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KNAU's Morning Rundown: Friday, May 14

AZ Health Officials, Navajo Nation Offer Pfizer Vaccine To Children 12-15

Arizona health officials on Thursday began offering doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to adolescents between 12 and 15 years old. It comes after the Food and Drug Administration, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, authorized the vaccine’s use for the younger demographic. 

An estimated 43.1% of the state’s total population has been partially or fully vaccinated so far.  Navajo Nation officials are hoping to vaccinate 5,000 adolescents by the weekend, according to President Jonathan Nez, who says his own 13-year-old son received his first dose of the Pfizer vaccine on Thursday.

CDC Says Masks No Longer Recommended For Vaccinated Individuals, Local Governments React

Coconino County has changed its mask guidance following a major shift in recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. County health officials announced Thursday that fully vaccinated individuals can engage in activities both outdoors and indoors without wearing a mask. The new county guidance, however, does not apply to mask regulations in healthcare facilities or private companies.

 The CDC had previously recommended that fully vaccinated people continue to wear masks.

Navajo Department of Health Executive Director Dr. Jill Jim, meanwhile, says masks will continue to be required on the reservation. The announcement comes as the Navajo Nation continues a rigorous approach to vaccination. President Jonathan Nez says doses of the Pfizer vaccine will be offered to individuals 12 and older today at the Kayenta Health Center

Mountainline Microtransit Plan Considered

Flagstaff’s Mountain Line system will test microtransit operations in the city’s Huntington and Industrial corridor. Microtransit typically constitutes small-scale ride-sharing systems using shuttles or small buses. Mountain Line officials say the system would allow passengers to call or use a mobile app to be picked up at a given location. They’re seeking input from the public until June 16. The announcement comes as microtransit is being considered  in multiple northern Arizona communities, including Sedona and Prescott Valley. 

Prescott Valley earlier this year launched a potential microtransit plan that would use federal CARES ACT funding. 

Fire Restrictions Kick Off Hours After Two Fires Reported In Flagstaff 

A Flagstaff area-fire on Thursday caused a temporary closure on Highway 89 as multiple crews managed the outbreak near milepost 432. Coconino National Forest officials say the fire’s growth was stopped before reaching six acres as roads reopened Thursday evening. 

An additional fire was reported south of Flagstaff Thursday; forest officials told the Arizona Daily Sun it grew after fireworks were set off in the area. 

The reports came hours before stage one fire restrictions went into effect this morning for the Coconino, Kaibab, Prescott and Tonto national forests. 

Read more: KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius speaks to fire staff officer Jeremy Human


Congressional Candidate To Face Gosar In 2022 

A new congressional candidate has announced her bid against current U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar. Delina DiSanto says she’s running for Arizona’s fourth congressional district as a Democrat. Gosar received recent scrutiny after far-right organizer Ali Alexander told media he’d spoken with Gosar shortly before the January 6 insurrection. DiSanto ran unsuccessfully in the 2020 election against Gosar, who’s currently servinghis sixth termin office. She now says she’ll run again in 2022. 

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