.9 during the same period.

Learn more here.

Navajo Nation reports 3 new COVID-19 cases, but no deaths


WINDOW ROCK — The Navajo Nation on Monday reported three new confirmed COVID-19 cases and no additional deaths again.

The tribe had six new cases and three coronavirus-related deaths on Saturday and six new cases and no deaths Sunday.

Tribal health officials say the total number of cases since the pandemic began more than a year ago now is 30,522 on the vast reservation that covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah with 1,281 known deaths.

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez says more than half of the reservation’s adult population has been vaccinated. But people still need to stay home as much as possible, wear masks and avoid large gatherings.

Learn more here.

Arizona's community colleges to offer limited 4-year degrees


PHOENIX — Gov. Doug Ducey on Tuesday signed into law a bill that allows Arizona’s community colleges to offer limited four-year college degrees.

Before this legislation, the community colleges have only offered two-year degree programs and professional certifications.

Arizona now joins 23 other states that allow community colleges to offer baccalaureate degrees under limited prescribed circumstances.

Senate Bill 1453 will take effect this fall and requires detailed internal and external processes, including becoming nationally accredited. The Maricopa Community Colleges plan to begin enrolling students in their baccalaureate degree programs as early as fall 2023.

Learn more here.

Ducey wants nursing home oversight board axed after failures


PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has vetoed routine legislation reauthorizing the board that issues licenses and certifications for managers of nursing homes and assisted living facility managers.

The governor said instead of allowing the Board of Examiners of Nursing Care Institution Administrators and Assisted Living Facility Managers to operate for eight more years it should be eliminated.

The Republican governor cited an investigation by the Arizona Republic into lax board oversight when he issued the veto Monday evening.

The problems include giving a convicted felon a license to run a Prescott nursing home that later had a major coronavirus outbreak.

Learn more here.

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