public health

AP Photo/Mark Humphrey

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

The office of Rep. Tom O'Halleran

A group representing Navajo communities is presenting its case to an international human rights body, saying U.S. regulators violated the rights of tribal members when they cleared the way for uranium mining in western New Mexico years ago.

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.

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.

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File

Arizona health officials Thursday reported nearly 2,386 new known cases of COVID-19 and six additional deaths.

Families of COVID-19 patients are asking hospitals to rethink visitor policies a year and a half into the pandemic that has so far killed approximately 700,000 people in the U.S. The relatives say they're being denied the right to be with loved ones at a crucial time. Doctors also are increasingly telling hospitals to relax restrictions to allow patients to see their families. Hospitals in at least a half-dozen states have loosened restrictions governing visits to COVID patients.

Arizona’s daily dashboard is reporting just over 1,700 new confirmed COVID-19 cases but no new deaths. The latest figures from the state Department of Health Services came out Monday. They show the state has now seen more than 1,120,000 cases and 20,382 deaths from the coronavirus since the pandemic started over a year ago. Hospitalizations of patients due to COVID-19 dipped slightly Sunday. More than 4.2 million people have received at least one dose of vaccine in Arizona with nearly 3.8 million residents fully vaccinated.