BREAKING NEWS: Latest on COVID-19 in Arizona

Mar 12, 2020

THIS POST WILL BE UPDATED WITH THE LATEST INFORMATION ABOUT CORONAVIRUS IN ARIZONA AND YUMA AND LA PAZ COUNTIES.  Scroll down for more coverage and updates.

Watch the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic, including regular White House briefings. 

WHAT WE KNOW:

As of Sunday, April 4 -  The current number of confirmed COVID-19/coronavirus cases in the state stands at 2,269  (15 in Yuma County (13 confirmed by state officials); three in La Paz County, 1,326 in Maricopa County, 103 in Pinal County, 372 in Pima County, 155 in Coconino County, 195 in Navajo County, 23 cases in Apache County, 16 in Mojave County, two in Graham County, one in Greenlee County,  45 in Yavapai County, four in Santa Cruz County, and eight in Cochise County), see daily numbers at the Arizona Department of Health Services page.  

There have been 64 reported deaths throughout the state of Arizona, related to COVID-19. Arizona community spread is now widspread according to AZDHS. 

15 cases have been confirmed in Yuma County. Health officials said the first confirmed case was a Marine who spent time at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma. Mayor Doug Nicholls said a second case was the roommate of that Marine. 

Arizona Western College officials announced that another case involves a student for the current semester. The student is isolated and has not been on the Yuma campus since March 12.

SCROLL DOWN FOR THE LATEST UPDATES

LINKS:

NEW as of March 17, 2020: NPR Coronavirus Daily Podcast

Arizona Department of Health Services

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus Page

La Paz County Health Department

Yuma County Health District Coronavirus Page

Global tracking from John Hopkins University of Medicine's Coronavirus Resource Center 

NEW INFORMATION AND UPDATES

SUNDAY 2:09 p.m.

Gov. Doug Ducey announced the state has secured a new agreement with Honeywell to produce more than 6 million N95 masks for the state of Arizona over the next 12 months. Upon production of the masks, the Arizona Department of Health Services will deliver them to county health departments for further distribution to health, safety, and emergency response workers.

SATURDAY 2:58 p.m.

Gov. Doug Ducey today announced that President Trump in coordination with the Federal Emergency Management Agency today approved Arizona’s request for a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for the state. The declaration makes available additional federal assets and resources to aid Arizona’s COVID-19 response efforts. 

FRIDAY 10:34 p.m.

Walmart on Saturday will begin limiting how many people are allowed inside its stores at one time, reducing its capacity to roughly 20 percent, as a way to enforce social distancing.

The retail giant joins Target, Costco and other supermarket chains in deciding to count and restrict the number of visitors to keep shoppers at least six feet apart — from each other and from the workers — hoping to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

FRIDAY 3:41 p.m.

Yuma County health officials announced no new cases of COVID-19. The total remains at 15- 10 men and five women.

FRIDAY 3 p.m.

The Governor’s Office today released additional guidance on essential services and recreational activities.

If not already closed, the following services shall cease operations no later than 5 p.m. on Saturday, as these services cannot comply with social distancing guidelines required in Gov. Doug Ducey's Executive Order, directing Arizonans to Stay Home, Stay Healthy, and Stay Connected.

  • Barbers 
  • Cosmetology, Hairstyling, Nail Salons and Aesthetic Salons 
  • Tanning salons
  • Tattoo parlors
  • Spas
  • Massage parlors

In addition, the following services shall also cease operations by 5 p.m. Saturday:

  • Amenities at public parks that do not allow for recommended physical distancing or proper hygiene such as basketball courts, splash pads, playgrounds and public restrooms but public parks shall remain open to the greatest extent possible.
  • Communal pools such as those at hotels, condominiums, apartment complexes and parks, however, these should still be maintained under environmental and public health rules and guidelines.
  • Swap meets

FRIDAY 12:52 p.m.

Gov. Doug Ducey announced today the Ben and Catherine Ivy Foundation has contributed $5 million to the AZ Coronavirus Relief Fund. The fund, established by Gov. Ducey as part of the Arizona Together initiative, supports Arizona organizations working to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 and provide assistance to families, individuals and businesses. 

FRIDAY 12 p.m.

National Guard members are assisting at grocery stores in Yuma by stocking shelves following orders from Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey. KYMA reports seven guards in uniform began stocking shelves at several Food City stores in Yuma. There are more than 600 guard members in the state.

THURSDAY 6 p.m.

Gov. Doug Ducey is hosting a live town hall. You can see the video here: https://mailchi.mp/dougducey/coronavirus-town-hall?mc_cid=ce5b83b0d4&mc_eid=f95af6b3ae

THURSDAY 4:16 p.m. 

The Yuma County Health Services District announced the 15th  positive case of COVID-19 Thursday. 

There have been 212 tests so far done and the age group for those tested range from 18 to 60 plus years old, according to the County health website. 

So far 10 of the positive cases were men, five were women.

This is the breakdown per age group: 

 

18-39: 5 

40-59: 4

60+: 6

 

THURSDAY 1:38 p.m.

An Executive Order issued by Gov. Doug Ducey today provides a solution by allowing pharmacists to dispense emergency refills of maintenance medications for a 90-day supply and an additional 90-day supply if needed. Under the order, Arizonans would be able to receive a refill on their medication for up to 180 days, while avoiding the trip to the doctor.

THURSDAY 10:28 a.m 

Yuma Regional Medical Center increased its visitor restrictions Thursday meaning it will no longer allow any visitors into its hospital.  

The restrictions are in place to help combat the spread of COVID-19. All visitors dropping patients off at the emergency department are asked to remain in their car or return home. All visitors dropping patients off for ambulatory/outpatient Clinics are asked to do the same.

WEDNESDAY 9:11 p.m.

