The path towards reopening Arizona has started, but it will be gradual.
In an effort to track the changes, 12 News has started a daily live blog.
Here is the live blog for Thursday, May 28.
- There are 17,763 people with confirmed cases of coronavirus in Arizona and 857 coronavirus-related deaths, as of Thursday morning.
- The state does not record how many people have recovered.
- Scroll down to see how many cases are in each ZIP code and additional information.
COVID-19 cases reported in Arizona on Thursday
There are 17,763 people with confirmed cases of coronavirus in Arizona and 857 coronavirus-related deaths, according to the state's latest numbers.
That's up from 17,262 confirmed cases and 831 deaths on Wednesday.
One week ago, there were 15,315 cases across the state with 763 deaths.
Scroll down for more information.
Class will be back in session
Gov. Doug Ducey announced at a news conference Thursday that school will resume when the school year resumes in the fall.
Ducey said additional guidance will be provided June 1.
Youth activities can resume
Gov. Doug Ducey announced the state is releasing guidance for youth sports to resume.
This will include summer leagues, summer school activities and day camps.
Testing blitz to continue this weekend
Gov. Doug Ducey and the Arizona Department of Health Services announced the so-called COVID-19 testing blitz will continue this upcoming weekend.
Policies and procedures for patient criteria, billing, and pre-registration requirements vary by site.
Sites participating in the Arizona Testing Blitz will offer diagnostic testing for COVID-19, which is designed to determine whether a patient is currently infected with the virus.
Antibody testing is not a part of the Arizona Testing Blitz.
COVID-19 testing in Phoenix on Saturday
Sonora Quest will be offering COVID-19 testing to the general public in Phoenix on Saturday.
The testing will be available at Steele Indian School Park from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday.
Those who think they have been exposed to or could be infected with COVID-19 are encouraged to get tested.
The testing site will be in operation from 8 a.m. – 12 noon and is available via walkup and drive thru. The swab test will be offered.
Attendees are asked to wear a mask or face covering when visiting the testing site. Bandannas or handmade masks are acceptable.
Attendees should bring their insurance information. Uninsured patients will also be covered under the CARES program, with no anticipated out-of-pocket costs.
People will be taken on a first come, first serve basis.
Patients should fill out the testing form prior to arrival.
To complete the testing form and for more information please visit, sonoraquest.com/phxtestingblitz.
Grand Canyon increases recreational access
The Grand Canyon National Park is increasing recreational access for the South Rim and river trips.
The National Park Service is working with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis.
The South Rim's south entrance will be open every day from 4 a.m. until 2 p.m for day use with limited commercial services starting Friday.
The entrance will close at 2 p.m. and visitors already inside the park can remain for day use access until sunset.
The following areas will be open:
- Tuweep will be open for day use access.
- Day hiking on inner canyon trails and existing backcountry permits for hikers camping overnight will be honored. No new overnight camping permits for the inner canyon will be issued.
The following areas will be open for visitors every day starting June 5:
- South Rim's south entrance will be open 24/7, and Mather Campground will open for existing reservations only.
- The North Rim will be open for day use. The campground is closed for construction until July 1.
Grand Canyon National Park will initiate a phased reopening of Colorado River trips starting June 14.
CVS expands drive-thru testing sites in Arizona
CVS Health expanded its COVID-19 testing program by announcing nine additional test sites across Arizona.
The sites will open on Friday and will add to the 26 locations previously opened in Arizona.
The new sites will utilize self-swab tests that will be available to individuals meeting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria, in addition to state and age guidelines.
Patients must register in advance at CVS.com to schedule an appointment.
Patients will be required to stay in their cars and will be directed to the pharmacy drive-thru window, where they will be provided with a test kit and given instructions, and a team member will observe the self-swab process to ensure it is done properly.
Tests will be sent to an independent, third-party lab for processing and the results will be available in approximately three days.
The additional new testing sites in Arizona include:
- CVS Pharmacy, 765 South Lindsay Road, Gilbert, AZ 85234
- CVS Pharmacy, 2428 South Val Vista Drive, Gilbert, AZ 85295
- CVS Pharmacy, 4890 North Litchfield Road, Litchfield Park, AZ 85340
- CVS Pharmacy, 10727 West Olive Avenue, Peoria, AZ 85345
- CVS Pharmacy, 9172 West Union Hills Drive, Peoria, AZ 85382
- CVS Pharmacy, 1855 West Thunderbird Road, Phoenix, AZ 85023
- CVS Pharmacy, 4323 East Bell Road, Phoenix, AZ 85032
- CVS Pharmacy, 6021 South Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85042
- CVS Pharmacy, 3303 South Rural Street, Tempe, AZ 85281
A complete list of CVS Pharmacy drive-thru test sites can be found here.
