Coronavirus, COVID 19

A nurse holds swabs and test tube to test people for COVID-19 at a drive through station set up in the parking lot of the Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich.

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Editor's note: With our coronavirus coverage, the Star is not trying to alarm the public but to provide up-to-date information so you can make educated decisions about your health. Because of this, we’ve made all coverage related to COVID-19 free. Help us continue this important work by subscribing to the Star.

As the spread of coronavirus continues, here are the latest updates from Southern Arizona.

Saturday, July 4

Tucson school districts set start dates, but most kids will begin the school year learning at home.

Sonora makes exception, opens border to travelers headed to Rocky Point. A day earlier, Sonora officials said the were closing the border to US travelers due to the surge in COVID-19 cases in Arizona.

Here are COVID-19 cases in Arizona mapped by county for July 3.

In Tucson, face masks are for more than just for people.

On Friday, Arizona reported more than 4,400 new coronavirus cases, totaling more than 91,800 statewide.

Sahuarita is the only municipality in the Tucson area still planning a large Fourth of July fireworks show tonight.

Topgolf in Marana set to reopen after 110-day closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Friday July, 3

• With 4,433 new coronavirus cases, the statewide total is 91,858, the state department said Friday in its daily tally. Here's a look at today's map of COVID-19 cases in Pima County and the rest of Arizona.

• Worried about Arizona's surge in coronavirus cases, Sonora is set to turn away US tourists at the border starting this weekend.

TUSD is starting school Aug. 10, but only online. Traditional classes will start when it's safe to do, says Superintendent Gabriel Trujillo.

Health initiative backers submit signature petitions to get on Arizona's ballot. The initiative would raise pay for hospital workers; protect patients against 'surprise' medical bills; and guarantee that individuals with preexisting conditions will be able to obtain insurance if the federal Affordable Care Act is repealed. "What COVID has done is reveal some of the cracks in our public-health system," said Rodd McLeod, a spokesman for the campaign financed by a California-based union.

More than two dozen health clubs disobey Arizona's gym closure order.

Here's a map of COVID-19 in Arizona by county for July 2.

"Three months after becoming ill, I am still recovering," Evangeline Marie Ortiz-Dowling, a clinical assistant professor at the University of Arizona, College of Nursing, writes about her fight against COVID-19.

Thursday, July 2

Not wearing a face mask in Tucson could cost you $50.

• Saying they don't want to be responsible for making decisions about public health, school leaders across metro Tucson are grappling with when it will be safe for kids to return to classrooms.

Vice President Mike Pence visited Arizona on the same day it breaks another daily record for new coronavirus cases.

University of Arizona President Robert Robbins ordered a last-minute delay on a furlough plan to get more feedback.

• While Fourth of July fireworks have been canceled in cities and towns across Pima County, Sahuarita is ready to light up the sky on Saturday.

Here's a map showing coronavirus cases in Arizona by county for July 1.

Tucson Youth Football and Spirit Federation cancels its 2020 season.

• "COVID-19 has been a brutal, sudden and time-compressed reminder of our shared human mortality," writes Sarah S. Ascher, the senior director of Arizona End of Life Care Partnership.

Wednesday, July 1

• A worry for Arizona education officials: What if schools reopen, and no one comes?

• About a month after it reopened, downtown's Hotel Congress closes again amid a spike in coronavirus cases.

Marana's Growlers TapHouse, licensed as a bar, is appealing to the state to let it stay open as a restaurant.

Pima County Superior Court is offering remote access to hearings.

• The University of Arizona paused bringing more student-athletes back to campus, but workouts will continue for football players already here.

Here's a map of coronavirus cases in Arizona by county for June 30.

• From Sunday's edition: Pima County leaders could again be asked to provide health officials legal avenues to enforce the mask-wearing ordinance the Board of Supervisors approved. Currently the ordinance prevents the county from pursuing violations as a misdemeanor without permission from Supervisors. And as cases of the coronavirus in Arizona continue to rise, the Sonora beach town of Rocky Point is welcomed tourists back, while still trying to keep the spread of the coronavirus away.

Tuesday, June 30

Arizona bars, nightclubs and gyms shutdown again as COVID-19 cases continue to rise and Gov. Doug Ducey reverses his stance on reopening an assortment of businesses. The start of the school also delayed.

• University of Arizona: Return of athletes to campus put on pause amid spiking COVID-19 cases in the state.

Tucson's 'Let Freedom Sing' celebration is going virtual this Fourth of July.

Arizona's daily virus report shows fewer cases after a lab misses its reporting deadline.

Arizona's White Mountain Apache Tribe is taking some of the most drastic actions in the state to protect its 13,500 residents.

This map shows coronavirus cases in Arizona by county for June 29.

• In the midst of this COVID-19 pandemic, don't let Trump add to financial mess by gutting our banking safeguards, writes Paul Morton Ganeles is a retired CPA in Tucson.

Monday, June 29

• As the coronavirus continues its surge across Arizona, many Tucsonans who are afraid to keep in-person medical appointments worry that insurance providers will soon stop coverage of telemedicine.
Several bars and restaurants in Scottsdale that Gov. Doug Ducey labeled 'bad actors' have shut down temporarily, and they're pushing back on his allegations that they disregarded safety protocols meant to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Sunday marked another day of a record high in the daily number of new coronavirus cases reported in Arizona.
Mandatory mask-wearing rules across Arizona have made it harder for people who are deaf or hard of hearing to communicate.
Faculty at the University of Arizona held a vote trying to convince campus leaders to halt a furlough plan that takes effect on Wednesday.
• From Sunday: Pima County leaders could again be asked to provide health officials legal avenues to enforce the mask-wearing ordinance the Board of Supervisors approved. Currently the ordinance prevents the county from pursuing violations as a misdemeanor without permission from Supervisors. And as cases of the coronavirus in Arizona continue to rise, the Sonora beach town of Rocky Point is welcoming tourists back, while trying to keep the spread of the coronavirus at bay.

 Sunday, June 28

• Pima County has received more than 100 complaints of businesses disregarding its new ordinance requiring face masks to be worn in public. And with COVID-19 cases surging across Arizona, county leaders could again be asked to provide health officials legal avenues to enforce the mask-wearing ordinance the Board of Supervisors approved. Currently the ordinance prevents the county from pursuing violations as a misdemeanor without permission from Supervisors.

Rocky Point, the Sonora town many consider Arizona's beach, is again welcoming tourists while trying to keep the spread of the coronavirus at bay.

Hospital workers are feeling the strain as the coronavirus sweeps across Arizona.

Arizona reported 3,591 new cases of the coronavirus on Saturday.

Here's a map of confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Arizona by county for June 27.

These Tucsonans who used stick-to-home time to establish enjoyable, life-affirming routines, connections and practices that they plan to maintain after the coronavirus pandemic ends.

Tucsonans unite to help the Navajo Nation amid the pandemic.

The coronavirus has stalled — not stopped — ex-Arizona Wildcat Matt Brase's dreams of being NBA head coach.

Despite the growing number of college football players testing positive for the coronavirus, one expert says the 2020 season is far from doomed.

Here are ways to fill spiritual, social needs during pandemic, writes the Star's Sara Brown.

These spiritual leaders share uplifting messages in today's Keeping the Faith: Faiz Currim, a member of Masjid Tucson; Roy Tullgren, pastor of Gospel Rescue Mission's donor and church engagement; and Rabbi Sanford Seltzer, who has served as adjunct rabbi of Temple Emanu-EI.

We can not depend on private entities alone to get out of this recession, writes Tucsonan Hallette Luedtke.

Saturday, June 27

Puerto Peñasco, the Sonoran town known as “Arizona’s beach” is open to tourists again — but the tourist experience is far different than it was pre-coronavirus.

Vice President Mike Pence has postponed a trip through Southern Arizona on Tuesday that would have included stops in Tucson and Yuma.

Some restaurants closed their dining rooms and returned to takeout only after seeing the state's coronavirus cases quadruple since Gov. Doug Ducey ended his stay-at-home order in mid-May.

With 3,591 new cases, the statewide total is 70,051, the department said Saturday in its daily tally. The state said 1,579 people in Arizona have died from COVID-19. There were 44 new deaths reported today. Coronavirus cases mapped by county for Saturday, June 27.

• On Friday, Arizona reported more than 3,400 new coronavirus cases.

BK Carne Asada temporarily closes both Tucson locations as virus cases jump across Arizona.

For intramural sports at the University of Arizona, one of the models for this fall amid the coronavirus pandemics calls for not having officiated sports — indoor and outdoor soccer, flag football and 5-on-5 basketball. While they are the most popular sports, they also have the most contact.

Here's a map of Arizona coronavirus cases by county for June 26.

David Fitzsimmons visits the Arroyo Cafe for a serving of much-needed human contact.

Last week Arizona and Pima County set records — again — for weekly rises in COVID-19 cases. Look for this week's trends in Sunday's Star.

Arizona attorney general warns church where Trump had rally.

Friday, June 26

“We can expect our numbers will be worse next week and the week after,” Gov. Doug Ducey said Thursday about the coronavirus pandemic in Arizona. Ducey went on to defend indoor political rallies in which thousands gather without wearing masks, while simultaneously warning that bars and restaurants that don't adhere to social distancing rules could face misdemeanors. 'People's rights to assemble are not going to be infringed in Arizona in an election year or any year,' Ducey said in a news conference. He brushed aside questions about how requiring people to wear masks in public — which is now the law in Phoenix and throughout Pima County — interferes with their right to assemble.

More than $127 million in rental assistance is available in Arizona but so far less than $1 million has reached the people who need it.

The increase of COVID-19 cases in the state could delay the start of the upcoming semester, University of Arizona President Robert Robbins said on Thursday. He made the comment on the same day faculty and staff pushed back on the school's furlough plan that is set to start July 1.

Confirmed coronavirus cases in Arizona have now reached 63,000.

Masks are healthy and good science — not submission, the Star's Editorial Board writes.

This map shows coronavirus in Arizona by county for June 25.

Thursday, June 25

$270 million in federal funding — including $200 million from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act — will be shared by Arizona schools to help them get started when classes resume during the coronavirus pandemic.

