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KNAU's Morning Rundown: Monday, May 10

Fire Continues To Burn South Of Crown King

Evacuations and road closures are in effect as a fire burns seven miles southwest of Crown King, according to county and forest officials. The Bureau of Land Management on Sunday evening reported the Tussock Fire had spread to about 3,500 acres; an estimate for containment has not been released. 


Mandatory evacuations have been issued for Minihaha, Horse Thief and Fort Misery communities. A shelter has been established at Mayer High School. No official notice has been issued for Crown King, though the county has directed residents to prepare for potential evacuation. County officials say the fire’s cause remains under investigation while fire crews and air operations work to mitigate the blaze.


3 Million Arizonans Vaccinated As Inoculation Rates Decline 

More than three million people in Arizona are now partially or fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the department of health services. An estimated 42.2% percent of the state’s total population is inoculated against the virus, ADHS reported this morning. 


The state in recent weeks has sought to make vaccines more available by allowing walk-ins at mass vaccination sites and authorizing healthcare providers to directly order vaccine from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 


Administration rates of the vaccine have diminished in recent weeks statewide, following a trend of declining demand across the country. The state estimated more than 66,461 doses were administered on March 30; a month later, 39,603 doses were administered on April 30. 


Navajo Nation, Flagstaff, Chino Valley Schools Prep For Graduation  

The Navajo Nation has released guidelines for limited in-person graduation ceremonies; tribal officials say in-person ceremonies are permitted only for high school seniors and college graduates, and must require face masks, COVID-19 screenings, and pre-registration for attendance; the events are mandated for no more than two hours. 


The guidelines come as high schools across the state attempt to balance the ceremony with COVID-19 mitigation strategies. Summit, Coconino and Flagstaff high schools will hold graduation ceremonies in-person and outdoors next month.  The Chino Valley Unified School District says a high school graduation event will be held later this month at the Prescott Valley Findlay Toyota Center.


NAU Reinstates 50-Person Events, Prepares For In-Person Fall Semester

Northern Arizona University says it’s loosening certain restrictions as vaccination rates rise within Coconino County. The university will now permit events of up to 50 people on its campus, though officials will continue to review and approve event requests. NAU last month completed a virtual commencement for students, and plans to begin its fall semester completely in person. The university has confirmed more than 1,400 positive COVID-19 testssince the start of the spring semester, though NAU data shows cases have declined in recent weeks.


Microtransit Talks On Tap For Sedona

The Sedona City Council will deliberate potential microtransit services at a meeting Tuesday afternoon. The council agenda includes a discussion regarding a possible extension of a sales tax that would fund microtransit. A current proposal would launch three shuttle routes in March 2022 and continue the system throughout the year. Another pilot project would launch a system of vans for resident and visitor use. The projects, according to the council agenda, would seek to mitigate heavy traffic near 89A. Nearby Prescott Valley earlier this year launched a potential microtransit plan that would use federal CARES ACT funding.

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