Navajo Nation reports 102 new COVID-19 cases
The Navajo Department of Health reported 102 new cases of COVID-19 for the Navajo Nation.
The total number of positive COVID-19 cases for the Navajo Nation has reached 4,944.
The total number of deaths has reached 159 as of Wednesday.
Preliminary reports from nine health care facilities indicate that approximately 1,620 individuals have recovered from COVID-19, with more reports still pending.
The Navajo Nation issued another 57-hour weekend lockdown beginning on Friday at 8:00 p.m. until Monday at 5:00 a.m.
This will be the eighth weekend lockdown that also requires the closure of all businesses on the Navajo Nation
President Jonathan Nez announced that recent data and new surge projections indicate that the COVID-19 surge peak for IHS hospitalizations, including ICU admissions and ventilations occurred from April 21 to April 26 – an entire month earlier than initial surge projections on March 27.
Arizona gets more money in CARES Act funding
The Arizona Department of Economic Security received $16.5 million and $8.1 million in additional CARES Act funding.
The money came from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program and the Community Services Block Grant.
DES received $16.5 million in funding for the program to support low-income families. The energy assistance program is primarily used for the provision of assistance with energy bills related to heating and cooling.
Funds are also used for home weatherization improvements related to energy efficiency or health and safety. These funds will be critical in assisting Arizona households in cooling their homes during the upcoming hot summer months.
DES also received $8.1 million in additional grant funding. The grant provides financial support for services like housing payments, employment assistance, and financial empowerment.
Arizona governor to present 'good news' on state virus fight
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is expected to brief the public Thursday on the state’s efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus, and he says the news will be good.
The governor offered a preview of the trends on Wednesday.
He also pushed back on media questions about videos from old town Scottsdale on Memorial Day that showed hundreds of people partying in the nightclub district.
He said the focus should instead be on the millions of Arizonans who have responded to the call for social distancing.
Arizona local governments get $440 million for coronavirus
Arizona cities and counties will get $440 million in federal money to help them deal with budget issues stemming from the coronavirus outbreak.
Gov. Doug Ducey announced the spending Monday in a discussion with several mayors.
The money will come from $1.9 billion in federal coronavirus relief funds that Ducey can spend at his discretion.
Local governments saw theirs costs spike for police and firefighters at the same time that sales tax revenue plummeted as people stayed home to slow the spread of the virus.
Judge mulls whether Arizona must reveal nursing home data
A judge presiding over a lawsuit seeking the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths among residents at Arizona’s nursing homes says he understands the public’s need for disclosing such information.
But Judge Christopher Coury said he also understands the state’s concerns in withholding the data.
Coury says he was struggling with the notion that the public shouldn’t be informed about providers that don’t meet the standard of care.
But he also expressed skepticism at the argument by news organizations that filed the lawsuit that releasing such information wouldn’t harm nursing homes.
Coury plans to issue a ruling by the end of the week.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Arizona releases ZIP code locations of coronavirus cases, other data
The Arizona Department of Health Services has released expanded data points regarding coronavirus cases in the state.
The AZDHS website now features the location of confirmed cases in Arizona by zip code.
You can see the current ZIP code map below and can find yours by clicking around or searching for your ZIP code in the top right of the map.
More information on coronavirus cases from Thursday
There are 17,763 people with confirmed cases of coronavirus in Arizona and 857 coronavirus-related deaths as of Thursday morning.
That's up from 17,262 confirmed cases and 831 deaths on Wednesday.
That's an increase of 501 new cases reported since Wednesday, a jump from the 479 new cases reported on Tuesday.
There were 26 new deaths reported on Thursday, up from 24 new deaths reported on Wednesday.
In total, 8,055 new tests were reported on Thursday, down from 6,480 tests that were reported on Wednesday.
There have been a total of 287,605 PCR and Serology tests reported to the state as of Thursday.
5.5% of those tests have been positive.
Here's a county breakdown:
- Maricopa: 8,896
- Pima: 2,167
- Pinal: 788
- Coconino: 1,078
- Navajo: 1,678
- Apache: 1,290
- Mohave: 350
- La Paz: 53
- Yuma: 822
- Graham: 26
- Cochise: 67
- Santa Cruz: 225
- Yavapai: 294
- Gila: 25
- Greenlee: 4
Click on the links below to find more information from each county's health department:
COVID-19 is believed to be primarily spread through coughs or sneezes.
It may be possible for the virus to spread by touching a surface or object with the virus and then a person touching their mouth, nose or eyes, but this is not thought to be the main method of spread, the CDC says.
You should consult your doctor if you traveled to an area currently affected by COVID-19 and feel sick with fever, cough or difficulty breathing.
There is no vaccine for the coronavirus, so the best way to prevent COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases is to:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
You can text FACTS to 602-444-1212 to receive more information on the coronavirus and to ask questions.