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KNAU's Morning Rundown: Thursday, February 4



It's Thursday, February 4. Start your morning with some of our latest headlines:

Coconino County Has “Very Limited” Vaccine, Director Says

Coconino County officials say the community still has a “very limited” COVID-19 vaccine availability. Health and Human Services Director Kim Musselman reiterated on Wednesday that the limited vaccine supply is slowing operations and appointments in the county. Vaccination, however, is moving along — partner facilities including the Flagstaff Medical Center and North Country Healthcare are now administering doses

State data shows Coconino County has administered 18,312 vaccine doses — using about 82 percent of its available vaccine supply.

After more than 500 doses were reportedly wasted in Maricopa County, Senior County Communications Manager Alexandra Fischer asked Musselman if that was an issue in Coconino’s county-run vaccination sites.

“Absolutely not,” Musselman said. “And I can say that that is the last thing that is going to happen, at least as far as I’m concerned because I’m not going to allow it to happen.”

Ducey Asks For More Vaccine Supply, Previous Request Denied

Governor Doug Ducey is calling for Arizona’s congressional members to advocate for more COVID-19 vaccines after he says the state’s recent request for more supply was denied by the federal government. Ducey says the state had requested 300,000 vaccine doses, along with an additional 300,000 doses each week. 

“We are confident that such an allocation increase would allow the state to replicate our successful mass vaccination sites throughout the state,” Ducey wrote in a letter to Arizona’s congressional delegates. 

Senator Mark Kelly said Wednesday he supported the additional vaccine supply for the state. 

Official data shows that Arizona has administered about 62 percent of its current vaccination supply. Ducey late last month issued an executive order seeking to quicken the pace of vaccinations. Counties must now administer a certain percentage of their vaccine supply before receiving more doses from the state.

University of Arizona Creates COVID-19 Test Via Smartphone

Researchers at the University of Arizona say they’re creating a COVID-19 test that can be conducted through a smartphone microscope; they say it could deliver results in about 10 minutes and would cost about $45 for users. The test is currently under review from an institutional board to be sampled by university students who consent to participation. Researchers say the test could one day be used by non-medical individuals — like resident assistants on campuses — to administer tests to others. 

Vaccinations Underway On Hopi Reservation

Health officials say the Hopi Healthcare Center has administered more than 3,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses so far on the reservation of about 9,000 people. COVID-19 cases are continuing on the reservation with health officials reporting 104 active cases over the last two weeks. Recent data from Hopi health officials shows the villages of Shungopavi, Kykotsmovi and Hotevilla exhibit the highest case numbers.

The Office of the Hopi Chairman encouraged residents to choose virtual gatherings in light of the upcoming Super Bowl. Tribal officials recently extended a reservation-wide lockdown, which is now set to lift on March 1.