COVID-19 Coverage

All coverage of COVID-19 and the coronavirus is being published by PinalCentral and Kramer Media free of charge and outside of our paywall, as a service to the community. The feed below is being updated by our editors around the clock, and includes our original reporting from our newsroom as well as Associated Press coverage of the pandemic occurring around the United States and the world. Please consider supporting local journalism in your community by purchasing a subscription.

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PHOENIX — One of the nation's coronavirus hot spots got a sliver a good news Wednesday when two health experts said an exponential rise in the percentage of people testing positive for the virus in Arizona appears to have leveled off.

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MEDELLIN, Colombia — Eight-year-old Eros trots through the streets of this hilly city several times a day with a straw basket in his jaws, taking vegetables, fruit and packaged foods to customers of the El Porvenir mini-market. The chocolate Labrador retriever is paid with treats and massage…

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RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro says he is confident that he will swiftly recover from the new coronavirus thanks to treatment with hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malaria drug that has not been proven effective against COVID-19.

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LOS ANGELES -- The number of new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. has jumped to around 50,000 a day, and the virus has killed more than 130,000 Americans. Yet, I still hear myths about the infection that has created the worst public health crisis in America in a century.



COVID-19 Useful Links

Latest updates from the City of Casa Grande: https://casagrandeaz.gov/covid19/

Arizona Department of Health Services: https://www.azdhs.gov/

Federal COVID-19 Response: https://www.coronavirus.gov





COVID-19 Cases by Day in Pinal County

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NEW YORK — The paths of two New York City churches diverged this week — one reopened and one stayed closed. But they have shared a tragic fate, together losing at least 134 members of their mostly Hispanic congregations to the coronavirus.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — At least a dozen lawmakers have ties to organizations that received federal coronavirus aid, according to newly released government data, highlighting how Washington insiders were both author and beneficiary of one of the biggest government programs in U.S. history.

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PHOENIX — A judge has rejected a request by an Arizona health club chain to stop enforcement of Gov. Doug Ducey’s shutdown of gyms, leading the fitness business to temporarily close its doors after disobeying the governor's order for a week as Arizona experienced a sharp increase in coronavi…

TUCSON -- It's intuitive and scientifically shown that wearing a face covering can help reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. But not all masks are created equal, according to new University of Arizona-led research.

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COOLIDGE — After months of providing breakfast and lunch to support students throughout the pandemic, the Coolidge Unified School District will no longer be serving lunch or breakfast until the start of the 2020-21 school year.

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CASA GRANDE — The three ZIP codes encompassing Casa Grande have now passed the 1,000 mark for positive coronavirus tests, health officials reported.

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The following is an epi curve of new reported cases in Casa Grande ZIP codes: 85122, 85193, 85194. Data sourced from Arizona DHS.

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PHOENIX — As the number of Arizonans who have contracted COVID-19 has raced past 100,000, testing for the novel coronavirus that causes the respiratory disease has become a priority. Some of that testing now is being done through saliva, a process that’s easier and less expensive.

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The personal protective gear that was in dangerously short supply during the early weeks of the coronavirus crisis in the U.S. is running low again as the virus resumes its rapid spread and the number of hospitalized patients climbs.

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PHOENIX (AP) — Two veteran deputies of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office have died, but officials didn’t immediately release the manner of death.

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PHOENIX (AP) — Just over 81,000 Arizona small businesses were approved for loans worth $8.6 billion under a government program meant to keep people employed during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to data released Monday by the federal government.

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PHOENIX — A Latino cook whose co-worker got COVID-19 waited in his truck for a free swab at a rare testing event in a low-income neighborhood in Phoenix. A Hispanic tile installer queued up after two weeks of self-isolation while his father battled the coronavirus in intensive care. He didn’…

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NEW YORK — Forget about making shopping fun. As clothing retailers and others try to stay viable during the coronavirus pandemic, they're hoping steps like cleaning during store hours, offering hand sanitizer and other safety measures will bring in customers to spend.

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TOPEKA, Kan. — A weekly Kansas newspaper whose publisher is a county Republican Party chairman posted a cartoon on its Facebook page likening the Democratic governor's order requiring people to wear masks in public to the roundup and murder of millions of Jews during the Holocaust.

