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UPDATES: Tucson-area coronavirus developments, Oct. 23: What we know
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UPDATES: Tucson-area coronavirus developments, Oct. 23: What we know

From the October 21 recap: Tucson news you may have missed today series

Bookmark this daily roundup of coronavirus news from the Arizona Daily Star

  • Updated

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.

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.

Friday, Oct. 23

Coronavirus cases in Arizona, mapped by county

Elvira's downtown closes because of coronavirus

Thursday, Oct. 22

Prep & Pastry team to open store, restaurant in Tucson's old Rincon Market

Coronavirus cases in Arizona, mapped by county: Oct. 21

• Arizona Wildcats report 5 student-athletes, 1 staff member test positive for COVID-19

• Arizona football roster reset: What might the Wildcats’ offense look like when games resume?

Friday, Aug. 21

Coronavirus cases in Arizona, mapped by county

• Only 2 counties meet Arizona's benchmarks to reopen in-person schooling

• $1.25 million donated to support Tucson immigrants during pandemic

Arizona coronavirus cases top 196,200; 20,139 in Tucson area

Join the Star Opinion team for weekly reader chat Thursday.

Tuesday, August 4

Tucson's Border Patrol agents are catching more backpackers hauling meth through the desert. The shift comes amid a years-long decline in marijuana smuggling along Arizona's border with Mexico, as well as recent travel restrictions related to the coronavirus that cut down on the legitimate traffic that allows smugglers to sneak contraband through ports of entry.

• AZ health director: Not all guidance on coronavirus from White House task force followed in state.

Arizona Wildcats wide receiver Jaden Mitchell announced on Twitter on Monday morning that he was one of three UA football players who tested positive for COVID-19.

Join the Star Opinion team for a reader chat with Tim Steller at 2 p.m. Thursday.

Tuesday, July 28

A free COVID-19 testing site is opening Wednesday in Tucson. The Pima County Health Department, in conjunction with Arizona State University and the Arizona Department of Health Services, will open the site in the Flowing Wells area. The county already operates a free site on the city's south side. To schedule a test at the Kino Event Center, 2805 E. Ajo Way, go to or call 800-369-3584.

A judge has agreed to hear arguments by Arizona gyms that Gov. Doug Ducey has essentially moved the goalposts in what they need to do to reopen.

Tucson events to give students free backpacks, school supplies.

Arizona Opera planning on concerts – outdoor and streamed – and a movie.

On Sunday, Arizona coronavirus cases toppped 162,000; 14,963 in Tucson area.

Sunday, July 26

At least 1,300 businesses and nonprofits in Pima County received upward of $450 million through the Paycheck Protection Program. Applicants told the feds the money would be used to help retain more than 76,000 jobs. Use the Star's database to search all PPP loans issued to Arizona businesses.

"We could quibble a little bit about how fast, but I think it's clear that things are getting better," Dr. Joe Gerald, an associate professor with the University of Arizona's Zuckerman College of Public Health, says about the state's latest COVID-19 data.

On Saturday, Arizona coronavirus cases topped 160,000; 14,800 in Tucson area.

Here's a map of Arizona cournavirus cases by county for July 25.

• On Monday, Don Guerra, of Barrio Bread, will co-host an online baking class with Elizabeth Sparks, 4-H Youth Development Assistant Agent at the Tucson Village Farm. The pair will teach a class on how to make the perfect Community Loaf, a whole wheat, grain encrusted bread anyone can make at home, Guerra says. Learn more about the class and sign up at: If you can’t make this class, Guerra offers classes periodically on his website,

Tucson conductors turn to technology to stay engaged with their audiences during the pandemic.

Teaching outdoors is a good way to reopen schools during the pandemic, writes Renée Schafer Horton.

"Many people, including top leaders, casually say those with compromised immune systems should just stay home in order to be protected. A seemingly easy solution we accept without question as we go about our daily lives ... but why do we?," writes Dr. Erica McFadden, executive director of the Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council.

"Everybody is a little relieved," with the decision to move fall sports to spring, says the athletic director at Pima Community College.

