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KNAU's Morning Rundown: Friday, February 5

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  It’s Friday, Feb. 5. Start your morning with some of our top headlines: 

 

COVID-19 Vaccinations Open Up In Coconino County

Coconino County officials say registration will open at noon today for an additional 200 COVID-19 vaccination appointments. Residents can sign up on the county website to access appointments for next week, the county announced in a press release. Individuals in the 1A group, along with prioritized groups within 1B, can register for appointments — constituting healthcare workers, education professionals, protective service workers, along with residents 65 and older. 

County spokesperson Alexandra Fischer said additional vaccine appointments remain dependent on how many doses the county receives from the state. 

“Vaccine supplies remain low, and Coconino County continues to advocate for additional doses,” the statement says

 

State data shows Coconino County has administered 19,621 vaccine doses, and has used 88 percent of its existing vaccine supply.

Yavapai County Reports Decrease In Hospitalizations

Meanwhile, Yavapai County’s top health official says hospitalizations have decreased county-wide in relation to COVID-19. 

Community Health Services Director Leslie Horton on Thursday reported 58 hospitalizations in the Yavapai Regional Medical Center and Verde Valley Medical Center combined.

“That number has been cut in half, since a few weeks ago when we were seeing higher hospitalization for an extended amount of time,” Horton said in a video update.

Horton noted the decline could allow medical facilities to resume elective procedures in the future, though she did not further specify. Yavapai Regional cancelled its procedures in December, citing an influx in COVID-19 patients.

Horton also said the county expects an allocation of more than 9,000 additional COVID-19 vaccination doses for the upcoming week, and that the county is asking the state for more vaccine supply. State data shows Yavapai County has administered 28,036 doses and has used 83 percent of its available vaccine supply.

Albert Hale Virtual Memorial Set For Today

Navajo Nation officials will hold a virtual memorial today to commemorate former Tribal President Albert Hale. Officials say Hale died on Tuesday from COVID-19 complications. 

The memorial will be streamed on Facebook Live at 11 a.m., and will also broadcast on Navajo-language radio stations. 

Hale served as the Navajo Nation president from 1995 to 1998, and later served as a state senator and state representative in the Arizona Legislature. Flags on the Navajo Nation continue to fly at half-staff through Saturday to honor Hale.

 

Tribal health officials reported 110 new COVID-19 cases on the reservation Thursday, along with nine recent deaths related to the virus. Officials warned residents to avoid gatherings in light of the upcoming Super Bowl. The Nation’s online vaccine tracker estimated healthcare workers have administered 55,671 doses of COVID-19 vaccine as of Thursday.