KJZZ's Laurel Morales reports the federal government announced today the immediate closure of Grand Canyon National Park to keep visitors and workers safe from COVID-19. 

WEDNESDAY 7:20 p.m.

From the Fronteras desk in Phoenix, KJZZ’s Matthew Casey reports most of the detained plaintiffs in a lawsuit seeking to halt in-person immigration court hearings during the coronavirus pandemic are being held in Arizona. They also want the government to create a secure way to talk with their lawyers on the outside, or provide protective gear to keep meetings safe.

WEDNESDAY 6:38 p.m.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement says a person held at the La Palma Correctional Center has tested positive for COVID-19. From the Fronteras desk in Phoenix, KJZZ’s Matthew Casey reports the person is 45 years old and from Guatemala. 

WEDNESDAY 4:57 p.m.

Yuma County health officials announced one new confirmed case of COVID-19 this afternoon, bringing the county's total to 13. 

According to county statistics, the newly confirmed case is a female between the ages of 40 and 59. No other details were given.

WEDNESDAY 3:20 p.m.

Arizona Western College officials announced the school will hold a virtual commencement.

 

Nicole Harral, associate dean for Enrollment Services, said in a town hall livestream today that more details would be announced for the ceremony, which is set for mid May.

 

AWC President Dr. Daniel Corr previously announced the school would not be holding a traditional ceremony due to social distancing measures against large group gatherings.

 

AWC spring classes will continue online for the remainder of the school year.

 

WEDNESDAY 2 p.m.

Arizona Western College is holding a livestream Q&A right now. Go to facebook.com/kawcradio for live video.

WEDNESDAY 1:33 p.m. 

Governor Doug Ducey has sent a letter to President Donald Trump asking for a disaster declaration that would allow federal assets and resources for Arizona's COVID-19 response efforts. 

It is called the Presidential Major Disaster Declaration and if approved by the President would provide assistance for these programs in Arizona:

  • Crisis Counseling Program;

  • Disaster Case Management;

  • Disaster Unemployment Assistance;

  • Disaster Legal Services;

  • Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program;

  • Hazard Mitigation Grant Program;

  • And any other appropriate Stafford Act disaster assistance programs.

“This declaration will help families, individuals, businesses and tribal communities in our state weather this storm and bounce back afterward stronger than ever. I’m grateful for the partnership and collaboration we’ve had with administrative officials and hope to see this request approved in full to aid Arizona’s COVID-19 response,” Governor Doug Ducey said.

 

WEDNESDAY 11:40 a.m.

Yuma Mayor Doug Nicholls announced he is participating in a White House call for a COVID-19 briefing to discuss the CARES Act and staying connected on the latest information. 

TUESDAY 4:08 p.m.

San Luis Mayor Gerardo Sanchez told KAWC that one of the announced cases of COVID-19 in Yuma County is a resident of San Luis. No further information was given but Sanchez said city officials are keeping residents informed to stay at home. Announcements are being made in English and Spanish. Traffic at the border has decreased significantly as people are following the suggestion of essential travel, he said.

TUESDAY 3:58 p.m.

Yuma County health officials announced today there are no additional cases of COVID-19. Currently, there are 12 cases. County spokesman Kevin Tunnell said three patients have been hospitalized.

TUESDAY 1:20 p.m.

KJZZ's Laurel Morales reports the president of the Navajo Nation has extended an order for casinos and schools to remain closed through the end of April. The tribe has 148 positive cases of the coronavirus and five confirmed deaths as of today.

MONDAY 8:45 p.m.

Flights scheduled out of Yuma International Airport this week remain in question. KYMA reports airport spokesperson Gen Grosse said airport officials are working with American Airlines to determine a schedule for this week and beyond. If you have a flight, you are asked to check with the airport for the flight status.

MONDAY 3:59 p.m.

Yuma County health officials have shed some light on local COVID-19 cases. Currently, there are 12 announced cases. Nine of these are men and three are women. Five of the patients are 18-39 years old, five are 60 and older and two are between the ages of 40 and 59. 

MONDAY 2:40 p.m.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has issued a stay at home order effective at 5 p.m. Tuesday. This comes after the recommendations of state health officials. Gov. Ducey said residents should limit time away from home except for essential activities. Grocery stores and pharmacies remain open as do some restaurants for take out and delivery orders.

MONDAY 12:23 p.m. 

A cooperative agreement between the state and Arizona banks will provide relief for small businesses and families from evictions and foreclosures enlight of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The initiative allows banks to lend up to $10 million to small businesses and sole proprietors who have been impacted from the virus.

The agreement allows banks to suspend evictions and foreclosures for at least 60 days, with the potential to extend it as long as the state's emergency is declared. 

 

“We know many families and businesses are in need of immediate relief, and with April first fast approaching this agreement will help ensure no Arizonan loses their home or business at the end of the month,” Arizona Governor Doug Ducey said. 

 

It stems from the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program signed into law last week. Banks have commited to expediting the application and approval of small businesses loans. 

MONDAY 11:42 a.m. 

Help is coming to the state's food banks, nutrition programs and programs that serve the homeless after Arizona Governor Ducey announced $6.7 million in funding to support vulnerable arizonans. 

The money comes from the $50 million COVID-19 relief package signed into law over the weekend, money that will be allocated to Arizona's most at risk communities. 

 

MONDAY 8:37  a.m.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and State Superintendent Kathy Hoffman extended the closure of all Arizona schools through the end of the school year Monday. 

The decision comes as the Centers for Disease Control and the White House extend physical distancing guidelines until April 30, 2020.

Legislation recently signed into place by Governor Ducey requires school days aren't extended into the summer, suspends statewide testing requirements, and ensures teachers and staff won't have a disruption in pay. 

 

SUNDAY 3:23 p.m.

The Yuma County Public Health Services District announced four more presumptive postives for COVIOD-19 in Yuma brining the total number of cases to nine.  

