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KNAU's Morning Rundown: Friday, January 29


Navajo Nation Continues Vaccination Efforts, Marks 1,000 Deaths

Navajo Nation officials say 1,000 people on the reservation have officially died from COVID-19 complications since the start of the pandemic. President Jonathan Nez encouraged residents to continue practicing mitigation strategies in reverence of those who died.

“We can all do our part to honor their memory and to prevent more deaths by keeping our guard up and taking all precautions to rescue the number of cases,” Nez said in a statement.

The report comes as healthcare workers prepare to distribute vaccines at the Tséhootsooí and Gallup Indian Medical Centers over the weekend — on a first-come, first-serve basis for eligible residents. Officials say they’ll announce more weekend vaccination events at a later time. 

Nez says more than 40,000 vaccine doses have been administered so far on the Nation, and that no adverse effects have been reported. Earlier this month, the Northern Navajo Medical Center in Shiprock reportedly vaccinated more than 2,400 people in one day, the Durango Herald reports. The turnout for vaccinations in Shiprock was about four times higher than healthcare workers had anticipated, according to the Herald.




Vice President Harris Tells Arizona Republic Vaccinations Could Come Faster

Vice President Kamala Harris told the Arizona Republic this week that a plan proposed by the Biden-Harris administration could speed up the vaccination process for Arizonans. Harris met with senior staffers from the Republic on Thursday to discuss the American Rescue Plan. The proposed legislation aims to launch community and mobile vaccination sites across the country, Harris told the Republic

Arizona health officials report they’ve administered more than 554,000 vaccine doses statewide. Nearly 93,000 of the doses were administered at the newly established State Farm Stadium site in Glendale, which operates on a 24/7 basis. The Phoenix Municipal Stadium will begin administering vaccines on Monday.




Prescott Valley Micro-Transit Plan Moves Forward

Prescott Valley is working to establish a micro-transit system through federal CARES Act funding. The town council earlier this month supported the transit project in collaboration with the city of Prescott and the Central Yavapai Metro Planning Organization. Micro-transit typically constitutes a ride-sharing service using vans or shuttles, rather than larger buses or trains. The program would offer a subsidy to people traveling within Prescott Valley, and could later expand to Prescott, according to a four-year phased transit plan. A similar program unfolded in Tucson last fall, when the city’s public Sun Tran Transportation Service launched an on-demand ridesharing circuit.