A proposed $585M budget for the Tucson Unified School District next year would include $12.7 million in expenses related to COVID-19 expenses. District administrators also shared a few changes some students could face when schools reopen.

There was a big jump in reported COVID-19 deaths in Arizona Wednesday, but officials say most of it was due to a review of about a month's worth of death records.

Here's a map showing coronavirus cases in Arizona by county for June 24.

Students at a University of Arizona dorm were notified of a coronavirus cases there.

Arizonans headed to New York and two other states now face a 14-day quarantine.

Feed Tucson 2020 is set to distribute basic supplies, nonperishable food to those in need Thursday morning.

Pandemic shutdown for youth sports in Tucson could provide opportunity for needed changes.

• Nearly $8,500 was raised in Tucson for a theater artists relief fund.

These Tucson businesses are ready to help you celebrate Independence Day weekend.

Wednesday, June 24

Patients with the coronavirus are filling up ICU beds at hospitals across Tucson, prompting them to use of the state's health-care emergency hotline to take in or move those who are seriously or critically ill. "It is important to understand that hospital capacity is about more than just beds," said Rebecca Ruiz-McGill, spokeswoman for Banner Health in Tucson, which includes two medical centers. "When we look at our ability to deliver care at the highest level, we are also factoring in equipment, supplies and staffing."

The University of Arizona's coronavirus plan calls for in-person classes to end at Thanksgiving break.

Pima County adopts a $1.4 billion budget that has been significantly modified to account for the economic hit from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jobless claims in Arizona surge amid its bleak economic outlook.

Tucson's Silver Saddle delays reopening after meeting with employees.

Pandemic prompts the Arizona Wildcats to add clauses to nonconfernce game contracts.

The doctor leading the team planning UA athletes' safe return to campus calls the effort a high-stakes responsibility.

Universities in Arizona are set for a safe, successful year, writes Dr. Larry E. Penley, chair of the Arizona Board of Regents.

Tuesday, June 23

103 virus cases have reported among immigration detention center workers in Arizona since the start of the pandemic.

Tucson's Silver Saddle Steakhouse delays reopening due to the spike in coronavirus cases.

The coronavirus pandemic was the last straw for Tucson restaurateur Andreas Delfakis, who is closing Athens on 4th after more than 30 years. The Chicago Bar, a hangout for lovers of the blues and Chicago sports, recently announced its closure too.

Arizona need to close bars again, and limit restaurants to takeout-only as cases of the coronavirus continue to rise across the state, writes Steve Kozachik, the Tucson city councilman for Ward 6.

Due to pandemic, a big Boys & Girls Clubs' fundraiser in Tucson is set to be televised.

Here's a map of coronavirus cases in Arizona by county for June 22.

The fashion program at Pima Community College makes face masks to thank its donors, help first responders during the virus outbreak.

• Carrie Cecil, a native Tucsonan who is married to UA senior defensive analyst Chuck Cecil, is an expert in crisis and litigation communications. Cecil has helped create guidelines and a resource kit to help businesses navigate their messages during the pandemic. The S.A.F.E. plan is free to download at Anachel.com and lays out how universities — and athletic departments — can best handle COVID-19 information.

Monday, June 22

The biggest age group of positive COVID-19 test results in Arizona is now among those 20 through 44 years old. Dr. Cara Christ, Arizona's top health official, says that means the state has to find a better way to convince people in that age group that the coronavirus is dangerous. "They're likely not the ones that are going to have the outcomes and the risk factors from COVID-19," she said. "But we need everybody to keep in mind that all of us have connections to loved ones and family members that are high risk or people out in the community."

Tucson's popular blues spot, Chicago Bar, closes from financial strain of pandemic.

Barrio Brewing closes temporarily after exposures to COVID-19.

• On Sunday, Arizona reported more than 2,500 new virus cases.

Here's a map showing coronavirus cases in Arizona by county.

Bags, batteries top list of recycling in changes in Tucson from virus pandemic. Here's a related story about batteries sparking fires at Tucson landfills.

"More than ever, the responsibility of UA's athletic department is to keep student-athletes safe, on and off the field," write a group of University of Arizona Ph.D. students concerned about college athletes returning to athletic competition during the pandemic.

Sunday, June 21

Arizona continues to capture national headlines as the coronavirus pandemic here continues to break records for the state and Pima County for week-to-week increases. New, confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Arizona totaled 11,665 from June 7 to June 13, an increase of 3,962 from the week before, up about 51%. In Pima County, cases totaled 1,129 over the same period. That's an increase of 366 cases, or 48%, from the week before.

A device invented at the University of Arizona delivers COVID-19 results in minutes.

• On Saturday, Arizona reported more than 3,100 new coronavirus cases, another daily record, according to the state Health Services Department.

Dan Amaro, a veteran UPS employee, died of COVID-19 after an outbreak at the company's Tucson distribution facility, according to union officials.

Dale Elkins, a Navy veteran and retired FAA supervisor living in Oro Valley, died from COVID-19 shortly after a liver transplant.

"My family is important to me, and I have to make sure they are safe. I need to go home," writes Tyson Hudson about his decision to leave Tucson to move closer to family and the Navajo reservation.

This map shows coronavirus cases in Arizona by county.

Tucson Youth Football and Spirit Federation decides to go ahead with a 2020 season.

Live theater returns to Tucson with precautions against virus spread.

Today's "Keeping the Faith" features inspiring messages from Ryan Collins, senior pastor of Desert Son Community Church in Tucson; Rev. Jonathan Zenz, senior minister at Unity of Tucson; and Rev. Michael T. Bush, senior minister of Casas Adobes Congregational UCC in Tucson.

Saturday, June 20

6 p.m.: Arizona, Pima County set records — again — for weekly rise in COVID-19 cases.  "We should be very concerned," says Dr. Francisco Garcia, Pima County’s chief medical officer. But the county's new mask-wearing requirements, covering all residents including in Tucson, might change the trajectory of the coronavirus outbreak, experts say.

12 p.m.: The Arizona Department of Health Services has now reported more than 3,100 coronavirus cases on back-to-back days with its latest update. Here's a look at today's map of COVID-19 cases in Pima County and the rest of Arizona.

11 a.m.:  A veteran employee of a Tucson UPS distribution facility died of COVID-19 at Banner-University Medical Center on June 16. He was one of more than 40 employees who recently tested positive during an outbreak at the United Parcel Service facility, a local union said.

A mask-wearing requirement to help quell the spread of the coronavirus was approved Friday by Pima County. The county effort supersedes a similar requirement proclaimed by Tucson Mayor Regina Romero a day earlier and drops some of the requirements in her order. The biggest change: There's no civil or criminal penalty for not wearing a mask.

• Another daily record: Arizona reports over 3,200 new coronavirus cases on Friday, according to the state Health Services Department.

The University of Arizona is testing an app that warns of possible coronavirus exposure, and is moving forward with anti-virus measures as the campus prepares for the new semester.

This map shows Arizona's latest coronavirus data by county.

• Opinion by Edward Celaya: Arizonans have to learn how to live with the virus for the foreseeable future. Clear and consistent rules from our leaders will help make it easier.

• Opinion by David Fitzsimmons: Arroyo Cafe opens as pandemic closes in.

Tucson's Barrio Brewing and other restaurants close due to COVID-19 exposures. Other restaurants across metro Tucson decide to close dining rooms and revert to only take-out.

Friday, June 19

Pima County Supervisors are meeting today to discuss a mask-wearing policy that it says could override the one mandated by Tucson Mayor Regina Romero a day earlier. Tucson's order requiring wearing a face covering in public is set to go into effect Saturday morning.

Arizona's rise in coronavirus cases prompted a long-time Tucson bar to close 72 hours it reopened. 'I'm sorry. We made a mistake,' says a sign at the door posted by Richard Snyder owner of Danny's Baboquivari Lounge. A southside restaurant made a similar decision earlier this week when it decided to close the dining room a go back to take-out only.

• On paper, Arizona's jobless rate falls during the pandemic, but adjustments loom.

Gov. Doug Ducey's latest response to Arizona's coronavirus surge puts burden on cities, and local officials writes Star columnist Tim Steller.

2,519 new cases of coronavirus reported in Thursday was another daily record for Arizona.

• Better contact tracing, cleaner dorms expected at UA when classes resume

 

Thursday, June 18

Wearing masks in public will be required in Tucson after Arizona Gov. Doug backs down his previous stance and allows cities to set own standards when it comes to slowing the spread of the coronavirus.

• Tucson's popular BK Carne Asada & Hot Dogs is one of several restaurants across Arizona that have reopened their dining rooms only to close them again over concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.

Creating a "streatery" at Tucson restaurants could be a solution needed during the coronavirus pandemic, writes Emily Yetman, the executive director of Living Streets Alliance.

•  TUSD students in middle and high school might be required to wear masks in the coming school year, according to recommendations from a task force as the district prepares to reopen in August. All staff, parents and visitors also would need face coverings when social distancing isn't possible.

Arizona reports 1,800 new coronavirus cases Wednesday, totaling about 40,900 statewide.

Cinemark will reopen its Tucson movie theaters July 3, starting out with two locations and opening the remaining two later.

Face cover designed in Tucson could be game-changer for Arizona Wildcats.

• With no live shows during pandemic, Garth Brooks' drive-in concert is coming to Tucson.

• Missing a long road trip? Here's how to get away while staying close to home.

Here's a map of coronavirus cases in Arizona by county for Tuesday, June 16.

• Our coronavirus resource guide offers lots of ways to find and get help during the pandemic.

Join the Star Opinion team for its weekly reader chat today.

Wednesday, June 17

Arizona has a reprieve for evictions during the coronavirus pandemic, but a lot of renters in Pima County are still losing their home.

Some 1.6 million people in Arizona are collecting jobless benefits as state reports surge in claims as the coronavirus pandemic churns on.

There were nearly 2,400 new coronavirus cases in Arizona on Tuesday, a record.

