/ Modified apr 22, 2021 10:27 p.m.

News roundup: More than 2 million Arizonans fully vaccinated, Tohono O'odham Nation removes curfew

Recent coverage impacting Southern Arizona, April 22.

Arizona COVID-19 cases: 7 days

Map shows COVID-19 cases and case rates over the week preceding the last update.

Credit: Nick O'Gara/AZPM. Sources: The New York Times, based on reports from state and local health agencies, Census Bureau. Case reports do not correspond to day of test.

Cases 856,451 | Deaths 17,221

On Thursday, April 22, Arizona reported 647 new cases of COVID-19 and 22 additional deaths. Two million Arizonans have been fully vaccinated against coronavirus.

Two million fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in Arizona


The state reported Thursday morning that 2,024,440 people are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. That number represents 27.81% of Arizona’s population.

Scientists and medical experts say herd immunity against COVID-19 will be reached when 75% of the population is fully vaccinated. Full vaccination is reached approximately two weeks after the final inoculation is delivered.

In Pima County, 26.96% of residents are fully vaccinated. In Cochise County, 27.19% of residents are fully vaccinated.

Learn more here.

Tohono O'odham Nation removes curfew, and amends other guidelines


Tohono O'odham Nation Chairman Ned Norris Jr. issued an executive order Tuesday that removed the section on the reservation's curfew from the latest COVID-19 mitigation guidelines, and amended a rule around funerals and wakes.

Chairman Norris issued his latest comprehensive COVID-19 response executive order in December 2020, but now with temperatures increasing, some of its sections are being reworked.

The 8 p.m to 6 a.m. curfew section has been removed completely, banning civil citations for violating the curfew.

Learn more here.

Pima County wants state money for migrant transportation


Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry is expected to ask Governor Doug Ducey for the state to pay to transport asylum seekers from Ajo to Tucson.

The county contracted with a transportation company to bring the asylum seekers to Tucson from Ajo after the U.S. Border Patrol began dropping people off in the small town in western Pima County.

Once in Tucson, the asylum seekers are taken to Casa Alitas, run by Catholic Community Services, before heading to their sponsors across the country.

Newly elected Pima County Supervisor Matt Heinz said he is not hopeful that money will come quickly from the state.

Learn more here.

Kelly and Sinema want feds to pay for National Guard


Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly sent a letter to President Joe Biden asking the administration to pay for the deployment of Arizona National Guard troops to the border.

The letter came one day after Governor Doug Ducey declared an emergency in six Arizona counties due to increasing numbers of apprehensions along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The deployment will cost the state $25 million.

The two Democratic senators wrote that resources and staffing at the border are strained and the National Guard can help.

They also wrote that the need to secure the border and “ensure an orderly process” should not fall to the state or local governments.

Navajo Nation reports its first COVID-19 death in 11 days


WINDOW ROCK — The Navajo Nation on Wednesday reported its first COVID-19 related death after 10 consecutive days of no such fatalities.

The tribe reported one death and eight new confirmed coronavirus cases on the vast reservation that covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

The latest numbers bring the Navajo Nation’s pandemic case total to 30,388 with the known death toll now at 1,263. Tribal health officials say more than 16,500 people have recovered from COVID-19 thus far.

The tribe had been easing into reopening but that slowed somewhat after coronavirus variants were confirmed on the reservation. Tribal officials urged residents to stay vigilant.

Learn more here.

Arizona Legislature OKs abortion ban for genetic issues


PHOENIX — Republicans who control the Arizona Legislature have approved a sweeping anti-abortion bill banning the procedure if the woman seeks it solely because a fetus has a genetic abnormality such as Down syndrome.

The measure has a host of other provisions championed by anti-abortion groups, including a requirement that fetal remains be buried or cremated and conferring civil rights on a fetus.

Thursday's party-line votes send Senate Bill 1457 to Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, an abortion opponent who has never vetoed a piece of anti-abortion legislation.

Democrats universally opposed the bill and called it an attack on women's reproductive rights.

Learn more here.

Arizona election bill dies amid Republican infighting


PHOENIX — The Arizona Senate has voted down an election bill that critics deride as an attempt at voter suppression, but the measure could come back at a later date.

The measure failed Thursday because of infighting among Republicans. Republican Sen. Kelly Townsend of Mesa joined all Democrats in opposing the bill. She said she supported it, but wants to see the Legislature be far more aggressive in shoring up election integrity.

Democrats say the measure could harm poor people and voters of color, groups that tend to vote for Democrats.

Learn more here.

Jill Biden to visit Navajo Nation, once floored by COVID-19


FLAGSTAFF — Jill Biden is making her third visit to the country's largest Native American reservation.

The Navajo Nation in the U.S. Southwest was hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. Now, it's outpacing the U.S. in vaccination rates while maintaining a mask mandate and other safety precautions.

Biden is expected to meet Navajo officials in the tribal capital of Window Rock on Thursday, and visit a grade school and vaccination site nearby on Friday.

Her trip comes as the Navajo Nation marks more than 10 consecutive days with no known COVID deaths and continues a downward trend in daily cases.

Learn more here.

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