SATURDAY 12:25 p.m.

The Yuma County Public Health Services District has announced the fifth case of COVID-19 in Yuma County. The patient is in isolation and is recovering at home. Health officials are conducting a contact investigation to identify any close contacts that may have been exposed while the person was infectious. Any individuals who have been identified as having been exposed will be contacted directly.

FRIDAY 5 p.m.

Governor Doug Ducey today signed S.B. 1694, legislation to expand access to unemployment benefits for Arizonans affected by COVID-19 by waiving certain Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) eligibility requirements. The legislation, which was sponsored by Senate President Karen Fann and House Speaker Rusty Bowers, passed the Arizona Legislature on March 23 with unanimous support.

FRIDAY 1:20 p.m.

Yuma Mayor Doug Nicholls announced he is asking for a 9 p.m. curfew for youths to help with social distancing.

In a post on his mayoral Facebook page, Nicholls asks parents to have their children aged 18 and younger inside their homes. He writes "Parents and guardians, amidst the COVID-19 crisis our joint priority is to keep our families safe. We’re asking for youth under 18 to be home early (9 p.m.) for the time being. This will aid in social distancing and other proactive measures:"

FRIDAY 1:00 p.m. 

While COVID-19 is now deemed widespread throughout the state of Arizona, several counties within KAWC's demographic remain united and under a state of emergency with several closures in effect.

 Here is a breakdown by county of how many COVID-19 cases and closures remain.

 

YUMA COUNTY (Yuma, Somerton, San Luis, Wellton)

 

The city of Yuma along with, Somerton, San Luis, Wellton, and Yuma County continue under a state of emergency with four confirmed cases of COVID-19. 

 

Mayor Doug Nicholls(City of Yuma), Gerardo Anaya (Somerton), Gerardo Sanchez (San Luis), and Cecilia McCollough (Wellton) issued a statement of unity to tackle the spread of the virus with state and federal officials.

 

All cities within Yuma County are under the Governor's Executive Order to provide Dine-out options only and close all bars, gyms, and movie theatres. 

 

All schools within Yuma County remain closed until March 27. Arizona Western College has switched to all online classes. 

 

Programs regarding the city of Yuma Parks and Recreation have been suspended until further notice. 

 

LA PAZ COUNTY (Parker) 

 

La Paz County has two cases of COVID-19 and remains under the Governor's Executive Order that impacts all gyms, movie theatres bars, and dine-in restaurants. 

 

The town of Parker is following within the executive order and has closed all libraries, city buildings, and athletic courts. 

 

The Public Works Department will not be approving any large gatherings or street closures for large events. The Parker Senior Center is closed but will continue to serve to-go meals and all home-delivered meals. 

 

The Town of Parker Water Department is not shutting off the water due to non-payment at this time. 

 

COCONINO COUNTY (Flagstaff, Sedona) 

 

Coconino County reported its first death related to COVID-19 Tuesday there is now two total. County health officials said it was a male in his 50's with underlying health conditions. The county as of Friday has 41 confirmed cases of COVID-19 according to the Arizona Department of Health Services. 

 

The Coconino County Board of Supervisors continues to enforce its proclamation declared March 19, 2020, to curb the spread of COVID-19.  

 

The proclamation follows in the footsteps of Governor Doug Ducey's Executive Order to close all gyms, theatres, bars and dine-in restaurants with the exception of take-out and delivery. 

 

The county's proclamation also closes all libraries, museums, recreation centers, indoor sports facilities, bingo halls, bowling alleys, and other similar recreational or entertainment facilities. 

 

Mayor Coral Evan's of Flagstaff has followed suit with the county in enforcing the same restrictions for the city of Flagstaff. 

 

The City of Sedona has closed in-person access to city facilities but will continue with virtual and phone services until April 5th. 

 

Citizens can tune into city hall meetings via an online channel.

 

City parks remain OPEN at this time. 

 

The city has canceled all city-sponsored and city-permitted gatherings or events and gatherings on city properties until May 9, 2020. 

 

Yavapai County (Prescott) 

 

Yavapai County is still under a countywide emergency declared March 19, 2020 with nine confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported. The county continues to follow the guidelines set forth by Governor Doug Ducey's Executive Order. 

 

Yavapai County Emergency Operations Center is open and can be reached by phone at 928-442-5103. 

 

In accordance with the Governor's Executive Order and the County's proactive measures, the City of Prescott closed all public restrooms at all trails, parks, lakes, and playgrounds.

 

Those venues remain open and park fees are waived however citizens are asked not to convene in groups larger than 10.   

 

The Prescott Public Library is doing curbside pick-up and drop-off. 

 

The list for city service changes can be found here

 

The county set up a hotline at 928-442-5103 for up to date answers on current events surrounding COVID-19.

 

MOHAVE COUNTY (Lake Havasu City, Kingman) 

 

Mohave County announced its fourth case of COVID-19 Thursday in the area of Kingman, Arizona. According to the county its an adult who is being treated in the hospital under strict isolation. 

 

The county remains under the Executive Order put in place by Governor Ducey.

 

The order for all bars, movie and stage theatres, indoor gyms, and fitness clubs include all incorporated cities Lake Havasu City, Bullhead City, and Kingman. 

 

All County Offices are limiting face to face interactions with the public. The County asks that any business matter with the county be handled over the phone, email or regular mail.  

 

FRIDAY 12:55 p.m.

Santos Gonzalez Yescas, the mayor of San Luis Rio Colorado, was interviewed on a Mexican news station where he said he supports President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's statements against social distancing.

Gonzalez Yescas spoke on Proyecto Puente and you can see a clip here.

Lopez Obrador will be in San Luis R.C. on Saturday. He has asked residents to not come out to see his arrival. AMLO as he is called has said he will not be hugging or taking selfies with supporters.

