/ Modified apr 6, 2020 5:51 p.m.

Arizona coronavirus news in brief, April 6

Recent coverage impacting Southern Arizona: Vaquita efforts suspended, AZ lowers ventilator request, and more.

Arizona COVID-19 cumulative counts, Dec. 4

Cases: 352,101 | Deaths: 6,885
The state reported 5,680 more cases and 64 deaths on this day. Choose a Layerlayer and click on county for more.

Credit: Nick O'Gara/AZPM. Sources: ADHS, county health departments, Census 2018 Quick Facts. *Test numbers and rates utilize total test numbers (diagnostic and serology). Cumulative totals are based daily numbers posted by the state. Daily changes don't necessarily reflect the previous 24 hours.

Select regional and national coverage of COVID-19 as of Monday, April 6. For more coverage, visit our resource page. This story may be updated.


Sonora considers harsher measures to control coronavirus spread

Fronteras Desk, April 6

On Saturday, Sonoran health experts released an extensive list of new measures they want authorities to implement throughout the state, including restricting the sale of gasoline, closing parks and plazas, and prohibiting outdoor activities.

They also proposed sanctions on anyone in or entering the state that does not comply with quarantine measures.

Sonoran Health Secretary Enrique Clausen said the additional measures are necessary because of a lack of compliance with existing stay-at-home orders.

Read more here.


Sun Tran tool lets passengers know how full a bus is

AZPM, April 6

Sun Tran riders are now able to find out how well social distancing is happening on a city bus or streetcar before actually going to the stop.

The company is adding information to its real time bus tracker system that lets riders stay informed online. According to Sun Tran spokesman Pat Richter, riders can find out how full a bus is.

“The bus tracker keeps a running tally of the number of passengers on each vehicle, and this number is divided by the total number of seats and that gives us the percentage full calculation," he said. “Low percentages indicate better social distancing.”

The bus tracker information is available on Sun Tran’s website. It also gives alert notifications for detours, displays bus locations on a map and updates arrival times.


Group suspends efforts to protect endangered vaquita

AZPM, April 6

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is suspending its operations to protect the world's most critically endangered marine mammal, a porpoise that lives in the Upper Gulf of California.

Two Sea Shepherd ships usually patrol the refuge off the coast of San Felipe, in Baja, Mexico, where the porpoises, called vaquitas, are known to live. Both ships are now docked, and the crews are being sent home because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We cannot allow the coronavirus to go to the boat because that will affect all the crew," said JP Geoffroy, who leads the Sea Shepherd campaign, called Operation Milagro.

Read more here.


Arizona lowers federal ventilator request as supply dwindles

AP, April 6

GLENDALE, (AP) — Arizona has little hope of getting the 5,000 ventilators it originally requested from the dwindling national stockpile so it has revised its request down to fewer than the 500 it expects to need soon to treat coronavirus patients.

The director of the Health Services Department says the ventilators will be used to equip every bed in a now-closed Phoenix hospital and some will be sent to the Navajo Nation. An outbreak there has spread widely. On Monday, the state was up to 2,465 confirmed coronavirus cases and 65 known deaths.

Read more here.


Phoenix dispensary told to stop selling virus 'stabilizer'

AP, April 6

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona’s top prosecutor has ordered a Phoenix dispensary to stop marketing its products as treatments for the coronavirus.

Attorney General Mark Brnovich says he sent a cease-and-desist letter to YiLo Superstore Dispensary on Friday over claims of having a “Coronav Immunization Stabilizer Tincture.” Brnovich’s office had been alerted to promotional text messages as well as a website tying the product to the novel coronavirus.

Brnovich said in a statement Monday that attempts to exploit consumers during a public health crisis will not be tolerated. Brnovich’s office says the Food and Drug Administration has not approved any vaccine to immunize against, prevent or treat COVID-19.

Read more here.


California man accused of coughing on Yuma gas pump

AP, April 6

YUMA, Ariz. (AP) — A California man has admitted to posting videos of himself talking about coronavirus while coughing on a gas pump in Yuma.

