PHOENIX — There is a lot of news surrounding the coronavirus in Arizona.
In an effort to track the daily changes, 12 News has started a daily live blog.
Here is the live blog for Thursday, March 26.
MCSO employee tests positive for COVID-19
The headquarters building for the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office is being deep cleaned after an employee tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
Full access to the building will resume on Monday, March 30.
Man who died on Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation tested positive for coronavirus
A 49-year-old man with underlying health conditions who died on the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation tested positive for COVID-19.
The test results were released after his death. Nine people have now died of coronavirus in Arizona, the state health department confirmed.
Mesa Fry's employee tests positive for coronavirus
An associate at a Fry's Food Store near Main Street and Alma School Road in Mesa is recovering after testing positive for COVID-19.
The employee last worked at the store on March 22.
Coconino County Board of Supervisors urges closure of Grand Canyon National Park
The Coconino County Board of Supervisors is asking Department of Interior Secretary David Bernhardt to shut down Grand Canyon National Park for the safety and health of Coconino County healthcare providers, residents and visitors.
“The Grand Canyon is the crown jewel of parks across the County and country. However, it is important that the park adheres to proven guidance to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Social distancing measures in response to pandemics work.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, closures aimed to reduce the spread of infection have been proven to be extremely effective. Keeping the park open and allowing travelers from all over the world to come here and risk spreading COVID-19 is an unnecessary risk."
The board also asked for other local, state and federal officials to call for the closure of the park.
3 more City of Phoenix employees test positive for coronavirus
Three more employees with the City of Phoenix have tested positive for COVID-19, a city spokeswoman said Thursday.
One of the employees was a police officer who was on vacation, developed symptoms and has not returned to work for more than two weeks, Julie Watters said.
The city was notified of that positive test on Monday.
The other two employees were in the city's Aviation Department. They are both in "public facing" positions and are at home.
Neither employee has been in city workspaces for several days, she added. One has been home since mid-March and the other since last week.
A Sky Harbor employee was the first death in Arizona. The employee died on March 17 and city officials were notified that they died of COVID-19 on March 20.
Mohave County confirms third case
The Mohave County Department of Public Health has confirmed the third positive case of COVID-19 in the Kingman area.
The individual, an adult, is being treated in the hospital under strict isolation protocols.
Health officials will interview people who came in contact with that person and recommend that they monitor for symptoms and quarantine themselves for 14 days.
This case is not reflected in the state's total, which was at 508 on Thursday morning.
Arizona Department of Health Services issues new guidelines for primary care doctors
Primary care doctors are being asked to preserve personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, gowns and masks because of extreme shortages. "We need to move towards reuse, extended use and alternatives sources of PPE," a statement from health officials said.
Doctors are also being asked to discourage COVID-19 testing for most patients. With the country facing test kit shortages healthcare professionals must remove this "tool" to diagnose patients who may have the virus.
Service member tests positive at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base
An Air Force service member stationed at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base is undergoing after testing positive for COVID-19.
It’s the first case at the base, but the patient hasn’t been in the area since March 19.
Ducey orders hospitals to get emergency plans ready
Gov. Doug Ducey issued an executive order so all Arizona hospitals would increase their capacity to prepare for an influx of patients.
The order requires hospitals to increase bed capacity in the state, take steps to optimize staffing levels and maximize critical resources.
The order also requires hospitals to:
- Implement processes to re-route non-critical patients to other providers;
- Institute plans to optimize staffing levels;
- Increase bed capacity by 50 percent by April 24, with half of that increase implemented by April 10.
- Report to ADHS the number of current licensed medical-surgical beds, ICU beds and the amount of increases required under this order.
In addition, the order:
- Requires pediatric hospitals to accept patients up to 21 years of age.
- Requires Medicaid insurance plans to cover services provided through the expanded capacity and mandates insurers reimburse hospitals provided at rates equal to what would be provided without the expanded capacity.
Arizona electric customers will not have power shut off during coronavirus outbreak
Arizona Public Service, Salt River Project, Tucson Electric Power and six electric cooperatives agreed that no customer will have power to their home shut off for inability to pay.
There will also be no penalties, late fees or interest.
The utility companies will work with customers to provide flexible options for payment, as well as guidance and choice of rate and payment plans.
Arizona MVD cancels Travel ID appointments
The Arizona Department of Transportation announced Thursday that all Travel ID appointments have been cancelled in an effort to reduce customer traffic at locations after the federal deadline was delayed to 2021.
More information: www.servicearizona.com.
Couples seeking marriage license from Maricopa County Superior Court clerk's office must make appointment
That is among the measures the office announced Thursday in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Other measures from the clerk's office are below:
- It is strongly recommended that customers utilize alternatives to seeking services in-person when other options exist. Customers are encouraged to check the Court and Clerk websites for current information about the availability of services, options and other helpful information.
- It is strongly recommended that customers needing to file documents use external filing depository boxes, mail their documents, or file them electronically for eligible case and document types. Clerk of Court locations continue to accept documents filed in person, at this time.
- Customers entering our customer service areas are asked to practice social distancing and limit their party size to only the number of individuals minimally needed to conduct business.
- Customers who meet the criteria for exposure to COVID-19 or who are actively showing symptoms should not enter Clerk of Court locations. They can contact our public line at 602-372-5375 for assistance with services.
- Customers needing copies of court records are strongly encouraged to make requests via email, phone, fax, or mail. Clerk of Court locations continue to accept requests filed in person, at this time. Public facing computer terminals in Clerk offices used to research court records have been temporarily closed per an Administrative Order issued by the Court. Court dockets and some records remain available online per statute and via the State’s eAccess program. More information regarding access to Court records is available at the Clerk’s Office website.
- No new appointments for passport services are being taken. Please visit the US Government Passport website for a full list of passport processing agencies in your area.
The Eagles shows at Talking Stick Resort Arena rescheduled
Target center, archery range at Ben Avery Shooting Facility to reopen
The Ben Avery Shooting Facility will reopen its Clay Target Center and archery range today after temporarily closing last Friday.
Here's what shooters will need to know, according to the facility:
- Hours of operation will be 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, closed Monday and Tuesday.
- To minimize personal contact between customers and staff, the customer service desk inside the OneAZ Credit Union Pavilion at the Clay Target Center will be closed.
- The Clay Target Center will operate on a first-come, first-served basis — but only for Gold Card holders. The first 30 shooters will begin at 8 a.m., followed by another 30 shooters at 10:30 a.m., then an additional 30 shooters at 1:30 p.m. These 30-shooter groupings will be for two-hour blocks.
- The archery range will be open on a cash-only basis. Archers will be able to deposit their payment into an unattended receptacle (iron ranger).
- The rifle and pistol ranges are scheduled to reopen next week.
- User groups will still have access to facilities.
Tolleson schools could be closed for full school year
The Tolleson Unified School District Board voted Wednesday night to keep schools closed until further notice, empowering the superintendent to keep the district closed beyond April 10 "should we deem in necessary."
Students will continue to learn online and all staff members will continue to be paid.
District officials are offering laptops to students who completed the technology access survey. They will be supplying more than 2,000 devices to students in need, as well as information on free internet from Cox.
The district is also offering box meals at the schools on Monday. Box meals have five days of breakfast and lunch.
Gov. Doug Ducey and school Superintendent Kathy Hoffman have ordered schools across the state to keep doors closed until April 10 in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
The state's public universities have also moved all classes online through the rest of the semester, and some community colleges have as well.
This will be updated throughout the day.