THURSDAY 3:11 p.m.

Gov. Doug Ducey and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality announced today that the department will waive emissions testing for vehicle owners 65 and older for up to one year to allow them to renew their vehicle registrations.

If an emissions test is required, a waiver from the ADEQ allows the vehicle owner to renew their vehicle registration online through the Arizona Department of Transportation. This change helps protect seniors by encouraging social distancing and reducing their risk of coming into contact with COVID-19. 

THURSDAY 2:50 p.m.

 From the Fronteras Desk in Tucson, KJZZ’s Michel Marizco reports smugglers along the U-S Mexico border are trying to traffic in the same contents now causing long lines and hoarding in American grocery stores: toilet paper and household cleaners.

THURSDAY 12:50 p.m.

The first two cases of COVID-19 have been reported in La Paz County.

The La Paz County Health Department announced two separate indidiuals tested positive. They were tested due to exposure of other positive cases in other states.

WEDNESDAY 4:45

The  Weapons and Tactics Instructor course at the Marine Corps. Air Station Yuma is cancelled according to KYMA News 11. 

The seven-week training for highly skilled Marines announced its cancellation to preserve the safety of thier troops during the pandemic. All Marines have been ordered to return to their home stations. 

A Marine at MCAS was the first person to test positive for COVID-19 in Yuma County, more than a hundred others on base are under precautionary quarantine.  

 

WEDNESDAY 2:18 p.m.

Dr. Daniel Corr, Arizona Western College's president, announced during a Facebook Live stream that AWC will not be holding a traditional graduation ceremony on May 15. Corr said AWC officials are seeking AWC community input on what can be done to celebrate the achievements of students.

WEDNESDAY 12:10 p.m. 

The Yuma County Intergovernmental Public Transportation Authority (YCAT) will limit its services starting Monday, March 30 in efforts to protect its employees and continue to be a vital asset to the community's transportation. 

 

WEDNESDAY 10:24 a.m. 

Yuma County announces its fourth presumptive positive of COVID-19. According to the county the new case comes from a household contact of a previously identified positive in Yuma.

Health officials are reaching out to anyone who has recently come in close contact with the individual.

 

TUESDAY 5:15 p.m.

After the Mexican government and the World Health Organization acknowledged local coronavirus transmission in Mexico, the country is moving to phase two of its strategy against the COVID-19 pandemic.  From KJZZ’s Mexico City Bureau, Rodrigo Cervantes reports the plan includes closing schools until April 19, canceling events of more than 100 people, suspending certain work activities and insisting on hygiene and personal distancing. There will be no mandatory curfews. 

TUESDAY 4:20 p.m.

Parker town officials declared a local emergency Monday due to the COVID-19 pandemic.In a released statement, officials said "the Town of Parker has put this order in place to insure the safety, security and health of our community and to receive state and federal assistance in the event it is needed. TUESDAY 4:15 p.m. Gov. Ducey today issued an executive order delaying the enforcement of eviction action orders for renters impacted by COVID-19. The order applies to renters who are quarantining due to COVID-19 or are facing economic hardship as a result of the outbreak. It will remain in effect for 120 days.  TUESDAY 4:10 p.m. The Tucson Mayor and Council unanimously approved a motion encouraging Gov. Doug Ducey
to take action at the statewide level to issue a “remain in place” or similar order to encourage Arizonans to limit social contact to the extent possible. 

TUESDAY 1:55 p.m.

Gov. Doug Ducey notified the Center For Medicare and Medicaid Services of his decision to exempt the State of Arizona from a federal regulation requiring Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists to be supervised by a physician. Ducey said the reform will expand access to care, especially in rural areas, and free up physicians for other needed medical services.

The City of Somerton has kicked off a Community Resource Hotline to help seniors and others in our community with information on making city utility payments and connecting them with resources during this emergency. Phone (928) 627-9878 available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This week’s City of San Luis Regular Council Meeting will be transmitted live through the city website at http://sanluisaz.gov/listenlive

TUESDAY 12:40 p.m.

A recently confirmed presumptive positive case of COVID-19 in Yuma County is a Spring 2020 student at Arizona Western College.

 

The student has not been on an AWC campus or attended classes in person since the date of exposure to the illness, which was determined to have been March 14, after face-to-face classes were suspended.

 

TUESDAY 12:10 p.m. 

U.S. Senator Krysten Sinema from Arizona has backed a bi-partisan bill going through the legislature that would provide relief for rural hospitals throughout Arizona. 

“Strengthening Arizona’s rural hospitals to keep health services available during the coronavirus outbreak will save lives and ensure all Arizonans have access to critical health care services,” said U.S.Krysten Sinema.

If passed, it would allow rural hospitals to keep doors open, pay employees, and continue to serve the community. 

 

TUESDAY 12:08 p.m.

KJZZ's Michel Marizco reports Acting Customs and Border Protection commissioner Mark Morgan tweeted that measures to control the coronavirus pandemic at the border cut illegal border crossings by more than 50 percent. Meanwhile, the chief of the Border Patrol’s Tucson sector also has taken to Twitter, showing border agents and detained migrants alike wearing face masks.

TUESDAY 9:27 a.m. 

While lawmakers on Capitol Hill have yet to come to terms with a relief and support package in response to the Coronavirus, U.S. Senator Martha McSally (R-AZ) is proposing legislation that would halt pay for Senate lawmakers until a bill is passed. 

“If Americans aren’t getting paid, then neither should the Senators failing to support the workers and families who need help making ends meet,” Senator McSally Said. 

 

MONDAY 9:49 p.m.

Yuma County's health district this evening announced two new presumptive positive cases of COVID-19. The cases come two days after the first confirmed case was announced for Yuma County.

MONDAY 7 p.m. 