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SCOTTSDALE — Jim and Bobbi Moss had been banking on what looked like a promising economic rebound, only to lose some hope and retreat into a strict limit on their discretionary spending. They now make all their meals at home, and online shopping, Bobbi Moss said, is limited to items that “su…

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PHOENIX — For the third straight day, two dozen health clubs in metro Phoenix were defying Gov. Doug Ducey’s order Thursday to close gyms, leading officials who had been criticized for acting indecisively during the pandemic to threaten to sue two club chains if they didn’t shut down.

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HERMOSILLO, Mexico (AP) — Mexico’s coronavirus outbreak rose by a record 6,741 confirmed cases and 679 deaths Thursday, putting the country’s toll of 29,189 COVID-19 deaths higher than Spain’s, though the milestone was overshadowed by the resurgence in the United States.

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CHICAGO (AP) — People traveling to Chicago from Arizona and other states with increasing numbers of confirmed cases of the coronavirus will have to quarantine for two weeks upon arrival or face possible fines, city officials announced Thursday.

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WASHINGTON — The two top Democrats in Congress said Thursday that any threats to U.S. troops must be pursued “relentlessly,” rebuking President Donald Trump after receiving a highly classified briefing about intelligence that Russia offered bounties for killing U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

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CASA GRANDE — The city is trying to provide some clarity to the regulations on local bars in Gov. Doug Ducey’s latest COVID-19 order.

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — One in four bars, stores, gyms and salons in and around Las Vegas were found not complying with Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak’s order for people to use face coverings in public places to stem the spread of the coronavirus, state officials said Thursday.

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RIO RANCHO, N.M. — The city of Albuquerque and a Wisconsin-based group have agreed on a new initiative to encourage residents to build “Little Free Libraries” throughout the region as public libraries and bookstores remain under restrictions due to the pandemic.

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Authorities are closing honky tonks, bars and other drinking establishments in some parts of the U.S. to stem the surge of COVID-19 infections — a move backed by sound science about risk factors that go beyond wearing or not wearing masks.

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NEW YORK — Panic attacks, trouble breathing, relapses that have sent her to bed for 14 hours at a time: At 35, Marissa Oliver has been forced to deal with the specter of death on COVID-19’s terms, yet conversations about her illness, fear and anxiety haven’t been easy.

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MEXICO CITY — In a Mexican army barracks, hospital beds have replaced bunks. Oxygen tanks fill the room that held assault rifles. The building that previously housed soldiers between missions to eradicate opium poppy crops is now outfitted for up to 100 patients infected with the coronavirus.

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The following is a heatmap of positive cases in Pinal County ZIP code, indexed by 1,000 population. Data sourced from Arizona DHS.

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BRUSSELS — The European Union announced Tuesday that it will reopen its borders to travelers f rom 14 countries, and possibly China soon, but most Americans have been refused entry for at least another two weeks due to soaring coronavirus infections in the U.S.

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WASHINGTON — With his Army recruiting office shuttered due to the coronavirus, Staff Sgt. Anthony Holt has had to be creative to meet his enlistment goals. Using social media is one way. Signing up the grocery delivery guy is another.

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Los Angeles will close beaches and ban fireworks displays over the holiday weekend as California officials warned that further restrictions may be necessary to curb a troubling spike in coronavirus cases in much of the state.

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LAS VEGAS — Unions representing 65,000 Las Vegas-area casino workers accused some resort operators on Monday of putting employees at risk of illness and death during the coronavirus pandemic by skimping on safety measures like a requirement for mask-wearing.

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PHOENIX — Conceding he made a mistake in allowing them to reopen, Gov. Doug Ducey on Monday shuttered all bars in the state for at least the next 30 days.

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AMC Theaters, the nation’s largest chain, is pushing back its plans to begin reopening theaters by two weeks following the closure because of COVID-19. The company said Monday that it would open approximately 450 U.S. locations on July 30 and the remaining 150 the following week.

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PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Commercial fishing taking place worldwide has dipped since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, but scientists and conservation experts say it’s unclear if the slowdown will help endangered species of marine life recover.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Fellow musicians and fans alike are criticizing country artists who performed at outdoor concerts this weekend where social media pictures showed large, tight crowds without masks, even as COVID-19 cases resurge in the United States.

