Chris Richards/University of Arizona

Vaccines provide a high level of protection against COVID-19. That’s one of the findings of an ongoing research study following health care workers, first responders, and other essential workers in Arizona. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with Dr. Jeff Burgess of the University of Arizona Health Sciences about the HEROES study and why the rise of the Delta variant in Arizona is worrisome.

Arizona Department of Health Services

More than three and a half million people have received a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Arizona, but only sixteen percent of those are Hispanic or Latino, even though that group is a third of the state’s population. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports on a research study being conducted by the three state universities to investigate the lagging numbers.

Alissa Eckert, Dan Higgins | CDC

Gila County health officials recently reported an uptick in COVID-19 cases, particularly in the communities of Payson, Star Valley, and Pine. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.

Ruthson Zimmerman/WikiCommons

The COVID-19 pandemic forced a lot of people to work from home and drastically change their driving habits. A new survey from Arizona State University shows many Americans expect those changes to last after the pandemic is over. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with lead author Deborah Salon about the findings.


Like many musicians, Dom Flemons was nervous about returning to the stage after more than a year away from performing. Though he spent the shutdown working on several projects with high-profile collaborators, Flemons still wondered if his live shows would be the same as before the pandemic, and whether audiences would respond like they had in the past. But Flemons, a Grammy Award-winning, Arizona-born singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, had little to fear. Audiences have embraced his signature high-energy live shows with a reinvigorated enthusiasm. In the latest installment of KNAU’s series Eats and Beats, Flemons talks about why the live music experience matters.

Courtesy Erin Markham

For seniors in long-term care facilities, loneliness was a problem long before the threat of COVID-19. But the pandemic lockdowns completely cut them off from outside social interaction — to the point where health experts say it’s endangering their mental well-being. 


Cats and dogs can get infected with COVID-19, but not much is known about the relationships between sick people and their pets. Scientists at Flagstaff’s Translational Genomics Research Institute are recruiting Arizona pet owners who have been recently diagnosed with COVID to learn more. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with lead researcher Hayley Yaglom about what she’s learned so far.


Many Native students who attend school in Flagstaff live in a dormitory operated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs because their family homes are far away, scattered on the vast Navajo Nation. But when schools shut their doors at the start of the pandemic, they had to go home…where they faced not only a sudden switch to online classes, but also a lack of access to Internet, electricity, food and water. Teachers and counselors worked long hours to stay connected to their students, many of whom were suffering from isolation and fear. Darrell Marks is the Native American academic advisor at Flagstaff High School. Tomorrow he receives a special award for courage from the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation for risking his health and safety to help others during the pandemic. In this audio postcard, we meet Darrell Marks who says the recognition is bittersweet after a year of heartbreaking loss.

REUTERS/Amit Dave/File Photo

India’s crisis continues with 26 million confirmed coronavirus cases and three hundred thousand deaths; thousands more are reported every day. The country’s severe shortage of vaccines reveals the inequities in the coronavirus response between developed and developing nations. Amit Kumar is an epidemiologist at Northern Arizona University who researches health care disparities. He spoke to KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny about how India’s crisis is a global problem—but also deeply personal for him, because he has family and friends there suffering from unimaginable tragedy and fear.   

Don Graham/WikiCommons

The Navajo Nation faces a housing crisis. Many homes don’t have electricity or running water, and large families share small spaces with few options for isolating if someone gets sick with COVID-19. Carmirae Holguin has started a new nonprofit to address these issues and revitalize traditional building practices. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with her about the Nááts'íilid Initiative.