Effective at 2 a.m. Tuesday, the Cocopah Casino in Somerton will temporarily close their gaming operation. The hotel, gift shop and the Triple 777 Cafe will remain open until further notification.

MONDAY 5:15 p.m.

(Reporting from our partners on the Fronteras Desk) The U.S. and Mexico announced the closing of the shared border to shoppers and tourists alike in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. The response is intended not to shatter cross-border economies, but experts say the economic impact in Arizona is inescapable.

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Attorneys wanting to visit clients inside immigration detention centers now have to bring their own gear to protect against the coronavirus.

The American Immigration Lawyers Association says the rule will cut people off from their legal counsel. 

MONDAY 3:35 p.m.

The Yuma County Public Health Services District has announced the county's second presumptive positive case of COVID-19.

County officials said the patient is isolated and recovering at home.

MONDAY 2:55 p.m.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey issued an executive order clarifying businesses and operations deemed essential by the state and providing certainty to business owners, employees and families. 

The executive order outlines essential services to include:

  • Health care and public health organizations, including hospitals

  • Human services agencies, including those that provide services for the elderly, those with developmental disabilities, foster and adoption children and the homeless

  • Infrastructure operations, including food production, utility operators, construction and internet providers;

  • Government functions, including first responders, emergency management personnel, 911 operators, child protection staff and welfare providers 

  • Business operations, including grocery and medicine providers

  • Organizations that provide charitable and social services, including religious and secular non-profit organizations and food banks

  • Media organizations, including newspaper, television, radio and other media services 

  • Educational institutions, including public and private K-12 schools and universities 

  • Restaurants for take out, delivery and drive thru only

  • Home-based and care services, including for seniors and those with developmental disabilities;

  • Residential facilities and shelters, including those for children, seniors or at-risk populations;

SUNDAY 10:05 p.m.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced the launch of a new statewide COVID-19 Hotline.

Arizonans can get important COVID-19 related information in English and Spanish by simply dialing 2-1-1.

Gov. Ducey said the hotline is administered by the Crisis Response Network and will offer an entry point to field questions and concerns from Arizona residents about COVID-19.

The hotline will provide important information, including:

-How to prepare for and prevent COVID-19 spread

-Testing information 

-What populations are at higher risk 

-What to do if an individual gets sick

-COVID-19 and animals

A list of websites with accurate, reliable and up-to-date information.

The line will operate from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day of the week and can be reached by dialing 2-1-1 while an individual is located in Arizona. 

SUNDAY 6:15 p.m.

At least one local franchise restaurant group in the Yuma area is offering free food to medical workers and first responders. Cedars Group, a Little Caesar's franchisee in Yuma is offering free pizza to doctors, nurses and first responders. They announced that health care workers can visit a local store on Tuesday and Wednesday, show their professional ID and enjoy one free pizza. Pick up only of course.

SUNDAY 1:45 p.m.

Churches in the Yuma area are live streaming religious services and posting them online on their websites and/or on their Facebook pages. Among those doing so are Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, St. Paul's Episcopal Church and The Vertical Church.

SUNDAY 9:30 a.m. 

Arizona has reported its second death related to COVID-19, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) and Maricopa County Department of Public Health (MCDPH). 

The first reported death was on Friday, March 20. The state's department of health services said it  was a male in his 50's who lived in Maricopa County and had underlying health conditions. 

 

The second reported death was Sunday, March 22. ADHS said it was a male in his 70's with underlying health conditions.

 

FRIDAY 5:18 p.m.

The Yuma Regional Medical Center today announced two new precautionary steps due to the COVID-19 virus.  Beginning today, all elective surgeries and procedures not adversely impacting a patient’s health and that are not time sensitive are deferred for four weeks.  And starting tomorrow, YRMC will be restricting all visitors to the hospital.

FRIDAY 4:33 p.m.

Somerton Mayor Gerardo Anaya told KAWC that Somerton City Hall will be closed to the public. Anaya said that, like the City of Yuma, bills can be paid online or there will be a location at city hall for those without online access.

Somerton Parks and Recreation facilities will be closed. 

Somerton city officials are working to set up a hotline for seniors to get information and assistance.

Restaurants in Somerton will continue to serve for takeout orders only. Gyms will be closed. 

FRIDAY 3:25 p.m.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and Superintendent Kathy Hoffman announced a two week extension of school closures until April 10. Information can be found at azed.gov. State testing requirements are being waived for this year.

FRIDAY 3:11 p.m.

The United States and Mexico are temporarily restricting all non-essential travel across its borders. “Non-essential” travel includes travel that is considered tourism or recreational in nature.

Department of Homeland Security officials said critical services such as food, fuel, healthcare and life-saving medicines must reach people on both sides of the border every day. Essential travel will therefore continue unimpeded during this time.

FRIDAY 2:15 p.m.

The president and chief executive officer of an organization that represents farmers growing fresh produce in Yuma County tells KAWC local agriculture work will go on with added protections for workers due to COVID-19 regulations.

Dave Puglia with Western Growers said the U.S. and Mexico are discussing travel restrictions at the border but ag leaders have been assured any changes will not impact their industry.

Stay tuned to KAWC for more information.

FRIDAY 8:52 a.m. 

In a joint press conference with all Yuma County Mayors Friday, they confirmed the first presumptive positive case of COVID-19 in Yuma. 

Mayor Doug Nicholls of Yuma announcing that all bars, restaurants, and gyms to close throughout Yuma.

 

FRIDAY 8:37 a.m.

In an effort to protect the health of everyone at Yuma Regional Medical Center it will no longer allow any visitors starting Saturday, March 21st. 

The hospital is also postponing all planned and non-emergency surgeries to conserve medical resources. 

"'Enhanced' visitation restrictions remain in effect at all other YRMC facilities, including the Cancer Center and all ambulatory clinics throughout the community," said Darin Fenger with Yuma Regional Medical Center.