• A 'dreamer' from Tucson with health issues who many worried was at high risk for COVID-19 in detention, was released Tuesday on his own recognizance. Brayann Lucero will wear an ankle bracelet as he goes through the process to renew his status in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also known as DACA.

• Our coronavirus resource guide offers lots of ways to find and get help during the pandemic.

Join the Star Opinion team for its weekly reader chat on Thursday June 18.

Tuesday, June 16

A record number of new coronavirus cases was reported in Arizona on Tuesday.

• Immigration advocates say Tucson teen's health makes it too risky for him to be placed in detention.

Confirmed coronavirus cases in Arizona reached 36,705 on Monday, the Arizona Department of Health Services said in its daily tally. The state said 1,194 people in Arizona have died from COVID-19. In Pima County, 3,944 cases of coronavirus have now been confirmed. There have been 223 known COVID-19 deaths in the Tucson-metro area, according to the state health department.

Here's a map of coronavirus case in Arizona by county for Monday, June 15.

•  Our coronavirus resource guide offers lots of ways to find and get help during the pandemic.

Join Star Opinion team for its weekly reader chat on Wednesday, June 18.

Monday, June 15

A neighborhood association is hoping to halt any potential sale of land at the University of Arizona's Campus Agricultural Center, the 160-acres of farmland and facilities on North Campbell Avenue that's been used for many years of research activities. Why worry? Recent comments by UA President Robert Robbins described the land as valuable real estate at a time that the school is facing a multi-million dollar budget shortfall due to the coronavirus pandemic.

• In today's Education Notes, Tucson Unified School District has a new webpage with information about reopening schools in August and there's a new state task force to address the digital divide among schoolchildren that became a glaring problem amid the virus pandemic.

Confirmed coronavirus cases in Arizona keep climbing, reaching 35,691 on Sunday, the Arizona Department of Health Services said in its daily tally. The state said 1,186 people in Arizona have died from COVID-19. In Pima County, 3,910 cases of coronavirus have now been confirmed. There have been 223 known COVID-19 deaths in the Tucson-metro area, according to the state health department. There have been 469,426 coronavirus tests given across  Arizona, with 6.9% of them showing positive for COVID-19, the state says.

• Here's our daily map of new cases, mapped by county

Gov. Doug Ducey and other state leaders have given too little guidance regarding measures that should be taken to reduce the surging spread of the coronavirus in Arizona, write public health professors Elizabeth T. Jacobs, Paloma I. Beamer, Stephanie R. Carroll, Joe K. Gerald and Bonnie LaFleur.

The virus pandemic might make us better, more strategic business networkers, writes Bill Nordbrock, vice president of community relations for SCORE Southern Arizona, a nonprofit that offers free small-business counseling.

•  Our coronavirus resource guide offers lots of ways to find and get help during the pandemic.

Sunday, June 14

6:30 a.m.: Early results from the University of Arizona’s coronavirus antibody test show roughly 1% of local subjects had developed antibodies to help minimize the spread of the coronavirus. That suggests Pima County and Arizona are still a “virgin territory for the virus,” according to Dr. Janko Nikolich-Zugich, a UA professor and head of the school’s department of immunobiology, whose labs are overseeing the tests. “We have lived with it and have been in social isolation for a while … and the virus has really not spread much throughout Arizona,” he told the Star last week. The UA has done 11,000 tests since the initiative was launched in April. Researchers analyzed the results from the first 5,845 subjects, which included health-care workers, members of the UA community, and those from the general public, all from Pima County.

Here's our daily map of new cases, mapped by county.

Arizona just saw its largest week-to-week increase in coronavirus cases since the pandemic began. New, confirmed cases in the state totaled a record 7,121 from May 31 to June 6, according to the latest data published Friday by the Arizona Department of Health Services. That was an increase of 2,504, or about 54%, compared with the week of May 24-30. In Pima County, new cases totaled 665 from May 31 to June 6, an increase of 165, or 33%, from the previous before.

The emergency in Arizona is that cases are spiking, not that media outlets are writing about it, despite what the governor may claim, Star columnist Tim Steller writes.

• Here's how four Tucson organizations stepped up to provide support during the pandemic.

• Shops and restaurants have reopened in Arizona, but restrictions and new expenses like protective gear for employees have many wondering how long they can hang on.

•  Our coronavirus resource guide offers lots of ways to find and get help during the pandemic.

Saturday, June 13

6:30 a.m.: Cases are still rising in Arizona and Pima County. Confirmed coronavirus cases in Arizona topped 32,900 on Friday, according to new state figures. That's up 1,654 from the previous day. Pima County reported 149 new cases, an increase of 149 cases from Thursday.

Here's our daily map of new cases, mapped by county.

• There’s cause for concern for the University of Arizona’s reentry plans after a recent uptick in coronavirus infections in the state and about 50 days left to finalize plans for the fall, the administration says.

Arizona is conducting a live experiment - and we are the guinea pigs, writes former Tucson mayor Tom Volgy.

• FC Tucson soccer players are returning to practice, but advancing cautiously toward a new season.

Friday, June 12

6:30 a.m.: Gov. Doug Ducey said Thursday that he does not intend to impose new restrictions on Arizonans — or even require them to wear masks — as people in Arizona contract COVID-19. The Department of Health Services shows a record 1,291 patients in Arizona hospitals. And that doesn’t count another 429 in intensive-care beds, a figure exceeded only by a peak of 438 just three days earlier. Even so, reimposing restrictions like those he lifted last month is “not under discussion,” he said. 

New cases of coronavirus continue to surge in Arizona. On Thursday, the Arizona Department of Health Services reported 1,412 new cases for the day and 32 new deaths. There were 129 new cases reported in Pima County.

Here is Thursday's map of cases by county.

• The athletic department is preparing for student-athletes’ return to campus and an eventual return to play for all sports. The first group of 20 Wildcats will begin voluntary workouts on Monday and the Wildcats are scheduled to open their football season Aug. 29.

• Concern about COVID-19 has become highly partisan. A statewide poll finds that 32% of Republicans say they are at least moderately concerned about the spread of the coronavirus in Arizona. By contrast, 85% of Democrats say they are extremely or moderately concerned.

Arizona is dealing with a surge in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations that experts say is likely tied to Gov. Doug Ducey's ending of statewide closure orders in mid-May.

• City of Tucson parks and playgrounds will remain closed until at least June 22 to help curb the spread of COVID-19.

• A gift card incentive program will make one final push to raise money for downtown business.

• The Star has teamed up with the Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona to raise money for local theater artists.

Thursday, June 11

6:30 a.m.: Arizona is dealing with a surge in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations that experts say is likely tied to Gov. Doug Ducey's ending of statewide closure orders in mid-May. 

Arizona hospitals that are expected to be able to treat new cases of coronavirus without going into crisis mode were above 80% capacity Tuesday, a milestone that should trigger an automatic stop to elective surgeries at affected hospitals.

• City of Tucson park playgrounds and other amenities and equipment will remain closed until at least June 22 to help curb the spread of COVID-19 in the community. 

• Concern about the coronavirus is dropping fast among Arizona Republicans while it's rising for Democrats, a survey found.

• After raising more than $300,000 in just two months for downtown Tucson businesses, a gift card incentive program will make one final push to raise an additional $28,000.

• Escape coronavirus cabin fever with one of these Arizona road trips.

• The Star has joined forces with the Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona to raise money for local theater artists.

• University of Arizona is ready for in-person classes, thanks to strong and high-profile leadership from the top, writes Tucson attorney Burt Kinerk.

• Rushing to hold classes in person while increasing class sizes to save money isn't a safe combination, write two professors also deciding whether to send their son to UA this fall.

Wednesday, June 10

6:45 a.m.: Arizona employers are continuing to lay off workers even with the end of coronavirus restrictions Gov. Doug Ducey had placed on individuals and businesses. New figures from the Department of Economic Security show that 23,037 people filed for first-time jobless benefits in the past week. That’s up from fewer than 22,000 the week before.

• The number of confirmed coronavirus cases across Arizona is 28,296, the Arizona Department of Health Services said Tuesday morning. There are 3,161 confirmed cases in Pima County. Here's a look at cases mapped by county.

• The number of Maricopa County jail inmates who have tested positive for the coronavirus has increased sharply over the last five days, leading officials to consider mass testing at county correctional facilities.

Tuesday, June 9

6:45 a.m.: Know someone who needs a job? Geigo is hiring 150 people in Tucson and 3,000 nationwide. The new hires will work from home at first because of the pandemic.

• In Arizona, 789 new coronavirus cases were reported statewide on Monday morning. The number of confirmed cases is 27,678 in the state, with 3,154 confirmed cases in Pima County. This chart shows detailed numbers mapped by county.

The pandemic continues to intensify in Arizona, with hospitals reporting sharp increases in patients and emergency-room visits. Intensive care units at Banner hospitals are at capacity in Phoenix, and are appraoching capacity in Tucson.

• Hearings and jury trials are starting again at Tucson's federal court, although strict federal health guidelines are in place.

• A Tucson-based national organization of doctors has sued the federal government for putting roadblocks in the path of physicians who want to prescribe hydroxychloroquine to prevent COVID-19. Dr. Jane Orient, executive director of the Association of Physicians and Surgeons, maintains the Department of Health and Human Services is illegally restricting the rights of doctors to choose what is best for the patients.

• Many Tucson restaurants have reopened their dining rooms and many are still offering only takeout and delivery. The Star's giant list tells you which local restaurants are open for which service.

Monday, June 8

6:45 a.m.: Even as the U.S. economy begins to flicker back to life, even as job cuts slow and some laid-off people are called back to work, the scope of the devastation left by the viral pandemic has grown distressingly clear to millions nationally who'd hoped for a quick return to their jobs: They may not be going back anytime soon.

In Arizona, more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases were reported statewide on Sunday morning. The number of confirmed cases is 26,889 in the state, with 3,098 confirmed cases in Pima County. 

As the pandemic intensifies in Arizona, mounting evidence shows, hospitals are seeing sharp increases in patients and emergency-room visits.

• Many Tucson restaurants have reopened their dining rooms and many are still offering only takeout and delivery. The Star's giant list tells you which local restaurants are open for which service.

