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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LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — State authorities have ordered a Walmart Supercenter in Las Cruces to close after four employees tested positive for the coronavirus in a three-week span.

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NEW YORK — Crowded bars and house parties have been identified as culprits in spreading the coronavirus. Meat packing plants, prisons and nursing homes are known hot spots. Then there’s the complicated case of America’s churches.



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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VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis said on Sunday that he is “deeply pained” over the decision by Turkey to change the status of Hagia Sophia — which was originally built in Istanbul as a Christian cathedral — from a museum to a mosque.

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FLAGSTAFF — As the coronavirus ripped through the Navajo Nation, it spotlighted longstanding inequities on the reservation where thousands of tribal members travel long distances for medical care, internet service is spotty at best and many homes lack electricity and even running water.

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NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. Roman Catholic Church used a special and unprecedented exemption from federal rules to amass at least $1.4 billion in taxpayer-backed coronavirus aid, with many millions going to dioceses that have paid huge settlements or sought bankruptcy protection because of cler…

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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 — Bar owners in Arizona are asking the Arizona Supreme Court to rule that Gov. Doug Ducey does not have the constitutional authority to shut them down.

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PHOENIX – Arizona led the U.S. in the growth of confirmed coronavirus cases Wednesday, and if states were viewed as their own countries, the Grand Canyon State would lead the world, according to an alarming analysis by The New York Times. State officials pushed back against that characteriza…

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JOHANNESBURG — The COVID-19 pandemic in Africa is reaching “full speed,” the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention chief said Thursday, while a South African official said a single province is preparing 1.5 million graves.

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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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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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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.

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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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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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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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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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PHOENIX — Arizona and other states across the Sunbelt are turning over the barstools and rushing to line up more hospital beds as they head into the height of the summer season amid a startling surge in confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

The following is a heatmap that shows positive COVID-19 cases by zip code, indexed to 1,000 population.

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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.