THURSDAY 5:15 p.m.

From Gov. Doug Ducey: "I’m issuing an Executive Order that requires restaurants in counties w/ confirmed cases of #COVID19 to provide dine-out options only, & closes bars, movie theaters and gyms. Restaurants will be allowed to deliver alcoholic beverages w/ food purchase"

This applies to counties inlcuding Maricopa and Pima but not Yuma or La Paz counties at this time.

THURSDAY 4:28 p.m.

Visit Yuma, the tourist information center for the City of Yuma and the surrounding area, has closed its doors due to the COVID-19 virus.  

Visit Yuma Executive Director Linda Morgan told KAWC today’s closure of the Visitor Information Center and their administrative office is “out of an abundance of caution” to keep staff and visitors healthy.

THURSDAY 12:05 p.m.

As we previously reported, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson is suspending Mass and other religious services.

The Yuma Sun reports other churches are suspending services, with some offering an online option.

-St. Paul's Episcopal Church will broadcast morning prayers and Wednesday and Sunday services on Facbook Live.

-The Vertical Church will move all services online.

-Trinity United Methodist will post pre-recorded worship services online.

-The Yuma Ward of the Church of Latter-day Saints has suspended services and there were no plans to make services available online.

-Faith Baptist Church will create some online services but will also split services to allow people to meet in smaller gatherings. 

-The non-denominational Connect Church will still conduct home groups but also livestream their Sunday service.

THURSDAY 11:32 a.m. 

Starting today the Visitor Information Center and the Visit Yuma Administrative Offices for Visit Yuma will remain closed.

"We are closing our Administrative Offices to the public. Out of an abundance of caution to keep our staff healthy, we are rotating staff members' workdays to maintain social distancing, and we will not be open for the public to visit our offices," said Linda Morgan with Visit Yuma. 

You can stay engaged with Visit Yuma through its website and social media channels. No word on when offices will re-open. 

 

THURSDAY 10:30 a.m. 

The Southern Arizona VA Health Care System (SAVAHCS) has established a temporary no visitor policy with the exception of compassionate cases as it continues to add safeguards to protect veterans, visitors, and employees. 

It also asks that all Veterans and workers arrive early for any appointments in order to complete the pre-screening process. 

The SAVAHCS includes the following outpatient clinics:

  • Casa Grande Outpatient Clinic

  • Green Valley Outpatient Clinic

  • Northwest Tucson Outpatient Clinic

  • Safford Outpatient Clinic

  • Sierra Vista Outpatient Clinic

  • Southeast Tucson Outpatient Clinic

  • Yuma Outpatient Clinic

 

THURSDAY 10:00 a.m. 

The Tohono O'odham Nation has temporarily closed all Desert Diamond Casino properties in efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19 in areas throughout the state. 

It impacts all four of the Nation's casinos near Tucson, Sahuarita, Ajo, and the West Valley in Glendale. 

"We will do everything we can to support our team members, including ensuring that they continue to be compensated during the planned closure. It is important that we all do our part in this uncertain time and we want to thank our guests and Desert Diamond family for their patience and understanding," said Rudy Prieto, CEO of the Tohono O’odham Gaming Enterprise.

 

THURSDAY 9:45 a.m.

9:45

The annual Tunes and Tacos Festival has been postponed according to the City of Yuma and Cabelleros de Yuma. 

No date has been established for when it will take place but the cancelation comes amid proactive measures to stop future transmission of any COVID-19 cases. 

THURSDAY 9:37 a.m.

The City of San Luis expanded its emergency declaration Wednesday night making all public access to city facilities closed starting Thursday, March 19th. With the exception of the San Luis Police and Fire Department and the Municipal Court. 

The city is providing a list of way to continue to pay your utility bills without having to do it in person. 

City Council meetings will be audio streamed on the city's website.

 

WEDNESDAY 5 p.m.

Yuma County Library District libraries are closed until further notice. Meeting rooms at all libraries are also closed at this time.

WEDNESDAY 3:45 p.m.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced that all Arizona ports of entry are fully operational and rumors of any being closed at this time due to COVID-19 are false.

Keep updated by visiting DHS.gov/coronavirus.

Del Sol and King Market stores in Yuma, San Luis and Somerton will open every Friday from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. to serve customers over 65 years of age or older only.

WEDNESDAY 12:05 p.m.

The City of Yuma has announced service modifications aimed at preventing virus transmission and spread. Most City facilities will close to visitors and the general public at 4 p.m. today.

WEDNESDAY 9:30 a.m.

The Yuma County Fair announced on its Facebook page that it is canceled for 2020. The fair was scheduled to be held March 31-April 5. 

WEDNESDAY 12 a.m.

Facing an increasing risk of virus spread, the Republican controlled House on Tuesday enacted a remote-voting plan for themselves that Democrats contend is designed largely to protect the GOP majority.

TUESDAY 6:35 p.m.

Bars Closed, Restaurants Switch To-Go and Takeout Only in Arizona

Bars throughout Arizona have been ordered closed and restaurants are to close dining rooms and move to takeout and delivery options only.

For restaurants with a drive thru window, that option may also remain.

The mayors of Phoenix, Tucson and Flagstaff have issued orders, following Centers For Disease Control recommendations against public gatherings of 10 of more people.

Mayors in the cities of Yuma and La Paz counties- including Yuma, Parker, San Luis and Somerton- had not issued such orders as of Tuesday evening. However, many national fast food restaurant chains have transitioned to takeout, drive thru and delivery only.

TUESDAY 6:10 p.m.

The following are announced closures in Parker: 

The Parker Library will be closed to the public.

The Senior Center will be closed, however, people can pick up meals to go.

Town Hall and Public Works remain open.

