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KNAU's Morning Rundown: Monday, April 12

Mass Vaccination Site Slated For Flagstaff

A mass COVID-19 vaccination site will launch this month at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services. The site will administer around 1,000 doses per day, but can expand to administer up to 4,000 daily shots, ADHS says. As of Monday morning, more than 42% of Coconino County had been vaccinated against the virus — a higher rate than the statewide average.

The Flagstaff site will open at the University Union Fieldhouse on Monday, April 19, offering the Pfizer vaccine to individuals 16 and older. Appointments will open this Friday; individuals can register in English or Spanish through the state’s registration site

The site will be operated with ADHS, Coconino County, NAU, and Northern Arizona Healthcare.

New Law Bars Businesses From Enforcing Mask Mandates

Gov. Doug Ducey on Friday signed H.B. 2770 into law; the legislation states that no business is required to enforce a mask mandate. The law was co-sponsored by Republican lawmakers including State Reps. Brenda Barton and Shawnna Bolick. Ducey released a statement last week saying he had reservations about the law, and that it could hinder health mandates that are unrelated to the pandemic in Arizona workplaces. 

“This bill is well-intentioned,” Ducey wrote, “but due to an error in drafting may have unintended consequences.” 

Ducey ultimately signed the law; he says State Rep. Joseph Chaplik will introduce a future bill to remedy the oversight. 

In-Person Graduations For Flagstaff, Chino Valley Schools

A spokesperson for the Flagstaff Unified School District says high school graduation events will be held in-person come June. The events for Summit, Coconino and Flagstaff High Schools will be held outdoors, allowing students to bring two attendees while the events are live streamed online.  The Chino Valley Unified School District last week announced a high school graduation event will be held in late May at the Prescott Valley Findlay Toyota Center. A CVUSD spokesperson says officials are working to allow as many attendees as possible while maintaining safety standards. The announcements come as high schools across the country plan graduation ceremonies amid the pandemic and rising vaccination rates.

Nez Asks Haaland To Hold Off On East Entrance Opening

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez has vetoed legislation that would have opened roads on the reservation to outside visitors. Nez announced Friday the Nation would continue to analyze infection rates before reopening. The announcement comes after National Park officials oversaw the reopening of the Grand Canyon’s eastern entrance near Cameron, allowing drivers to use certain roads on the reservation. Nez says he contacted Interior Sec. Deb Haaland and requested a hold on the eastern entrance opening. 

Stay-At-Home Order Reinstated On Navajo

Navajo Nation officials on Friday reinstated a stay-at-home order due to a reported rise in COVID-19 cases on the reservation. Health officials reported 26 new cases on Friday; last month, the reservation had reported as few as zero cases within one day. The reinstated order comes after two different variants were confirmed  on the reservation. The mandate allows limited and drive-in gatherings, though a daily curfew remains in effect.

Prescott Receives Grant To Support Residents, Businesses 

Prescott officials say the city has received a grant of $427,000 to assist residents and local businesses amid the continuing pandemic. An application will open Thursday, April 15 to assist with rent, mortgage and utility payments, along with funding for businesses. The grant was supplied by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; a city spokesperson said Friday the funding would be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis for qualified applicants.

Search Called Off For Missing Mohave County Man

The Bullhead City Police Department says a search has been called off for a missing 62-year-old man in the Camino Del Rio area. Authorities say James McCloskey fell from a boat into the Colorado River and has not been seen since. A search was conducted Thursday night and again on Friday before police say it was cancelled.

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