• When local opinion contributor Ester Saenz's car died while picking up food on a day when temperatures were in triple digits, she was surprised by roadside-assistance changes due to coronavirus.

Sunday, June 7

7:00 a.m.: The coronavirus pandemic is intensifying in Arizona, with hospitals seeing sharp increases in patients and emergency-room visits. Last week marked the largest week-to-week increase of coronavirus cases in both Arizona and Pima County since the pandemic began, and Banner Health is reporting its ICUs are at full capacity in Maricopa County and rapidly approaching full capacity in Tucson. Statewide, new cases are up nearly 50 percent over the previous week. In Pima County, new cases totaled 481 for the week, an 85% increase from the previous week.

Coronavirus is spiking in Arizona, with more than 1,000 new cases and 30 deaths reported in the past day, state figures show. Confirmed coronavirus cases across Arizona since the pandemic began have hit 25,451, the Arizona Department of Health Services said Saturday in its daily tally. That's up 1,119 cases since Friday. Our daily map shows details of how the virus continues to spread statewide.

• As Tucson's economy reopens, we're starting to get a glimpse of our future. Arizona Daily Star beat reporters talked with their sources last week and collectively painted a picture of what a post-coronavirus Tucson might look like. Some of the changes, like required social distancing, might not surprise you. Some, like the possibility of schools without playground and community events spread all over town, could be a jolt.

The infected patient who touched off the first major coronavirus outbreak in the United States probably arrived from China after President Trump restricted travel from that country, according to a new study led by a University of Arizona researcher. Genetic analysis of the virus from hundreds of patients showed that the first known cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. and Europe were successfully kept from spreading in January, and it was new introductions of the virus weeks later that led to “sustained transmission networks” in Italy and Washington state.

• A retired aerospace engineering manager from Tucson says he's looking to President Trump to "stop the bleeeding" caused by coronavirus and he likes what he sees: a singular goal of quickly developing a vaccine. "Trump is sitting at the highs stakes table and the cards dealt are misery, death and economic shutdown. He doubles down," Jeffrey Mcconnell writes.

Tucson's fishing holes offer social distancing, fresh air and a bonus: dinner!

• As area outdoor venues reopen, here's a guide to which parks, pools, gyms and recreation areas are open and when.

• Wondering what restaurants are open for dine-in, takeout and delivery? Our giant list has your answers.

• Our coronavirus resource guide offers all sorts of information designed to help Tucsonans get through the pandemic, from financial and job assistance to parenting ideas to virtual classes and events.

Saturday, June 6

7:00 a.m.: The chief clinical officer at the state’s largest hospital network says Arizona is headed for a health crisis if residents don’t change their habits to deal with COVID-19. Dr. Marjorie Bessel said the intensive-care units at the Maricopa County hospitals for Banner Health already are at full capacity. And other Arizona hospitals are rapidly approaching that point. Coronavirus cases took a big jump Friday, with 1,579 new cases, bringing the tally in Arizona to 24,332.

• At least 1 in 4 federally licensed nursing homes in Pima County have reported deaths from the coronavirus, while more than half have had at least one case among residents and staff workers, according to data released this week by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. In Pima County, eight facilities reported a total of 38 deaths among residents, while 15 facilities reported at least 152 confirmed cases of the virus among both staff workers and residents, according to the data. That total includes 15 resident deaths at Handmaker, an assisted-living and skilled-nursing facility in midtown Tucson.

Confirmed coronavirus cases in the state have reached 24,300, the Arizona Department of Health Services said Friday. The state passed a grim milestone with more than 1,000 deaths from COVID-19. In Pima County, 2,883 cases of coronavirus have now been confirmed. There have been 202 known COVID-19 deaths in the Tucson-metro area, according to the state health department. There have been 370,255 coronavirus tests given across Arizona, with 5.9% of them showing positive for COVID-19, the state says.

J.C. Penney is closing its El Con location, leaving two Tucson locations. It is among 154 stores JC Penney is shuttering to shrink its footprint in response to financial troubles that began before COVID-19 but have gotten worse during the pandemic. Closing sales are expected to begin June 12. Here is a list of the stores slated for closure.

• Low-cost Allegiant Air has included Tucson on a list of cities it could stop serving under requirements for airlines that received federal aid to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. But Allegiant went ahead with plans Friday to launch a twice-weekly seasonal nonstop flight from Tucson to Las Vegas, and is maintaining service between Tucson and Provo, Utah. Tucson International Airport is seeing its passenger counts rise faster than elsewhere and expects several suspended flights to return in mid- to late-summer.

17 people have tested positive for the coronavirus at the department that handles the Tucson's 911 emergency calls. The ability to handle emergency calls is not expected to be affected.

Friday, June 5

9:00 a.m.: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases across Arizona is 24,332, the Arizona Department of Health Services said.

7:00 a.m.: Even as the number of people being hospitalized with the coronavirus in Arizona is rising and the state being expected today to surpass 1,000 confirmed deaths from COVID-19, Gov. Doug Ducey says his decision to end the statewide stay-home order early last month was the right thing to do. Ducey says the increase in COVID-19 infections in Arizona was expected because more people are being tested. However, Cara Christ, the state health director, conceded Thursday she could not say how much of the ongoing increse in COVID-19 cases across Arizona is due to more testing and how much is due to 'community spread' — people infecting one another as they interact more. "The virus is not going away," Ducey said in a news conference Thursday afternoon. "We mourn every death in the state of Arizona."

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Confirmed coronavirus cases in the state has reached 22,753, the Arizona Department of Health Services said Thursday in its daily tally. The state said 996 people in Arizona have died from COVID-19. In Pima County, 2,669 cases of coronavirus have now been confirmed. There have been 202 known COVID-19 deaths in the Tucson-metro area, according to the state health department. There have been 350,902 coronavirus tests given across Arizona, with 5.8% of them showing positive for COVID-19, the state says.

Rincon Market, the popular long-time grocer in Tucson's Sam Hughes neighborhood east of the University of Arizona campus, has been shut down over unpaid rent. The landlord posted a 'lock out' notice on the front door of the market at 2513 E. Sixth St. It says the market operators had failed to pay rent and did not respond to written demands for payment. Rincon Market, a Tucson landmark since it opened in the neighborhood 1926, announced on its Facebook page in April that it was taking a pause amid Arizona's stay-home order. A note on the door said it had planned to reopen in May.

Gov. Ducey's current curfew order has made life harder on some businesses in Tucson already fighting to recover from closures and restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, writes Tim Steller, the Star's metro columnist. The week-long statewide curfew was instituted Sunday as a response to protests against police brutality in Tucson, Phoenix and other parts of the state. It was looting and heavy damage to a Scottsdale mall that, however, that is believed to have gotten the governor's attention. Arizona's curfew rules are supposed to keep life normal for businesses. The rules for the Arizona curfew specifically exempts private businesses from the 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew, along with people going to a private business, or those specifically going to get food. It didn't work. Many businesses are closing early anyway.

17 people have tested positive for the coronavirus at the department that handles the Tucson's 911 emergency calls. The ability to handle emergency calls is not expected to be affected.

Thursday, June 4

6:45 a.m.: Nearly 1.9 million people applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week, the ninth straight decline since applications spiked in mid-March at the start of shutdowns and restrictions across the country related to the coronavirus pandemic. The new data on unemployment filing could be a sign the gradual reopening of businesses has slowed the loss of jobs, the Associated Press reported Thursday morning. Passengers, employees and visitors to Tucson International Airport will be required to wear masks starting Saturday. Casino del Sol opened its doors Wednesday and Desert Diamond Casinos showed what it's doing in terms of cleaning and operating procedures as it too prepares to re-open after weeks of a shutdown prompted by the coronavirus pandemic. Confirmed coronavirus cases in Arizona reached 22,200, the Arizona Department of Health Services said Wednesday in its daily tally. The state said 981 people in Arizona have died from COVID-19. In Pima County, 2,627 cases of coronavirus have now been confirmed. There have been 196 known COVID-19 deaths in the Tucson-metro area, according to the state health department. There have been 345,044 coronavirus tests given across Arizona, with 5.8% of them showing positive for COVID-19, the state says. Here are the latest news developments in Tucson and Arizona related to the coronavirus pandemic from Thursday's edition of the Arizona Daily Star:

• Starting Saturday, everyone at Tucson's airport must wear a mask.

Tucson's Casino del Sol opens doors; Desert Diamond up next.

Will a muffled McKale Center be part of the Arizona Wildcats season?

Drive-in movies make a comeback in Tucson during virus pandemic.

Tucson movie theaters prepare reopening plans amid COVID-19.

32 things to do this weekend in Tucson, June 3-7.

• Go to This Is Tucson to search our updated summer camp guide.

Join the Star Opinion Reader Chat today to talk about topics that include protests over police brutality and killings of African American people, institutional racism, unemployment and the ever-present concerns about COVID-19 ramping up from the public gatherings. The chat begins at 2 p.m. Email Opinion editor Sarah Garrecht Gassen at sgassen@tucson.com for the invitation and meeting link.

Wednesday, June 3

3:00 p.m.: Tucson International Airport has joined many other airports by requiring passengers and other airport visitors to wear face coverings starting Saturday, June 6.

6:45 a.m.: The number of Arizonans hospitalized with positive or suspected cases of COVID-19 shot past 1,000 on Monday. The spike prompted the state's former health chief to questions whether Gov. Doug Ducey should have ended the state's stay-at-home order. There's been a steady upward trend since the Department of Health Services began tracking the numbers in early April. It also follows the setting of another record last week, with 635 positive cases reported from tests conducted on May 26. Amid concerns about the coronavirus outbreak, TUSD has canceled plans for an in-person graduation event later this month. The district said the Pima County Health Department could not support an in-person graduation at the end of June despite the precautions the district was planning. Confirmed coronavirus cases in Arizona reached 21,250, the Arizona Department of Health Services said Tuesday in its daily tally. The state said 941 people in Arizona have died from COVID-19. In Pima County, 2,496 cases of coronavirus have now been confirmed. There have been 191 known COVID-19 deaths in the Tucson-metro area, according to the state health department. There have been 336,589 coronavirus tests given across Arizona, with 5.7% of them showing positive for COVID-19, the state says. Here are the latest news developments in Tucson and Arizona related to the coronavirus pandemic from Tuesday's edition of the Arizona Daily Star:

COVID-19 hospitalizations in Arizona topped 1,000 Monday, bringing Ducey's order to end his stay-home order into question.

