AP Photo/Mark Humphrey

Coconino County health officials continue to report a high level of COVID-19 community transmission.

Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff will reopen to the public for general admission beginning November 15th. The facility has been closed to visitors throughout the pandemic. Observatory officials say new COVID-19 protocols will be in place to keep guests and staff safe. Guests 12 and older will need to show proof of vaccination, or the results of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of visiting the observatory. Children 2-11 will need to wear masks indoors, as vaccinations have not yet been approved for that age group.

Health officials in Arizona say preparations are underway to provide COVID-19 vaccinations for children ages 5 to 11 if the federal government authorizes a pediatric lower-dose Pfizer vaccine in early November. In a blog post Wednesday, the acting director of the state Department of Health Services also encouraged parents to have their children vaccinated for COVID-19. Don Herrington says children should get the vaccine because there have been cases when otherwise healthy kids get extremely ill from COVID-19.

The Biden administration is threatening to revoke the authority for three Republican-controlled states to handle their own workplace safety regulations because they have refused to adopt rules to protect health care workers from COVID-19. The threats were sent to Arizona, South Carolina and Utah as the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration prepares to adopt much more far-reaching vaccination and testing rules affecting 80 million Americans.

Southwest Airlines is backing away from a plan to put unvaccinated workers on unpaid leave. A Southwest spokesperson said Tuesday that employees must submit proof of vaccination against COVID-19 — or request an exemption from the shots — by Nov. 24. However, employees whose requests for vaccine exemptions haven't been processed or approved by Dec. 8 will be allowed to keep working. Major U.S. airlines are federal contractors.

AP Photo/Felicia Fonseca

More than 30 communities on the Navajo Nation are reporting uncontrolled spread of COVID-19.

John Minchillo/AP Photo

Arizona health officials Tuesday reported unusually high numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths as the state’s dashboard caught up on some pandemic metrics after a two-day hiatus for a system update.

Verde Valley Fire District

A Verde Valley firefighter/paramedic has died from complications related to COVID-19. A statement from the Verde Valley Fire District says Tyrone Bell died Monday after falling ill more than a week ago. According to a Meal Train post created by his friends and family, Bell suffered seizures from COVID-19 and had to be intubated, sedated and flown to Barrow Neurologic Center in Phoenix for care. He was with the district for four years.

Angela Gervasi / KNAU

The board that oversees Arizona’s three state universities announced Friday that they'll will comply with a federal mandates for government contractors and require their employees to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by Dec. 8 unless they receive exemptions. 



Scientists and other workers at one of the nation’s premier nuclear weapons laboratories face a deadline Friday — be vaccinated or prepare to be fired. Dozens of workers at Los Alamos National Laboratory are suing over the mandate, saying exemptions have been unduly denied and that their constitutional rights are being violated. Their lawsuit also alleges that lab management has been harassing employees and has created a hostile work environment.