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Morning Rundown: Wednesday, Aug. 4

Angela Gervasi

It’s Wednesday, Aug. 4. An Excessive Heat Warning remains in effect until Aug. 5 for lower regions of Mohave County including Kingman. Another goes into effect Aug. 5 in Supai, Grand Canyon Village, and Phantom Ranch.

Yavapai, Coconino Counties Resume Some Regulations As COVID Cases Rise

A mask mandate went back into effect today at 8 a.m. for both personnel and visitors in Coconino County public buildings. The county last Friday reported a continued rise in cases, with a 120% increase in Williams over the past week.

The new mandate comes as a wave of northern Ariz. officials warn of a spike in cases.

"We're starting to see a trend that mirrors the prior two surges that we experienced,” Navajo County Health Director Dr. Janelle Linn said in a video update Tuesday.

Credit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Data from the CDC on Aug 4, 2021.

On Monday, Yavapai County Board of Supervisors Chair Craig Brown announced public buildings would close to the general public to prevent further transmission. Flagstaff officials last week resumed a mask requirement inside city buildings to all individuals, regardless of vaccination status. All northern Ariz. counties continue to display a “high” level of community transmission, according to CDC metrics.

FUSD Prepares For Classes, Navigates AZ Mask Law
The Flagstaff Unified School District outlined a number of learning options — both in-person and remote — at a public meeting Monday. The district released plans for in-person instruction, along with an online synchronist system for elementary school students and an asynchronous distance learning program for students from fifth to 12th grade.

The district also plans for temporary remote instruction if necessary. FUSD is encouraging, but not mandating, face coverings for all individuals indoors. A recently passed state law prohibits mask mandates in K-12 public schools.

"For FUSD, as superintendent, you know, I can't recommend that any of our staff, or our governing board violate state law,” Superintendent Michael Penca said during a">public meeting Monday.

He stated he was aware of the Phoenix Union High School District’s recent decision to continue enforcing mask mandates, despite the state law. More districts in the Valley have followed, member station KJZZ reports.

Face coverings will be required, however, on FUSD transportation due to a federal law, and they’ll be mandatory at Leupp Elementary on the Navajo Nation, according to Penca.

Initial Results Show Majority Support For Goode In Prescott Election

Yavapai County on Tuesday evening released unofficial election results for Prescott’s primary mayoral election and Dewey-Humboldt recall election. Initial results show Prescott Councilmember Phil Goode received 62.04% of the vote in the mayoral race, with incumbent Mayor Greg Mengarelli receiving 37.72%. City officials say final results are forthcoming.

The county recorder also released updated voter data on Tuesday, reporting 48% of active voters in the county identify as Republican, with 21% Democrat and 30% independent.

Credit Vice Chairman Clark Tenakhongva via KUYI Hopi Public Radio
Flooding on the Hopi Nation in late July, 2021.

Relief Fund To Offer Post-Flood Assistance On Hopi

The Hopi Emergency Relief Fund is offering assistance to residents after severe flooding last week. The foundation says it’s secured a limited supply of mold-removal kits, blankets, toilet paper, and materials for leak repair among other items. Tribal officials have extended an emergency and natural disaster declaration, now set to expire Aug. 7.

NCSO Reports Vehicle Stuck In Wash

Navajo County Sheriff’s officials say five people were stranded in a wash more than 12.5 miles north of Joseph City over the weekend. No deaths or injuries were reported; air rescue was required to recover the individuals due to high water levels. It comes days after a man died near the southwestern edge of the Hopi reservation after a vehicle became submerged in floodwaters. Monsoon activity is set to decline this week in northern Arizona, according to the National Weather Service.