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LONDON — Prime Minister Boris Johnson acknowledged Monday that the coronavirus pandemic has been a “disaster” for Britain, as he announced a spending splurge designed to get the country — and his faltering Conservative government — back on track.

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JOHANNESBURG — Millions of people have been pushed into hunger by the coronavirus pandemic, the U.N. World Food Program said Monday as it appealed for nearly $5 billion to help feed the growing numbers in poor and middle-income countries.

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ROME (AP) — The world surpassed two sobering coronavirus milestones Sunday -- 500,000 confirmed deaths, 10 million confirmed cases -- and hit another high mark for daily new infections as governments that attempted reopenings continued to backtrack and warn that worse news could be yet to come.

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People on six continents already are getting jabs in the arm as the race for a COVID-19 vaccine enters a defining summer, with even bigger studies poised to prove if any shot really works -- and maybe offer a reality check.

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PHOENIX — For many people who are deaf or hard of hearing, lip reading, facial expressions and body language are vital to communication, but protective face masks and remote work and school meant to slow the spread of COVID-19 have made it more difficult.

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BERLIN — German Chancellor Angela Merkel cautioned Saturday that the coronavirus pandemic is far from over, as regional outbreaks gave rise to fears of a second wave. Two of the largest U.S. states reversed course and reinstated some coronavirus restrictions amid a surge in new infections.

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HOUSTON — The din of conversation and music that normally fills The Cottonmouth Club in downtown Houston fell silent last Friday when the owners shut it down for a second time during the coronavirus pandemic — a week before the Texas governor ordered all bars to follow suit amid a surge in i…

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FLAGSTAFF — People in the deserts of Arizona flee to the White Mountains when the triple-digit heat is too much to bear, cooling off in the forest a few hours away. That worries a Native American tribe that calls the area home, as coronavirus infections and temperatures have both spiked in o…

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MARICOPA — Maricopa Unified School District — like those across the state — is gearing up for a new school year, and scrambling to come up with ways to accommodate the variety of staff, parent and student needs in the midst of the global pandemic.

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WASHINGTON — After prodding from Democratic lawmakers, the Trump administration has agreed to give Congress — but not the public — complete data on the millions of small businesses that received loans from a $600 billion-plus coronavirus aid program.

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A rural county commissioner apologized after comparing Utah Gov. Gary Herbert to Hitler in a social media post after the Republican governor gave approval to two counties to mandate masks in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas and Florida reversed course and clamped down on bars again Friday in the nation's biggest retreat yet as the number of confirmed coronavirus infections per day in the U.S. surged to an all-time high of 40,000.

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SCOTTSDALE (AP) — Some bars and nightclubs in Scottsdale have temporarily closed — and one was charged — after receiving notices ordering them to comply with social distancing and facial covering requirements as Arizona reports increasing confirmed coronavirus cases.

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AUSTIN, Texas — When Texas began lifting coronavirus restrictions, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott didn't wear a mask. He wouldn't let mayors enact extra precautions during one of America's swiftest efforts to reopen. He pointed out that the White House backed his plan and gave assurances there …

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WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is sharpening his focus on his most ardent base of supporters as concern grows inside his campaign that his standing in the battleground states that will decide the 2020 election is slipping.

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NEW YORK (AP) — The coronavirus crisis deepened in Arizona on Thursday, and the governor of Texas began to backtrack after making one of the most aggressive pushes in the nation to reopen, as the daily number of confirmed cases across the U.S. closed in on the peak reached during the dark da…

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WASCO, Calif. (AP) — A group of about 50 farm workers went on strike Thursday at a California pistachio farm demanding free face coverings, gloves and information from the farm's owner after they said they learned from the media that dozens of their coworkers tested positive for the coronavi…

TUCSON — The Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center at the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy received an influx of calls this month from Northern Arizona regarding hospitalizations due to toxic alcohols (methanol), reportedly related to hand sanitizer.

ELOY — First Things First, an early childhood education agency, along with community partners is reminding families that there are different ways to reach out and find places to make social connections during times of social distancing.