The town will not be planning any events (Eggstravaganza, Healthy La Paz, fundraisers) until further notice.

TUESDAY 4:25 p.m.

The New York Times is reporting that the U.S plans to turn back asylum seekers and undocumented immigrants at the southern border over concerns of coronavirus spreading in detention centers.

Administration officials said the ports of entry, including San Luis and the Andrade port near Los Algodones, would remain open to American citizens and green-card holders, along with Mexicans who have documents, allowing them to visit. Commercial traffic will be allowed through as well.

TUESDAY 3:55 p.m.

Arizona Western College President Dr. Daniel Corr tells KAWC that the school will be moving to online education through the end of the spring semester.

TUESDAY 3:15 p.m. 

Emma Torres, the executive director of Campesinos Sin Fronteras, which serves farmworkers and low income residents in Yuma County, tells KAWC her clients are expressing concern over COVID-19. Torres said Campesinos' offices in San Luis and Somerton remain open. Their health fairs are cancelled and health programs have moved to individual visits to their offices. 

Stay tuned to KAWC 88.9 FM and kawc.org for more from Emma Torres at Campesinos Sin Fronteras.

TUESDAY 3:10 p.m.

The Yuma Crossing Heritage Area announced that, after today, they will be suspending operations at the Yuma Territorial Prison and Colorado River State Historic Park.

TUESDAY 2:26 p.m.

The  City of Yuma Parks and Recreation Department has suspended all activities related to Parks and Recreation through at least March 27. Yuma city spokesman Dave Nash says that includes all events and activities and league play at venues as varied as the Yuma Art Center, the Historic Yuma Theater and all city athletic fields.

TUESDAY 2:20 p.m.

All Yuma County library programs for the month of March are cancelled/postponed.

TUESDAY 12:26 p.m.

With all events in San Luis, Arizona postponed for the next four weeks, the Census 2020 Takeover events will be taking place from May 7 to June 4. The Census is now live at http://my2020census.gov or by phone at 844-330-2020.

TUESDAY 12:20 p.m.

Harkins Theaters announced it is closing all theaters. That includes the location at the Yuma Palms.

TUESDAY 8:00 a.m.

Yuma Regional Medical Center expands visitor restrictions to protect patients and the public from COVID-19.  The new regulations begin today and include no visitors under 18 (with some exceptions), limits on the number of people in a room, a ban on waiting in hallways or waiting areas, and limited entrances.  See the complete list of visitor restrictions here.

MONDAY 4:38  p.m. 

Arizona Western College announced the cancellation of spring sports, per the National Junior Collegiate Athletic Association.

MONDAY 4:30 p.m.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson, which includes Yuma and La Paz counties, today called for a suspension of daily public Mass services in response to increased Centers for Disease Control recommendations against public gatherings.

MONDAY, 8:00a.m.

Arizona Western College President Dr. Daniel Corr updated students and faculty about the college response to coronavirus late Sunday.

In an email to the AWC community, Dr. Corr said AWC is continuing to monitor state and federal developments. 

Last week the college announced it will transition all students to online classes beginning Wednesday. March 18.  Sunday, Dr. Corr announced the college’s Child Development Learning Lab (CDLL) will close Wednesday as well.  Like the closure of public schools announced by Governor Doug Ducey late Sunday, Dr. Corr noted that the CDLL closure will place an added burden on parents and notes he has given supervisors flexibility to deal with any impacts to staffing.

Dr. Corr says the college is committed to operating as close to normal as possible but acknowledges that the situation is fluid and could change day to day. He thanked college staff for their planning efforts and praised the Technology and Distance Education teams as they transition students to online learning.    

More information about the AWC response to coronavirus here.

MONDAY, 7:00a.m.

Closures linked to concern over coronavirus could include the Arizona Legislature.

The Associated Press reports Arizona House and Senate leaders are scheduled to meet today to discuss their options. One big question is the state budget. They could decide to pass a “baseline budget” for the upcoming fiscal year and temporarily shut down until later in the year.  Or they could pass the budget as it exists now with the option of making changes later.  But with two Republican legislators planning to sit out this week due to concerns over coronavirus exposure, bills that require a GOP majority will not pass without Democratic support.

Republican State Senators Heather Carter and Paul Boyer say they think the state Capitol should shut down.

SUNDAY, 10:00p.m.

Yuma Mayor Doug Nicholls declared a state of emergency for the City of Yuma.  While there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus, Covid-19 in Yuma County, Nicholls said he find "it prudent to prepare for the unavoidable confirmation" of the virus in Yuma.  Soon after, Somerton Mayor Gerardo Anaya signed a declaration delcaring an emergency for his city.  The declaration includes suspension of all city sponsored recreational activities including the senior center and convention center.

SUNDAY, 4:00p.m.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and state Superintendent for Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman have announced that all schools in Arizona will close starting Monday, March 16 through at least March 27.  They say they worked to keep schools open , but many districts were concerned about staffing and abscences.  They also say there will be options for children who rely on school lunch programs.

SATURDAY, 4:30p.m.

Yuma County Supervisor Chair Tony Reyes and border city mayors called for calm and unity at a late Saturday press conference from Yuma City Hall, as local residents worry over over the arrival of coronavirus in the region.

 

Yuma Mayor Doug Nicholls led the 4:30 press conference stressing that the region still has no reported confirmed case of coronavirus COVID-19.

"Stockpiling not beneficial." - Yuma Mayor Doug Nicholls

Mayor Nicholls said the community will not “lack for food, water or toilet paper,” and that there was no reason for store shelves to be emptied. He called for calm and unity as the community faces “uncertain” times.

 

Mayor Gerardo Sanchez was briefly questioned about why San Luis had declared an emergency while of other cities, like Yuma and Somerton, have not. He said the community's proximity to the border was a factor in his desire to be as cautious as possible.