• Citing concerns about the spread of the coronavirus, TUSD cancels plans for an in-person graduation.

• Tucson-based Truly Nolen jumped into the fight vs. COVID-19, writes Ken Cook, in todays's Building Tucson Businesses column.

•  Join the Star Opinion Reader Chat to talk about topics that include protests over police brutality and killings of African American people, institutional racism, unemployment and the ever-present concerns about COVID-19 ramping up from the public gatherings. The chat begins at 2 p.m. Thursday. Email Opinion editor Sarah Garrecht Gassen at sgassen@tucson.com for the invitation and meeting link.

Search more than 100 Tucson-area summer camps with help from #ThisIsTucson.

These restaurants across Tucson are open for dine-in, pick-up or delivery.

Tuesday, June 2

7:00 a.m.: While acknowledging that it's virtually impossible to guarantee a risk-free environment, Arizona's top education official on Monday issued guidelines schools districts can use as they prepare to reopen. The 41-page 'road map' released Monday by Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman provides a series of options for local school districts to consider as they figure out the best course of action going forward for Arizona's 1 million schoolchildren and more than 2,000 school buildings. Pima County is moving forward with a plan to improve its contact tracing efforts to fight the spread if the coronavirus. It will add 127 full-time employees to assist in COVID-19 investigations. The cost of the expanded contact tracing effort is expected to be reimbursed through federal emergency funding, officials say. Confirmed coronavirus cases in Arizona is 20,123, the Arizona Department of Health Services said Monday in its daily tally. The state said 917 people in Arizona have died from COVID-19. In Pima County 2,382 cases of coronavirus have now been confirmed. There have been 185 known COVID-19 deaths in the Tucson-metro area, according to the state health department. No new deaths were reported in Pima County today. There have been 321,926 coronavirus tests given across Arizona, with 5.6% of them showing positive for COVID-19, the state says. Here are the latest news developments in Tucson and Arizona related to the coronavirus from Tuesday's edition of the Arizona Daily Star:

• Arizona issues guidelines for school districts on reopening classrooms during virus pandemic.

• Pima County prepares to bolster COVID-19 contact tracing.

• Struggling during the pandemic, downtown restaurants now cope with vandalism from protests.

I, too, love America, but when will police brutality end?, writes Bobby Burns, an author and former educator who lives in Tucson.

Monday, June 1

6:45 a.m.: Gov. Doug Ducey on Sunday afternoon issued an unexpected statewide emergency order that mandated an 8 p.m. curfew. The week-long order, Ducey said on Twitter, is needed due to the "lawlessness" shown at police protests that started Friday night in cities like Tucson and Phoenix. There are several exceptions and loopholes. In Tucson, the curfew order will be used to target criminal behavior in areas where sometimes violent protests occurred over the weekend around downtown, along North Fourth Avenue and near the University of Arizona campus, Mayor Regina Romero said Sunday. The mayor said neither she nor Police Chief Chris Magnus were given advance notice of the curfew order by Ducey's office, which had said earlier Sunday that the order was made after consulting with local leaders across the state. Looting at a mall in Scottsdale Saturday seems to have been the incident that grabbed Ducey's attention. Later today, the state schools superintendent is expected to issue guidelines Arizona schools can follow to reopen. The guidelines will come about a week after Ducey said classrooms in the state will resume foe the fall semester. Tucson Unified School District is considering flexible learning options and new safety precautions amid concerns about returning to schools during the pandemic. A new poll shows that only a slight majority of Arizonans are ready to send their kids back to school. Just 52% of those questioned said they would allow children to go back to school, even though the governor allowed his stay-home order to expire earlier this month. In fact, the findings by HighGround, a political consulting firm, found that 29.5% said they would definitely permit kids to go to school, with the balance of that 52% in the 'probably yes' category. The number of confirmed coronavirus cases across Arizona is 19,936, the Arizona Department of Health Services said Sunday in its daily tally. The state said 906 people in Arizona have died from COVID-19. In Pima County, 2,368 cases of coronavirus have now been confirmed. There have been 185 known COVID-19 deaths in the Tucson-metro area, according to the state health department. There have been 318,573 coronavirus tests given across Arizona, with 5.6% of them showing positive for COVID-19, the state says. Here are the latest news developments in Tucson and Arizona related to the coronavirus pandemic from Monday's edition of the Arizona Daily Star:

• Gov. Doug Ducey issues curfew order for all of Arizona after protests in Tucson, Phoenix. Here's the order.

TUSD forms reopening plan as parents seek choices for returning kids to school.

• A slight majority of Arizonans say they're willing to send kids back to school, a new survey shows.

• 8 people were arrested on second night of police protests in Tucson.

• The Arizona Daily Star Sportsmen's Fund, which raises money so children from low-income households and military families can attend overnight camps for free, makes adjustments due to the virus pandemic.

Testing, tracing and isolation will help Arizona defeat the coronavirus, writes Dr. Quinn Snyder, an emergency physician and public health advocate in Mesa, in a guest opinion signed by more than 100 Arizona doctors.

The Star's online chats showcase Tucson's humanity, writes Kathy Scott, the grants director for the Nogales Unified School District.

Sunday, May 31

6:45 a.m.: Evictions hearings in Tucson are set to resume Monday. With nearly 600 hearings scheduled over the next few weeks, it marks the end to a reprieve for most renters brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. People facing eviction due to COVID-19 hardships, which include financial and health-related issues, can ask the judge for a temporary reprieve based on Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey's March 24 executive order. But advocates say more needs to be done by the state to avoid a wave of debt to new debt and a spike in homelessness. Poverty — along with age and pre-existing medical conditions — is a leading risk factor for people to be affected the most by the coronavirus outbreak, a new report by the Pima County Health Department confirms. "Our health department fully recognizes the uneven medical and social vulnerability of segments of our community and is pledged to continue to address these unique needs," County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry said in a preface to the report, which was sent to the county Board of Supervisors. The report shows that 80% of deaths in Pima County related to COVID-19 were were people 65 years old or older. And those who died largely had one or more preexisting conditions such as diabetes, heart conditions, kidney disease or lung disease. A week ago, it appeared that new cases of COVID-19 in Arizona may have peaked. But an unexpected reporting lag backfilled enough new cases this week that it turns out there was no dip between May 10 and May 17 and any previous week's total. 'So what looked to be like a peak is no longer a peak, and the case counts continue to trend up,' said Dr. Joe Gerald, an associate professor with the University of Arizona's Zuckerman College of Public Health. Confirmed coronavirus cases in Arizona is 19,255, the Arizona Department of Health Services said Saturday in its daily tally. The state said 903 people in Arizona have died from COVID-19. In Pima County 2,290 cases of coronavirus have now been confirmed. There have been 185 known COVID-19 deaths in the Tucson-metro area, according to the state health department. There have been 307,715 coronavirus tests given across Arizona, with 5.6% of them showing positive for COVID-19, the state says. Here are the latest news developments in Tucson and Arizona related to the coronavirus outbreak from Sunday's edition of the Arizona Daily Star:

• Despite early indications, virus cases in Arizona are still rising.

Eviction hearings to resume in Tucson this week amid calls for more help for renters.

• Poverty, age and race all play roles in who gets hit hardest by the coronavirus.

• At Eloy immigration detention center, detainees must fight poor conditions along with the coronavirus.

• UA researchers express confidence that testing of sewage can predict outbreaks of COVID-19.

Judge rules against news agencies in releasing nursing home data.

• Tucson lab develops test to detect coronavirus on surfaces, in air.

Tucson dad seeks to bring joy with pandemic poems posted online daily.

• Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra posts tribute to Tucson nurses.

Our buildings are closed, but the church is not, write 10 Tucson-area Protestant clergy members.

Saturday, May 30

6:45 a.m.: An outbreak of COVID-19 at a Tucson United Parcel Service distribution facility is more widespread than first thought, union leaders say. The number of employees who tested positive rose to 43 cases from 36 cases after additional testing last weekend, Teamster Local 104 said in a news release. The union has called for the facility to temporarily shut down to protect employees from exposure to the coronavirus. Pima County's nine major school districts will receive nearly $31 million in federal coronavirus relief funds, the Arizona Department of Education said Friday. The money is distributed to school districts based on their percentage of low-income children. Tucson's largest school district, TUSD, is receiving nearly $18.6 million. Tucson-area voters are being reminded that voting by mail is a safe option after President Trump said last week — without evidence — that mail-in voting leads to election fraud. Pima County Recorder F. Ann Rodriguez is providing information about joining the permanent early voting list to receive a ballot in the mail. Confirmed coronavirus cases in Arizona reached 18,465, the Arizona Department of Health Services said Friday in its daily tally. The state said 885 people in Arizona have died from COVID-19. In Pima County, 2,234 cases of coronavirus have now been confirmed. There have been 185 known COVID-19 deaths in the Tucson-metro area, according to the state health department. There have been 297,495 coronavirus tests given across Arizona, with 5.6% of them showing positive for COVID-19, the state says. Here are the latest news developments related to the coronavirus pandemic from Saturday's edition of the Arizona Daily Star:

• More UPS employees test positive for coronavirus at Tucson facility.

• School districts in Pima County receive nearly $30M in federal COVID-19 relief funding.

• During virus pandemic, Pima recorder reiterates that vote-by-mail is safe.

Virus outbreak won't shut down 'world's oldest rodeo' in Prescott.

• UA says the football team will lead student-athletes' return to campus.

• The coronavirus pandemic further underlines America's issue with incarceration, writes Amanda Heffernan, a certified nurse midwife, Ph.D. student and parent.

Friday, May 29

9:00 a.m.: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases across Arizona is 18,465, the Arizona Department of Health Services said.

