/ Modified may 28, 2020 4:04 p.m.

Arizona coronavirus news in brief, May 28

Recent coverage impacting Southern Arizona: Return to school, sanitation tunnels, Grand Canyon.

Arizona COVID-19 cumulative counts, Dec. 1

Cases: 337,139 | Deaths: 6,687
The state reported 10,322 more cases and 48 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 the COVID-19 pandemic as of Thursday, May 28. For more, visit our resource page.

Ducey announces plan to return to school


In a Thursday press conference, Ducey said he has been meeting with school leaders and superintendents around the state to discuss what school will look like this fall. He said State Superintendent Kathy Hoffman will be releasing guidance June 1 for schools, and an accompanying executive order will support schools being flexible in resuming in-person instruction.

Additionally, Ducey said the state is issuing guidance today on resuming youth sports, summer schools, and camps.

Learn more here.

Grand Canyon to fully open South Rim entrance in June


GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK — The Grand Canyon is expanding access to its more popular South Rim entrance and planning to let visitors in around the clock next month.

The entrance station will have limited hours from Friday until June 5 when the national park will fully open. The canyon's North Rim also will reopen June 5, although the campground will be closed for another month because of construction.

The park says concessionaires will start reopening lodging in June. For now, visitors can access hiking trails and some commercial services. Rafting trips are scheduled to resume in mid-June.

Read more here.

Arizona cities, counties to get $441 million in direct relief funds

Cronkite News

WASHINGTON – Arizona cities and counties will get access to nearly $600 million in COVID-19 relief funding, part of the more than $1.8 billion awarded two months ago to Arizona under the federal CARES Act.

Larger jurisdictions received their funds directly from the federal government, but Gov. Doug Ducey said Wednesday that the remaining cities and counties in the state will get $441 million directly, based on population. They will also have access to another $150 million in emergency relief funds.

Learn more here.

‘Sanitation tunnels’ at the border may do more harm than good

Fronteras Desk

In early May, the border city of Nogales, Sonora, put out a video of its first sanitation tunnel, just south of the port of entry with the United States.

Officials stop drivers coming south across the border and ask them to walk a few steps into the white, inflatable arch, then spin, arms outstretched, to be sprayed with a disinfectant.

Despite the growing number of local leaders investing in the tunnels, Mexico’s Health Secretary Hugo Lopez-Gatell has called them a waste of money. Far from being helpful, or even harmless, he said the tunnels could further spread COVID-19, by causing people to cough.

Learn more here.

Many Sonoran manufacturing plants get OK to reopen, but uncertainty remains

Fronteras Desk

Many of Sonora’s numerous manufacturing plants have gotten the green light to slowly reopen soon.

Among the plants preparing to reopen is the massive Ford plant in Hermosillo, one of the city’s most important employers, according to a company statement. But uncertainty remains about how many workers at Ford and other businesses could be allowed back, as well as whether every company given approval will actually reopen.

Chinese grad students may be next hit by US-China tensions


WASHINGTON — The Trump administration may soon expel thousands of Chinese graduate students and impose other sanctions against Chinese officials.

These are the latest signs of escalating tensions over trade, the coronavirus pandemic, human rights and the status of Hong Kong. President Donald Trump says he intends to make an announcement about China on Friday. Officials say he is considering a proposal to revoke the visas of Chinese students affiliated with educational institutions in China that are linked to the People's Liberation Army or Chinese intelligence.

They say Trump is also weighing targeted travel and financial sanctions against Chinese officials for actions in Hong Kong. The officials were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Learn more here.

UN chief warns leaders pandemic may cause historic famine


UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. chief has warned the largest gathering of world leaders since the coronavirus pandemic began that it will cause “unimaginable devastation and suffering around the world.” He says the crisis could bring historic levels of hunger and famine and leave up to 1.6 billion people unable to earn a living unless action is taken now.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also warned Thursday that the pandemic's economic fallout could lead to “a loss of $8.5 trillion in global output — the sharpest contraction since the Great Depression of the 1930s.” He called for immediate and collective action in critical areas, including debt relief and a recovery plan that tackles inequalities.

Learn more here.

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