KNAU's Morning Rundown: Friday, February 19
COVID-19 Vaccine: Cancellations Continue In Coconino, Yavapai Counties
Cancellations for COVID-19 vaccination appointments continue today and Saturday in Coconino County. The shipments were hindered due to inclement weather in other parts of the country. The Fort Tuthill vaccination site will be the only location impacted tomorrow for first-dose appointments, according to a county statement. Residents will be notified of their cancellations and will receive an email containing rescheduling options, according to the county. Vaccine information can be found on the county website, or through the county's COVID-19 Information Line at 928-679-7300.
In the neighboring county, the Yavapai Regional Medical Center says all appointments will be cancelled today at the Prescott Gateway Mall and rescheduled for Friday, March 5. Spectrum Healthcare has also announced cancellations in Yavapai County, though the company says Saturday vaccination appointments are still scheduled.
Vaccinations Have Reached 1 Million Arizonans, Ducey’s Office Announces
Arizona health officials say more than 1 million people have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine so far — about 13.7% of the state’s estimated population.
The milestone comes as the state launches another mass vaccination site at the University of Arizona’s Tucson campus. Governor Doug Ducey says the new site’s expansion will lead to 6,000 additional vaccinations per day. Other large-scale sites have been scattered across the state — including vaccination sites in the Prescott Gateway Mall and Prescott Valley’s Toyota Center. Despite the continuing rollout, officials in Mohave, Yavapai and Coconino counties have noted a limited vaccine allocation that is not meeting demand from residents.
Navajo Nation Reaches Vaccine Milestone
Navajo Nation health officials say they’ve surpassed their goal of administering 100,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine before the end of February.
The Nation has promoted both vaccination appointments and drive-thru events, along with documentation of President Jonathan Nez's own vaccination. Vaccination events continue in Kayenta, Tsaile, and Red Mesa areas among others. Nez said Sunday officials had not received serious reports of adverse effects from the vaccine. Human Resources Director Dr. Perphelia Fowler told residents during yesterday’s town hall to prepare to wait in long lines when receiving the vaccine. A list of sites can be found here.
New President Slated For NAU
The Arizona Board of Regents has announced a finalist for Northern Arizona University's next president. Dr. José Luis Cruz has been recognized as the Board’s top choice for the position. Cruz currently serves as the Vice Chancellor and Provost at the City University of New York. He’s worked for universities in California and Puerto Rico, along with the Education Trust in Washington, D.C. Cruz plans to visit the campus later today, where he’ll meet with students, employees, and community leaders. He'll address the community in a virtual event later today.
“Rima and I are very much looking forward to joining the proud Lumberjack family, serving the Flagstaff community, and the peoples of the great state of Arizona,” Cruz said in a statement.
The decision comes after current President Rita Cheng announced she will not renew her contract, set to expire in 2022.
Investigation Shows Uptick In Arizona Deaths
A report from the Arizona Republic shows deaths in the state increased 66% in January compared to the same time the previous year. Regarding the death toll, a spokesperson for Gov. Doug Ducey told the Republic “no state was spared" amid the pandemic, and acknowledged the state’s ongoing rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Arizona still displays one of the highest COVID-19 death rates per capita in the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's data tracker. And while cases have declined, state data shows more than one in every 500 people in Arizona have died of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.
Earlier this morning, state health officials reported 145 new deaths related to the virus.