 

Somerton Mayor Gerardo Anaya and Wellton Mayor Cecilia C. McCollough said they are monitoring the situation day to day and will make determinations for their communities based on county and CDC recommendations.

 

Mayor Nicholls addressed the cancellation of some local events and said that determination is unique to each event and people should use their own judgment about precautions they will take and which events they attend.

 

“We will get through this together,” Nicholls said.

FRIDAY  11:20 p.m.

City of San Luis officials announced late Friday that Mayor Gerardo Sanchez declared a local state of emergency on the current situation with COVID-19 coronavirus.

7 p.m.

Yuma County Declares Emergency Due To COVID-19

In order to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the Yuma County Board of Supervisors has approved an emergency declaration to protect county residents.  

6:10 p.m.

New presumptive positive coronavirus case diagnosed in Pima County, 10th in Arizona

 The Pima County Health Department (PCHD) announced today that a second Pima County resident has been presumptively diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus. How the individual contracted the virus is currently under investigation and household contacts are under observation in home isolation.

FRIDAY 2:00pm

Yuma Mayor makes statment and cancels weekend event.  Yuma Mayor Doug Nicholls released a statement late Thursday concerning COVID-19.  The Mayor noted the need for calm as measure taken to protect the community impact daily life and activity. "Acting with an abundance of caution," Nicholls says the city will cancel the Music on Main St. Patrick's Day event scheuled for Saturday, March 14.

FRIDAY 1:08 p.m.

The Yuma County Library has canceled and postponed all programs for the month of March starting today. 

The library will continue to operate during regularly scheduled hours and be open to the public

 

FRIDAY 12:50  p.m.

The Yuma County Board of Supervisors has declared an emergency in unincorporated areas of Yuma County to address concerns regarding COVID-19. 

The declaration allows the county - if necessary, to enforce closures of local businesses, impose curfews, and determine if county offices should remain open or closed.

 

The Trump Administration has also declared a national emergency amid the Coronavirus pandemic. 

 

 FRIDAY 12:15 p.m.

The Yuma Palms has cancelled all events through April in accordance to the Center for Disease Control’s efforts to limit large gatherings. The events include; The Easter Egg Hunt, The Village Jazz Series, Crossroads Mission’s Farmers Market, and the monthly Sip & and Shop.

Visit Yuma’s annual brew fest ‘Rio de Cerveza’ has also been cancelled. The event was scheduled for March 28th at the Colorado River State Historic Park in Yuma.

Visit Yuma is issuing refunds starting Monday, March 16th.

FRIDAY at 9:30am

Yuma Regional Medical Center's Mika Naranjo tells listener's to KAWC's Arizona Edition that while there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus, COVID-19 in Yuma County, the region's only hospital is planning for future patients.

THURSDAY MARCH 12 at 6:14 p.m.

The Yuma County Sheriff's Office is warning of potential scammers related to the coronavirus. Scammers may use emails, social media or phone calls to ask for donations or sell products. You are advised not to click links from unknown sources. Research any organization or business before buying. Beware fake CDC alerts.

THURSDAY 5 p.m.

Arizona Western College officials announced the cancellation of classes on Monday and Tuesday in an effort to take precautions against the coronavirus. AWC will then transition from in-person classes to online classes starting March 18.

THURSDAY 4:29 p.m.

Sunset Health officials announced that a patient in San Luis, Arizona met screening criteria consistent with a viral respiratory infection, including the coronavirus on Wednesday. Test results for whether the patient has the virus are still pending.

THURSDAY 3:27 p.m.

Yuma Union High School District officials announced they will suspend all extracurricular activities until further notice, beginning Friday.

While there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Yuma County, Yuma Union district officials said they are taking this step “with an abundance of caution.”

Classes will proceed as regularly scheduled with food service and transportation fully operational. The suspension of after-school events includes all activities, athletics, performances, field trips, student travel and staff professional development as well as facilities rentals and after-school community use of facilities.

THURSDAY 1:50pm

Yuma Palms Regional Center officials announced that, in an effort to follow World Health Organization and the CDC guidelines to limit large gatherings all events at Yuma Palms through April will be cancelled. This includes The Easter Egg Hunt, The Village Jazz Series, Crossroads Mission’s Farmers Market and suspending the monthly Sip & Shop. 

THURSDAY, 1:35pm

The Democratic National Committee announced it is cancelling and moving Sunday's scheduled debate in Phoenix between Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Vice-President Joe Biden.  The debate will now be held in Washington, DC.  There will be no audience.

Regional Confirmed or Suspected Cases of Coronavirus:

TUESDAY, MARCH 12

Two cases of the virus were confirmed in El Centro, according to the El Centro Regional Medical Center. In total, there have been seven persons suspected of carrying COVID-19 in the valley which is about one hour west of Yuma County.

As a result, the Naval Air Facility El Centro (NAFEC) announced Wednesday it is canceling its 50th annual air show at the base due to uncertainty regarding the spread of Coronavirus.

“This was not easy to make, but given our current environment and with the safety and health of our audience as the primary concern, I am convinced that it is the right thing to do,” said Captain Kingsley, Commanding Officer of NAFEC.

Events Canceled or Postponed Throughout Yuma County:

Yuma Palms events cancelled through April 

Visit Yuma's brew fest "Rio de Cerveza" 

Yuma County Library events cancelled through march

KAWC's Concert with Mariachi Cenzontle and Mariachi Gadsden

MCAS Yuma Airshow 

Yuma Union High School District Job fair

2020’s Women’s Expo Postponed in Yuma

Events at Yuma Palms Regional Center including The Village Jazz Series

Extracurricular activities for the Yuma Union High School District, including performing arts and athletics.

KAWC Mariachi Concert 

Jazz Series at the Yuma Palms 

Public events in San Luis, Arizona.