The Yuma Police Department received several reports Saturday night about social media videos of a man coughing on a fuel pump handle and referencing the COVID-19 pandemic. Officers opened an investigation and determined the suspect was a 23-year-old man from Winterhaven. He was brought to the police station for questioning. Investigators say he admitted to making the videos.

Police say he showed no signs or symptoms of COVID-19. Investigators, however, sent the case to Yuma County prosecutors for possible charges of unlawful use of infectious biological substance.

Read more here..


Wall Street leaps 7%, markets rally worldwide on virus hopes

AP-Financial-Markets, 12th Ld-Writethru

Apr 06, 2020 1:57PM (GMT 20:57) NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street surged 7% Monday after some of world's areas hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak offered sparks of hope that the pandemic may soon slow its spread.

It was the biggest jump for the S&P 500 in nearly two weeks, and it followed gains nearly as big in Europe and Asia. Encouraging numbers on infections and deaths came out of Italy, Spain and New York. Bond yields rose as investors became a bit less pessimistic about the economy's prospects.

The price of crude fell after a meeting between big oil-producing questions was postponed. They were expected to discuss possible cutbacks of production.

Read more here.


US 'wasted' months before preparing for coronavirus pandemic

AP, April 6

WASHINGTON (AP) — The first alarms sounded in early January that the outbreak of a novel coronavirus in China would ignite a global pandemic. But the Trump administration squandered nearly two months that could have been used to bolster the federal stockpile of critically needed medical supplies and equipment.

Purchasing contracts reviewed by The Associated Press show that federal agencies waited until mid-March to begin placing bulk orders of N95 respirator masks, mechanical ventilators and other equipment needed by front-line health care workers.

Now, the national stockpile is nearly drained just as the numbers of infected patients needing critical care is surging.

Read more here.


Rate of deaths, illness among black residents alarms cities

AP, April 6

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago’s mayor pledged an aggressive public health campaign aimed at the city’s black and brown communities amid alarm that black residents make up an overwhelming number of those to die of COVID-19.

Black residents accounted for 72% of deaths from COVID-19 complications in the city despite making up only 30% of the city’s population. Public health experts in Chicago said the trend was unsurprising to anyone familiar with decades-old barriers to health care here.

The same conditions exists in other large cities with large black populations that are considered hot spots for the coronavirus, including New York, Detroit, Milwaukee and New Orleans.

Read more here.


Virus puts event planning industry on brink of devastation

AP, April 6

PHOENIX (AP) — The events industry, which exists to bring people together, has been hit particularly hard by fallout from the coronavirus.

All around the U.S., bouncy houses for children’s parties and stacks of folding chairs and tables for graduations, weddings and Bar Mitzvahs are being warehoused as event planners heed social distancing guidelines. Some companies are trying to find creative uses for their equipment and services as they undertake the onerous process of applying for federal assistance and begging banks for loan extensions.

For many it’s becoming increasingly difficult to survive with no firm end in sight to the social clampdown.

Read more here.


California to lend 500 ventilators to national stockpile

AP, April 6

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California's governor says the state will lend 500 ventilators to the national stockpile for use by New York and other states experiencing a crush of hospitalizations due to the coronavirus.

Gov. Gavin Newsom's announcement on Monday follows commitments by Oregon and Washington to transfer ventilators to New York. It also comes despite California's request for 10,000 ventilators from the national stockpile, which has not been fulfilled.

Newsom said California hospitals have recently boosted their ventilator stock by 3,000, giving hospitals in the state more than 11,000 ventilator.

Read more here.


Governors plead for food stamp flexibility amid pandemic

AP, April 5

PHOENIX (AP) — There are only a handful of states in the country where food aid recipients can buy groceries online.

The coronavirus pandemic is shining a light on that and other inflexibility in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, colloquially known as food stamps. The program helps millions of Americans pay for food, and with the economy collapsing, activists say it's more vital than ever. But with the virus outbreak forcing many to stay home, governors are pressing the federal government to relax its rules and make the program more accessible.

Read more here.


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