6:30 a.m.: Arizona schools can reopen in August, summer day camps can open as early as next week and youth sports can restart immediately, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced Thursday afternoon. Summer schools — and schools that operate on a year-round basis — can open in June if ready to follow new guidelines, Ducey said. The governor's announcement comes as Arizona is still in what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls Phase 1. That is the earliest stage of reopening both the economy and public activity, which requires social distancing and limiting gatherings to no more than 10 people. Some details of how this all will work will come next week, Ducey said. Meanwhile, as stores reopen throughout Arizona following coronavirus restrictions, Macy's at Park Place mall is closing for good. A liquidation sale is underway. Macy's had said earlier this year that it would close about 125 stores across the country after years of struggling with slowing in-store sales. Confirmed coronavirus cases in Arizona reached 17,763, the Arizona Department of Health Services said Thursday in its daily tally. The state said 857 people in Arizona have died from COVID-19. In Pima County, 2,167 cases of coronavirus have now been confirmed. There have been 186 known COVID-19 deaths in the Tucson-metro area, according to the state health department. There have been 287,605 coronavirus tests given across Arizona, with 5.5% of them showing positive for COVID-19, the state says. Here are the latest news developments in Tucson and Arizona related to the coronavirus pandemic from Friday's edition of the Arizona Daily Star:

Gov. Doug Ducey calls on schools, summer camps and youth sports to reopen.

• While stores across Arizona reopen, a Macy's in Tucson is closing for good.

• The University of Arizona steps up its recruitment of in-state students.

City Council plan distributes $95 million in federal coronavirus funding across Tucson.

• Tucson's public libraries take new safety precautions while providing limited services.

• The Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra is without its music director for now.

Thursday, May 28

6:30 a.m.: Gov. Doug Ducey on Wednesday allocated $441 million in federal funding to help Arizona cities and counties deal with budget issues stemming from the coronavirus outbreak. That's about a quarter of the more than $1.9 billion in federal coronavirus relief funding Ducey can spend at his discretion. Ducey said he's holding on to most of the money for future needs, including the possibility of having to replenish Arizona's unemployment insurance trust fund. Earlier this week the state reported that more than 600,000 unemployment claims have been filed in Arizona during coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, the Associated Press on Thursday reported that an estimated 2.1 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week despite the gradual reopening of businesses around the country. That brings the nation's running unemployment total since the coronavirus shutdowns took hold in mid-March to about 41 million. At a news conference later today, Ducey is expected to give an update on the state's efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus. He provided no details Wednesday, but told reporters that the news will be "good." Confirmed coronavirus cases in the state reached 17,262, the Arizona Department of Health Services said Wednesday in its daily tally. The state said 831 people in Arizona have died from COVID-19. In Pima County, 2,119 cases of coronavirus have now been confirmed. There have been 175 known COVID-19 deaths in the Tucson-metro area, according to the state health department. There have been 279,550 coronavirus tests given across Arizona, with 5.5% of them showing positive for COVID-19, the state says. Here are the latest news developments in Tucson and Arizona related to the coronavirus pandemic from Thursday's edition of the Arizona Daily Star:

•  Ducey releases $441 million of US coronavirus relief money to small towns and cities.

•  Online coronavirus-traccking app likely to play role in reopening the UA campus in August.

•  Ex-Arizona Opera conductor Joel Revzen dies of COVID-19 complications.

•  Live music returns to St. Philip's Plaza after coronavirus outbreak ban.

•  The UA campus is a good place to take a walk among whimsical, abstract art.

•  Pima College thriving at recruiting athletes despite the coronavirus outbreak.

Wednesday, May 27

6:30 a.m.: University of Arizona researcher Jun Wang recently identified four compounds that can block the replication of the coronavirus within a cell, a promising starting point for the development of drugs that can treat the disease. Wang, an assistant professor of pharmacology and toxicology at the UA, has spent much of his career studying respiratory viruses, including influenza A and B, and has directed his research toward developing antivirals that reduce the ability of a virus to spread. Meanwhile the UA is continuing with its student-housing applications for the fall semester despite the lack of a final decision about the rules regarding living arrangements. Whatever the final housing rules are, UA officials expect it will be more expensive. State lawmakers on Tuesday ended the legislative session without resolving whether businesses should get special protection from COVID-19 lawsuits. The surprise move came as three Republicans joined with all 13 Democrats to halt all further business and go home. Democrats had objected to lawmakers dealing with routine business while pandemic-related issues were left unresolved, including the question of aid to what may now be 600,000 Arizonans who have lost their jobs. Confirmed coronavirus cases in Arizona neared 16,800 on Tuesday, according to new state figures. The number of confirmed coronavirus cases across Arizona reached 16,783, the Arizona Department of Health Services said Tuesday in its daily tally. The state said 807 people in Arizona have died from COVID-19. In Pima County, 2,075 cases of coronavirus have now been confirmed. There have been 173 known COVID-19 deaths in the Tucson-metro area, according to the state health department. Here are the latest news developments in Tucson and Arizona related to the coronavirus outbreak from Wednesday's edition of the Arizona Daily Star:

• UA researcher Jun Wang finds compounds that can halt coronavirus.

Plan for on-campus housing at UA begins taking shape for next semester.

• Arizona Senate ends session without dealing with coronavirus liability issue.

• 2 immigrants released from Eloy detention center test positive for COVID-19.

Dine-in business makes slow return to Arizona restaurants.  

• Tucson students invited to talk virus' impact at virtual forum.

• The number of Arizonans filing for unemployment benefits tops 600,000.

• Industrial property occupancy in Tucson continues to remain robust.

• The Pac-12 will allow 'voluntary in-person athletic workouts' beginning June 15.

Join an online discussion with the Star's Opinion team at 2 p.m. Thursday. Email Opinion Editor Sarah Garrecht Gassen at sgassen@tucson.com for an invitation to join the talk on Zoom. John D'Orlando, the Star's president and publisher, is this week's guest.

Tuesday, May 26

6:15 a.m.: Nearly 25,000 more Arizonans filed first-time claims for unemployment benefits last week, bringing the total since the COVID-19 outbreak to 601,518, new state figures Monday showed. The total unemployment filings amount to about 17 percent of Arizona's workforce and might not reflect all of the people in the state who are out of work. Confirmed coronavirus cases in Arizona reached 16,561 cases on Monday, the Arizona Department of Health Services said in its daily tally. The state said 806 people in Arizona have died from COVID-19. In Pima County, 2,046 cases of coronavirus have now been confirmed. There have been 173 known COVID-19 deaths in the Tucson-metro area, according to the state health department. Tucson Electric Power says residential use soared by 7 percent from mid-March to mid-April, the first month of the coronavirus pandemic. However, commercial and industrial use more than offset that by dropping 10 percent compared with the same period in 2019, TEP says. Tucson casinos are planning to reopen next week, more than two months after closing due to the coronavirus. Visitors should expect changes to help fight the spread of COVID-19. Here are the latest developments in Tucson and Arizona related to the coronavirus pandemic from Tuesday's edition of the Arizona Daily Star:

• Another 25,000 Arizonans filed first-time unemployment claims last week.

Tucson's electricity usage fell 4% during first month of the virus shutdown.

• Tucson's Tumamoc Hill reopened on Monday morning following a two-month closure.

• Tucson casinos are set to reopen next week.

• A fundraiser to help workers who rely on tips raised $4,200.

• Tucson fundraiser to promote mental health awareness.

• Interfaith Community Services program can help pay utilities.

Bayer donates face shields to the Pima County Health Department.

Join an online discussion with the Star's Opinion team at 2 p.m. Thursday. Email Opinion Editor Sarah Garrecht Gassen at sgassen@tucson.com for an invitation to join the talk on Zoom. John D'Orlando, the Star's president and publisher, is this week's guest.

Monday, May 25

6:30 a.m.: A labor union is calling on United Parcel Service to temporarily close its distribution facility on Tucson's south side because of an outbreak of coronavirus. Teamster Local Union 104, believes at least 36 employees have tested positive for COVID-19, three of which were admitted to intensive care facilities, the organization said in a news release. “UPS workers at the facility are also concerned that the outbreak has transformed the distribution facility into a hub for spreading the virus through Arizona,” the union said.

On Sunday, the state health department reported 16,300 confirmed coronavirus cases in Arizona and 2,027 confirmed cases in Pima County.

Here are the latest news developments in Tucson and Arizona related to the coronavirus outbreak from Monday's edition of the Arizona Daily Star:

• Preparing for a long hot summer at home with the kids? These tips and Tucson resources can help you all get through it.

• A campaign to raise money for Tucson workers who rely on tips has raised thousands.

Our coronavirus resource guide is packed with resources to help you get through this crisis whether you've lost your job, need a mask or just want an arts fix.

To mask or not to mask? That is the question Fitz asks in his daily cartoon.

• The Arizona Daily Star is profiling Southern Arizona high school athletes whose seasons were cut short by the coronavirus pandemic. Today: Sunnyside baseball player Gerardo Grijalva.

Sunday, May 24

6:30 a.m.:  New coronavirus cases in Arizona "could maybe possibly" have peaked, data suggests. The number of weekly coronavirus cases decreased from one week to the next for the first time in mid-May, But increases in diagnostic testing slowed that same week, so it's too early to say if that led to fewer diagnoses or if infections actually are going down, experts say. For Pima County, the numbers indicate much more clearly that new cases peaked around mid-April. These numbers are part of a new weekly series of charts the Star is producing that track weekly coronavirus spread statewide and locally.

On Saturday, the state health department reported 16,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in Arizona and 2,000 confirmed cases in Pima County. Here is a graphic showing cases in the state mapped by county.

Here are the latest news developments in Tucson and Arizona related to the coronavirus outbreak from Sunday's edition of the Arizona Daily Star:

• Southern Arizonans are not ready ready to venture out of their homes just yet, a new poll from the Arizona Daily Star and NuPOINT Opinion Research shows. And when they do head out, they will wear masks, the poll shows.

• The University of Arizona's choice of a conservative public relations firm to boost the president's visibility during the pandemic has ruffled feathers among some faculty.

