Morning Rundown: Thursday, Aug. 5
It’s Thursday, Aug. 5. The Ariz. Dept. of Health Services reported more than 2,289 COVID-19 cases this morning and 11 recent related deaths. Case rates have continued to increase, along with hospitalizations: as of Wednesday, 1,266 people were receiving in-patient care for the virus.
It comes as health officials continue to warn of the delta variant and breakthrough cases among vaccinated people. As of July 12, ADHS had confirmed 3,540 breakthrough cases, the Arizona Republic reported. State Sen. Tony Navarette this week announced he tested positive for COVID-19 and is experiencing mild symptoms; he says he received both vaccine doses months ago.
“I know that people are tired and frustrated, but it’s time to mask up again,” Navarette said in a statement.
Eviction Moratorium Extended For Country, AZ
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week issued a temporary halt in residential evictions for areas with substantial or high levels of COVID-19 transmission, extending a previous nationwide moratorium. The order remains in effect until Oct.3.
The order currently applies to all Ariz. counties, as 12 counties display high transmission and the remaining three show substantial spread, according to CDC data and the Associated Press.
According to U.S. Census Data from 2019, before the pandemic hit, nearly 47.9% of Ariz. renters and 21.8% of homeowners were housing cost burdened — meaning they paid more than 30% of their income toward housing. City of Flagstaff data released Feb. 2021 showed 55% of renters and 27% of homeowners were housing cost burdened.
Libraries Close Doors In Yavapai County Amid Growing COVID-19 Transmission
Starting today, Yavapai County’s 15 library branches are closing in-person service and reverting to curbside operations. County officials said in a statement yesterday that masks will be "required for staff." It comes hours after the county closed its government buildings to the general public.
COVID-19 Clinic Slated In Page As County Transmission Remains High
In neighboring Coconino County, masks will now be mandatatory in county buildings and Flagstaff city buildings as the CDC identifies high COVID-19 transmission in the area.
A vaccination clinic is on tap this Saturday at the Page High School. Page continues to display among the county’s highest vaccination rates at more than 70.3%, according to county data released last Friday.
KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius spoke to Coconino County Health and Human Services Director Kim Musselman about the rise in cases. Listen here.
Missing Man Found Deceased After Hiking In Sedona
Yavapai County Sheriff’s officials say a man was found dead Tuesday afternoon; Logan Erikson was reported missing several days ago after he began a hike in Sedona. YSCO says a search ensued with Coconino County, Sedona Fire, and Department of Safety Personnel along with volunteers. A cause of death was not disclosed.
More Cases, No Deaths Reported On Navajo Nation
Navajo Nation health officials reported 34 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday, along with no recent deaths for the fourth day in a row. President Jonathan Nez earlier this week acknowledged a fluctuation in daily case rates, but pointed out that cases remain far below previous spikes on the Navajo Nation, where as many as 383 cases were reported within a day in Nov. 2020.
A mask mandate remains effective on Diné land; Nez reminded the public Tuesday that gatherings remained limited to 25 people.
Hit-And-Run Of Cyclist Leads To Arrest In Prescott Valley
Prescott Valley Police say they’ve arrested Glen Cosse, who allegedly struck a 63-year-old cyclist near the Urban Forest Lakes Park on Monday. Authorities also report the driver may have intentionally hit the cyclist, who is in stable condition, though he sustained potential head injuries. Police say Cosse, who fled the scene, was later found and arrested due to an anonymous tip; he was charged with aggravated assault and booked into the Yavapai County Jail.
Fire Restrictions Lifted In Yavapai County
Yavapai County lifted its Stage I fire restrictions Wednesday morning; County Emergency Manager R.C. Helton says the decision was made after consulting with forest officials and assessing National Weather Service data.
“The transition is predicated upon the recent increase of precipitation in the region and the comparative data ... and additional diagnostics regarding fuel load and biomass conditions,” Helton said in a statement.
Area fires, including the Tiger Fire near Black Canyon City and Rafael Fire southwest of Flagstaff, have most recently been reported at full or near-full containment.