Arizona

These Arizona teachers shared a classroom for summer school. All 3 contracted COVID-19. 1 died.

Kids begged to go to Mrs. Byrd’s classroom to do art projects. 

Every year, Mrs. Byrd taught folklórico dance to her first-grade students. 

And though she had once retired, Mrs. Byrd loved teaching so much, she couldn’t help but return to the classroom, her husband, Jesse Byrd, said. 

Now she’s gone. Kimberley Chavez Lopez Byrd died June 26 after testing positive for COVID-19.

She taught first grade in the Hayden-Winkelman Unified School District in a small eastern Arizona community. Before she tested positive, Byrd and two other teachers taught a summer school class virtually from the same classroom. All three teachers came down with the virus.

Byrd, 61, was admitted to a hospital and put on a ventilator for more than a dozen days, her condition slowly deteriorating, before she died. Now, the community is grieving for a teacher her colleagues say was ingrained in the fabric of their school

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Virus Surges in Arizona, but the Rodeo Goes on

Testing for the coronavirus at a drive-thru testing site in Phoenix, Ariz., on Saturday, June 27, 2020. (Adriana Zehbrauskas/The New York Times)
Testing for the coronavirus at a drive-thru testing site in Phoenix, Ariz., on Saturday, June 27, 2020. (Adriana Zehbrauskas/The New York Times)

PHOENIX — As infections surged through Arizona’s desert landscape this week, word spread that the Round Valley Rodeo, a century-old tradition luring calf ropers, youth riders and big crowds to the mountain town of Springerville, might be called off. The fate of the Fourth of July parade in the nearby hamlet of Eagar seemed in doubt, too, as Gov. Doug Ducey prepared to issue new pandemic guidance.

But Ducey stopped short of ordering a halt to such events, and as of Friday, he had not required Arizonans to wear face coverings in public spaces, as Texas did Thursday. The rodeo and parade will march ahead Saturday as planned, even as infections in the state spiral.

Such is the way fiercely independent Arizona has handled the virus from the

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Fauci says new cases could hit 100k daily; new ‘pandemic potential’ found in China; Arizona delays school openings

A new pandemic threat could be simmering in China while at home the nation’s leading infectious disease expert warned that new cases could reach 100,000 per day if the trend isn’t av

For now, though, more states are tightening restrictions aimed at tamping down an alarming boom in coronavirus cases. New York, New Jersey and Connecticut doubled the number of states on its quarantine list, to 16. Arizona delayed the start for in-class learning for the 2020-21 school year. Oregon and Kansas are the latest states that will begin to require face masks in public.

In China, researchers are concerned about a new swine flu strain in pigs that could have “pandemic potential.” At least one U.S. health official said the strain was not an immediate threat to Americans.

Here are some major developments:

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci and other top health officials testified before Congress Tuesday on the state of

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Fauci hopes for vaccine in early 2021; new ‘pandemic potential’ found in China; Arizona delays school openings

A new pandemic threat could be simmering in China while at home the nation’s leading infectious disease expert expressed hope that a vaccine would be widely available early in 2021.

For now, though, more states are tightening restrictions aimed at tamping down an alarming boom in coronavirus cases. Arizona delayed the start for in-class learning for the 2020-21 school year. Oregon and Kansas are the latest states that will begin to require face masks in public.

“If we don’t take further action to reduce the spread of the disease, our hospitals could be overwhelmed,” Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said. “The choices every single one of us make in the coming days matter.”

In China, researchers are concerned about a new swine flu strain in pigs that could have “pandemic potential.”

Here are some major developments:

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci and other top health officials testified before Congress Tuesday on the state

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New ‘pandemic potential’ found in China; Arizona delays opening of schools; kids sports march on

A new pandemic threat could be simmering in China while at home more states are tightening restrictions aimed at tamping down an alarming boom in coronavirus cases.

Arizona delayed the start for in-class learning for the 2020-21 school year. Oregon and Kansas are the latest states that will begin to require face masks in public.

“Modeling from the Oregon Health Authority shows that if we don’t take further action to reduce the spread of the disease, our hospitals could be overwhelmed by new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations within weeks,” Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said. “The choices every single one of us make in the coming days matter.”

In New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy announced late Monday that the state would pause its planned reopening for indoor dining and banned smoking and drinking at Atlantic City casinos set to reopen this week.

And in China, researchers are concerned about a new

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Virus surge forces Arizona gov’s hand on masks

PHOENIX (AP) — After telling Arizonans that many public places were again being closed amid a surge of coronavirus cases, Gov. Doug Ducey ended a somewhat contentious news conference by imploring people to wear face masks.

“Arm yourself with a mask,” he said Monday after issuing an executive order to shut down bars, night clubs and water parks while pushing back the start of school in the fall. “It’s your best defense against this virus.”

While the Republican governor has never discouraged the use of masks, his full-throated endorsement of them was a big change from a largely lukewarm stance the last few months.

“There are some people that can’t wear masks for whatever reason, shortness of breath or they are asthmatic,” Ducey said June 13 when asked why he wouldn’t mandate the use of them.

The change in tone on masks and a return to restrictions are the latest

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Wildfire Smoke And Coronavirus Combine Arizona Health Risks

TUCSON, AZ — As several infernos burn across Arizona, the U.S. Forest Service is warning that the combined health risks of wildfire smoke and coronavirus shouldn’t go ignored. In a document released earlier this month, the agency said that the viral outbreak”complicates public health response to wildfire smoke.”

“People who are either susceptible to or affected by COVID-19 may have health conditions that also make them vulnerable to wildfire smoke exposure,” the document notes, though it also warns that this same dynamic is at play in the spread of coronavirus.

“Exposure to air pollutants in wildfire smoke can irritate the lungs, cause inflammation, alter immune function, and increase susceptibility to respiratory infections, likely including COVID-19,” the Forest Service advised, citing a recent study of coronavirus-related deaths in Northern Italy. (That study’s authors concluded that “the high level of pollution in Northern Italy should be considered an additional co-factor of the

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