Tucson restaurants cook up creative solutions to raise revenue to make up revenue declines related to COVID-19.

• Statewide COVID-19 testing blitz continues in Tucson today.

• The fate of the Arizona Wildcats football season remains unclear, but here's what you need to know if you're a season ticket holder.

• There are some positives from the shutdown, from its impact on the environment to its reminder of what really matters. Let's focus on the good stuff, Star Columnist Tim Steller says.

Arizona childcare centers are facing financial collapse, as less than one third remain open.

• The Arizona Daily Star is profiling Southern Arizona high school athletes whose seasons were cut short by the coronavirus pandemic. Today: Pueblo volleyball phenom Cameron Fimbres.

Tucson churches are in no rush to open, and when they do they're planning a long list of measures aimed at keeping parishioners safe. Nationwide, weekly worship services may be forever changed. To compare us to other cities, see this database of more than 70 communities served by Lee Enterprises, which owns the Arizona Daily Star in a joint agreement with Gannett.

• An Arizona program helps businesses avoid layoffs.

• Tucson theaters look to a future with smaller, "boutique audiences" and a hope that audiences wil return.

Saturday, May 23

7:30 p.m.: COVID-19 fees on restaurant bills aren’t a thing yet in Tucson, but they might become one as sit-down dining establishments search for ways to survive the pandemic. Arizona Attorney General's Office said COVID-19 surcharges need to be disclosed up front to customers.

6 p.m.: Arizona child care centers fight financial collapse. Less than one third of the state's preschools and centers are open, due in part to little demand from parents during the pandemic

4 p.m.: New coronavirus cases in Arizona may have peaked, data suggest. For the first time in Arizona, the number of weekly coronavirus cases decreased from one week to the next.

2 p.m.: A conservative PR firm landed University of Arizona president Robert Robbins on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC to help spread the message about the school's effort to re-open for classes in the fall. The agreement has irked some UA faculty members.

12 p.m.: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases across Arizona is 16,039, the Arizona Department of Health Services said Saturday in its daily tally.

6:30 a.m.: Tucson's theater scene faces an "existential crisis" because of COVID-19 that many many not survive. Tucson arts presenters and independent venues have been having hard conversations about how and when to reopen their doors and put artists on their stages. But with the need for capacity restrictions and the dire state of touring, some see an unsustainable situation. 'Everyone was talking about the restaurants, but the live event industry is taking it on the chin big time,' said Tucson Convention Center General Manager Glenn Grabski.

On Friday, the state health department reported 15,608 confirmed coronavirus cases in Arizona and 1,974 confirmed cases in Pima County. Here is a graphic showing cases in the state mapped by county.

Here are the latest news developments in Tucson and Arizona related to the coronavirus outbreak from Saturday's edition of the Arizona Daily Star:

Fitz imagines his commencement address to the Tortilita Titans and their marching-in-place band. "The future is in your hands, class of 2020. With that in mind I want to remind you to be sure to wash your hands after handling the future. Also, scrub the future thoroughly with disinfectant. Set the future aside for at least three days before handling it again. Class of 2020, avoid mosh pits until 2025. Don’t drink bleach. Wear sunscreen. Wear sanitizer over your sunscreen. Titans, follow your passion. At a distance of 6 feet."

• Star editorial writer Edward Celaya takes on dating, in a time of coronavirus.

• Statewide COVID-19 testing blitz continues in Tucson today.

• The Pima County Board of Supervisors voted to amend a set of controversial regulations for businesses through the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.

•  The fate of a bill that would protect Arizona businesses from liability should a customer get COVID-19 at their location is uncertain today.

• Tucson International Airport is recommending, but not mandating, that visitors wear masks.

• The Arizona Daily Star is profiling Southern Arizona high school athletes whose seasons were cut short by the coronavirus pandemic. Today: Cienega softball standout Blaise Biringer.

• The Pima County Board of Supervisors amends regulations for a wide swath of businesses reopening during the pandemic.

Friday, May 22

9:00 a.m.: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases across Arizona is 15,608, the Arizona Department of Health Services said.

6:30 a.m.: The number of those tested locally during last weekend’s statewide testing blitz doubled from the week prior, as nearly 1,500 people received coronavirus diagnostic tests at 14 sites around Pima County last Saturday. The county said last week that it could provide more than 3,000 tests at its locations. Eligibility to participate differs at each site, but health officials said anybody who thinks they’ve been exposed, either by showing symptoms or by being in proximity to someone with the virus, can receive a test. Here is a list of the locations participating, as of Thursday afternoon. Meanwhile, Arizona’s jobless rate spiked to a potentially record high of 12.6% last month.

On Thursday, the state health department reported 15,315 confirmed coronavirus cases in Arizona and 1,944 confirmed cases in Pima County.

Here are the latest news developments in Tucson and Arizona related to the coronavirus outbreak from Thursday's edition of the Arizona Daily Star:

• COVID-19 testing blitz continues in Tucson over the next two Saturdays.

• Arizona's jobless rate reached 12.6% as Republican legislators quashed efforts by Democrats to increase unemployment benefits.

• Tucson City Manager Michael Ortega apologized to city employees after he was caught on a “hot mic” disparaging concerns about paying for parking spots they’re not using while a large chunk of them are working from home. Read more in today's Political Notebook.

• The Pima County Board of Supervisors voted to amend a set of controversial regulations for businesses through the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.

• Small businesses in Tucson can still get direct no-interest loans through a city of Tucson program, but time is running out as the application deadline is looming.

• State representatives voted along party lines to put new hurdles in the paths of people suing businesses, churches and schools over COVID-19 claims

• The Arizona Daily Star is profiling Southern Arizona high school athletes whose seasons were cut short by the coronavirus pandemic. Today: Palo Verde track and field Star Angel Addleman.

• Last Friday was a very good day for Adia Barnes. Her older sister, Candace Barnes, was healthy — again — after being diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease brought on by the coronavirus. The Shreveport, Louisiana, native tested positive for the virus a month earlier.

• "Above all else, we have the same traditions and the same campus to miss," writes local contributor and UA student Fiona Harrigan in an opinion column. "There’s a certain kind of comfort in collective grief."

• What's needed in a time like this is clear leadership — the kind displayed by young people the world over, writes local contributor Sofia Ramos in an opinion column.

Thursday, May 21

12:00 p.m.: Arizona's jobless rate reaches 12.6% as Republican legislators quashed efforts by Democrats to increase unemployment benefits.

9:00 a.m.: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases across Arizona is 15,315, the Arizona Department of Health Services said.

6:30 a.m.: Gov. Doug Ducey said he will not rescind his order that prevents Arizonans from using a drug in the experimental way President Trump is during the COVID-19 pandemic. The issue arose as the president said Monday he had started taking hydroxychloroquine. And the White House on Wednesday confirmed that Trump’s personal physician prescribed it to him as a preventive measure. That prescription could not be filled here in Arizona.

As of Wednesday, there have been 14,897 confirmed coronavirus cases in Arizona and 1,903 confirmed cases in Pima County.

Here are the latest news developments in Tucson and Arizona related to the coronavirus outbreak from Thursday's edition of the Arizona Daily Star:

• Gov. Doug Ducey said Wednesday he won't rescind his order that prevents Arizonans from using a drug in the experimental way President Trump is during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

• With coronavirus a continued threat, plans are being made for how on-campus housing and learning will look at the University of Arizona in August. 

• Some developed recreation sites in the Coronado National Forest will reopen today and be open for the Memorial Day weekend.

• House Republicans thwarted a bid by Democrats on Tuesday to shut down regular legislative business and focus only on issues related to COVID-19.

• The Star is profiling Southern Arizona high school athletes whose seasons were cut short by the coronavirus pandemic. Today: Amphi volleyball star Bryan Cruz.

• Delayed, modified, canceled: Here's the latest on Tucson’s Little Leagues amid the coronavirus pandemic.

 Tucson is home to a number of podcasters, so if you've run out of things to binge-watch while isolating from the coronavirus, tune in and give one a try. 

• Months of coronavirus quarantining calls for comic relief, but taking standup and improv shows virtual has proven to be challenging for Tucson comedians.

• Ryan Alfred and Gabriel Sullivan were supposed to introduce their musical collaboration Gnosis in early April. But then the pandemic happened and live concerts were shelved amid stay-at-home orders.

• When UA Presents called off the second half of its 2019-20 season in March, the folks at the University of Arizona arts presenting arm were at a loss of what to do next.

• "Traffic is down significantly. I’ve been sleeping with windows open since interstate noise is noticeably diminished," writes local contributor Kylie Walzak in an opinion column. "But reckless driving is up, especially on our wide arterial streets."

• We wanted to hear from high school seniors, in their own voices, about what it's like summing up a high school career and trying to prepare for whatever is next when everything has been turned on its head by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Wednesday, May 20

6:30 a.m.: Tucson is set to initiate discussions with other regional partners to see how it could leverage its CARES Act money to expand the region’s testing capacity, starting with city employees before eventually opening that up to the public. The City Council unanimously approved a motion during Tuesday’s council meeting to instruct City Manager Michael Ortega to meet with county officials, health-care providers, the University of Arizona and others to discuss a plan to test 1,000 people per day over a two-month period.

As of Tuesday, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases across Arizona is 14,566, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services. Across Pima County, 1,888 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed.

Here are the latest news developments in Tucson and Arizona related to the coronavirus outbreak from Wednesday's edition of the Arizona Daily Star:

A city plan would test about 1,000 people a day for two months, starting with city employees, before expanding to public.

• Desert Diamond Casinos said on its website Monday, May 18, that it intends to stay closed through the end of the month, minimally. Meanwhile, Casino del Sol pushed back a May 21 opening announced last week to May 28.

• Tucson is full of people who, thinking back, speculate they might have had COVID-19 around the gem show. It's unlikely, writes the Star's metro columnist Tim Steller.

Here's a photo gallery of what it looked like when Park Place and Tucson malls reopened yesterday.

• The VA hospital in Tucson is gradually reopening its campus for nonurgent, in-person appointments and elective procedures since the coronavirus pandemic, officials announced Tuesday.

• The Pima County Board of Supervisors postponed a vote to amend a set of temporary health code regulations that have sparked controversy throughout the county and state. A decision will be made at an emergency meeting Thursday. 

• Tucson’s largest school district is forging ahead with plans for in-person graduation ceremonies this summer, but in the time of COVID-19, they will be anything but normal.

• Tucson Speedway will reopen Saturday as part of an Armed Forces Weekend Memorial Day Doubleheader.

• The Arizona Daily Star is profiling Southern Arizona high school athletes whose seasons were cut short by the coronavirus pandemic. Today: Sabino softball star Sydney Grey.

• Local contributor and former school principal Kathleen Bethel has a few tips for parents. "Reinforce the positive to reduce the negative. This is a teachers’ trick. Catch your kids doing something 'right' and thank them sincerely," she says.

Tuesday, May 19

6:30 a.m.: With some Arizona businesses fearful that reopening could expose them to lawsuits should a customer contract COVID-19, Republican lawmakers want to make it harder for customers to sue a business where they believe they were infected or a company that made a device that did not provide promised protection from the virus.

Customers would still be able to sue should the measure pass, but to prevail  they would have to prove gross negligence on the part of the business, which  means not only that the business didn't act to prevent the spread of the disease, but it did so with reckless disregard of the consequences.

As of Monday, the state health department reported 14,100 confirmed coronavirus cases in Arizona and 1,815 cases in Pima County, up 11 from Sunday.

Here are the latest news developments in Tucson and Arizona related to the coronavirus outbreak from Tuesday's edition of the Arizona Daily Star:

• Bookmark this new guide to what Tucson grocery stores and restaurants are doing to protect customers during the coronavirus pandemic. It lists which stores offer senior hours, delivery and curbside pickup.

• As downtown Tucson's Fox Theatre waits out the pandemic, it prepares for a new normal with help from a benefactor.

One of Tucson's most famed Mexican restaurants was forced to close temporarily after an employee tested positive for COVID-19.

• Here's a look at yesterday's coronavirus cases, mapped by county.

•  A food pantry for students at the University of Arizona remains open even though campus is closed.

• A proposed state law would protect Arizonans who defy the governor's orders from being jailed.

Monday, May 18

6:30 a.m.: As Arizona’s stay-home order is lifted, long-term-care facilities are being told to prepare for what could be a surge of new COVID-19 cases. The Pima County Health Department is encouraging long-term-care facilities and other congregate settings to continue being aggressive in their actions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. As of last week, 84 long-term-care residents and one staff member have died from COVID-19, representing nearly 60% of the county’s total virus deaths.

As of Sunday, the state health department reported 13,937 confirmed coronavirus cases in Arizona and 1,814 cases in Pima County.

Here are the latest news developments in Tucson and Arizona related to the coronavirus outbreak from Monday's edition of the Arizona Daily Star:

• Health experts say that facilities for seniors should keep their guard up for coronavirus as public life resumes.

• As thrift stores are beginning to open again, here are some places you can donate unwanted items to.

• Here's a look at yesterday's coronavirus cases, mapped by county.

• The Star is profiling Southern Arizona high school athletes whose seasons were cut short by the pandemic. Today: Ironwood Ridge softball star Shelby Thompson.

• One Tucson sixth grader is letting us into his quarantine world, including some ideas he thinks could make school a more well-rounded experience.

• Tucson City Councilman Richard Fimbres is advocating for a national, vote-by-mail system. "We cannot risk our citizens to the old practice of going to the polling places," he said.

Sunday, May 17

6:30 a.m.: Star Metro Columnist Tim Steller has an important message for us today: Wearing a mask isn't about you, it's about protecting everyone around you. That's especially true because testing is still low here despite the state's blitz the past two weekends. About 1,300 Pima County residents took part in the state's testing blitz through its first two weeks. The small numbers here were caused by a number of factors, including continued difficulties securing test kits, a lack of equity of test site locations, and remaining limitations of who can get tested, according to local officials, who said at least some of those issues are being addressed from week to week.

As of Saturday the state reported 13,631, with 679 deaths due to COVID-19. Pima County cases are at 1,781, an increase of 31 over Thursday.

Here are the latest news developments in Tucson and Arizona related to the coronavirus outbreak from Sunday's edition of the Arizona Daily Star:

Don't worry about what that mask looks like, columnist Tim Steller advises. Put it on and feel good that you're doing your part to keep people around you safe.

• Fears of heading out of the house mean many Tucson kids are missing their well-child checks and vaccinations, a trend that has peditricians worried.

• A University of Arizona student shares the tragic grief of screaming, "I love you!" through the nursing home window as her beloved grandma laying dying.

• Tucson Mayor Regina Romero extended an emergency declaration keeping parks and city buildings closed at least through midnight on June 8.

Tucson families rely on summer day camps to keep their kids safe and entertained while parents work, but this year they have been thrown into turmoil by the coronavirus, with some cancelling, some going virtual and some still undecided what to do.

Coronavirus has given a boost to golf, which for sports enthusiasts has been the only game in town.

• Sports Columnist Greg Hansen poses eight questions that will determine whether fans return to Arizona Stadium this year.

Grandparents as teachers: just another way Tucsonans are getting through this together.

• Some Tucson business are reinventing and innovating to keep customers safe.

• Doing some coronavirus cleaning? Here's how to get rid of the clutter.

• Check out the coronavirus cases in Arizona, mapped by county for May 16.

Saturday, May 16

3:30 p.m.: Tucson Mayor Regina Romero has extended her emergency declaration related to the coronavirus at least until June 8.

p.m.: Confirmed coronavirus cases in Arizona topped 13,600 on Saturday, according to new state figures.

Check out the coronavirus cases in Arizona, mapped by county for May 16.

6:15 a.m.: Today is graduation day at the University of Arizona - and for the first time, all the festivities will be digital, not live. No word yet on whether tortillas will still be tossed like graduation caps, but we'll be watching. Also, Pima County will reconsider its temporary health codes aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19 after pushback from lawmakers. On Wednesday, the board voted 3-2 to adopt regulations for restaurants, pools, gyms and other facilities that includes occupancy limitations, protective-equipment requirements, social-distancing protocols, daily temperature checks and the public display of signage and cleaning logs. The move followed Gov. Doug Ducey’s announcement that Arizona’s stay-home order was going to be allowed to expire, and some lawmakers say it flies in the face of Ducey’s executive order forbiding counties, cities and towns from making rules and regulations inconsistent with those issued by the governor.

As of Friday the state reported 13,169, with 651 deaths due to COVID-19. Pima County cases are at 1,750, an increase over 54 over Thursday.

Here are the latest news developments in Tucson and Arizona related to the coronavirus outbreak from Saturday's edition of the Arizona Daily Star:

It's graduation day at the University of Arizona - and for the first time, all the festivities will be digital, not live.

Tucson restaurants are pivoting from buffets to keep patrons safe during coronavirus pandemic. On a related note, reporter Cathalena Burch discusses covering the local restaurant scene on The Point Being, a podcast by the Star's opinion writing team. You can listen in here.

• Critics say temporary county health regulations contradict Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey's executive order forbiding municipalities from making rules inconsistent with those of the governor.

• Ducey to Arizona businesses: "You have a patriotic duty to open up safely."

• The University of Arizona is opening new antibody testing sites.

Perfect forecasting isn't possible, a UA professor says, but models and experts are the best way forward.

• A parent group in Vail is giving seniors a graduation ceremony they will never forget.

• Find out what Tucsonans are talking about in our weekly roundup of letters to the editor.

• Border Patrol agents must wear masks during the coronavirus pandemic.

• Tucson's Roman Catholic churches can begin opening at the end of the month, but with safety protocols in place.

Friday, May 15

6:30 a.m.: As retail sales in the United States tumbled by a record 16.4% from March to April during the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Doug Ducey told Arizona business owners that their ability to remain open — and the future of the state's economy — will depend on how well they follow the voluntary protocols designed to prevent a COVID-19 spike. 'I think you have a patriotic duty to open up safely and successfully," Ducey said in a conference call Thursday. "I know what you're doing is what's going to bring our economy back." And he went on to say that "positive peer pressure" is needed to avoid spreading the disease among customers. Meanwhile, theater operators in Arizona say they're not likely to reopen until summer, when studios have new content to show on their screens. On Thursday, the Arizona Department of Health Services released guidelines for how theaters should operate, covering everything from seating to butter dispensers for popcorn. Arizona Wildcats Athletic Director Dave Heeke on Thursday said he expects the 2020 college football season will happen in some fashion. A team is "evaluating and planning for the safe and healthy return of students, staff and visitors to our campus" he said. Ultimately, however, the decision on if and how football returns will be made by the NCAA, Pac-12 Conference,  government agencies and health and science experts, he said. Confirmed coronavirus cases in Arizona were at 12,674, the Arizona Department of Health Services said Thursday morning in its daily tally. The state said 624 people in Arizona have died from COVID-19. In Pima County, 1,696 cases of coronavirus have now been confirmed. There have been 152 known COVID-19 deaths in the Tucson-metro area, according to the state health department.

There have been 175,455 coronavirus tests given across Arizona, with 6.3% of them showing positive for COVID-19, the state says. Here are the latest news developments in Tucson and Arizona related to the coronavirus outbreak from Friday's edition of the Arizona Daily Star:

'You have a patriotic duty to open up safely,' Arizona Gov. Ducey tells business owners.

• Most Arizona theaters not ready to reopen until summer begins.

• A military flyover honored Tucson's healthcare workers.

• UA students' coronavirus awareness campaign in Spanish obtains funding

• UA Athletic Director Dave Heeke 'realistic and optimistic' that Wildcats will play football this season.

• Tucson Dragway's Hot Wheels racing is a social media hit.

• "I empathize with the high school and college graduates who are also missing out on a monumental rite of passage during this pandemic," Kristen Hoggatt-Abader, a lecturer in the UA Writing Program, writes to the Class of 2020.

• This is what the pandemic has taught us about K-12 schooling in Arizona, writes Judi Moreillon, a former teacher in both K-12 and the university level.

This article originally ran on tucson.com.

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