Wildcats' return hinges on 'responsibility' of the student-athletes, Dave Heeke, University of Arizona athletic director, says in Greg Hansen's Sunday Notebook.

• Today's Keeping the Faith series features submissions by Rev. Michael Lonergan, pastor of Church of the Painted Hills, United Church of Christ; Jonathan Armstrong, the administrative pastor at Tucson Baptist Church; and Dr. Hugh Thompson, a member of the Eckankar clergy.

Friday, July 24

On Thursday, Gov. Doug Ducey and Arizona schools chief Kathy Hoffman abandoned what had been an Aug. 17 'aspirational' date to begin offering in-classroom education. School leaders Thursday afternoon said they were trying to understand what Ducey's latest order means to their opening plans. There's no new date, but Arizona schools will be required to make on-site learning available for parents who want it. Meanwhile, the Arizona Department of Health Services is supposed to come up with 'public health benchmarks' by Aug. 7 that schools will be need to consider when determining whether to open classrooms. Teachers across Tucson have said they don't want to return to classrooms while the coronavirus rages, looking into the possibility of resigning or retiring if they're forced into a classroom.

So few people exercising on Tumamoc Hill are wearing face masks that the University of Arizona has said it will shut it down again unless more of them follow the rules.

Thursday, July 23

Gov. Doug Ducey acted legally in blocking evictions in Arizona, judge rules.

A Tucson startup is working to create new vaccines for COVID-19, future viruses.

Gov. Doug Ducey is feeling the pressure to scrap the idea of setting a firm date for Arizona students to return to classrooms. More education and health officials are saying the state needs specific conditions under which in-school instruction could be considered safe. That means establishing science-based metrics to consider rates of coronavirus infection and spread and how fast schools can get test results.

Gee's Garden is closed after its landlord put a forcible detainer on the building for unpaid rent. The renter's financial woes were made worse by the pandemic, the building owner says.

If we all start wearing masks now, there's just enough time to make the start of the school year safer, writes Janet Funk, a physician and parent of high school seniors.

Sunday, July 19

Even before the coronavirus claimed its first known American victim, President Trump was already reaching to connect the disease to the U.S.-Mexico border. "We must understand that border security is also health security,"  Trump said during a Feb. 28 rally in South Carolina, contending that more border wall was needed to keep the virus out, though it was already in the US and spreading. "We will do everything in our power to keep the infection and those carrying the infection from entering our country."

The County Regional Flood Control District has mailed warning letters to more than 400 homeowners living along six washes in the Catalina Foothills and Pusch Ridge areas about the potential for flooding due to the Bighorn Fire, which has consumed more than 119,000 acres on the mountain since June 5. A recent video of a mess of black gunk, ash, tree limbs and brush flowing in the Cañada del Oro a few miles north of Oro Valley is a preview of what can happen, officials say.

3 positive COVID-19 tests reported among 83 Arizona Wildcats football players training on campus.

FC Tucson's 16-game slate opens next week in Florida.

Salpointe, Pusch Ridge say they're being cautious at voluntary workouts.

Friday, July 17

Arizona renters hurt financially by the coronavirus pandemic will get eviction protection through October. With a deadline just days away, Gov. Ducey in Thursday extended the effort to help keep renters in their homes, easing a huge worry for Tucson housing advocates. Ducey also said Thursday that he won't implement the latest recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommending that Arizona further reduce restaurant capacity nor will he issue a statewide mask-wearing order.

Thursday, July 16

The Tucson Unified School District says it expects to spend nearly $13 million in its effort to safely reopen during the coronavirus pandemic. The district's decision to go to online learning accounts for a lot of the extra spending. It also includes buying more laptops and tablets, maintaining those devices and hiring more monitors to supervise students in classrooms led by a teacher who is working remotely.

'I don't want to be on the news talking about somebody who dies because I allowed someone in the burn area,' Coronado National Forest Supervisor Kerwin Dewberry, says about a plan that will prohibit the public from visiting the Coronado National Forest on Mount Lemmon and in Sabino Canyon until Nov. 1. The big risk: flooding caused by runoff from burned areas.

Arizonans should expect they will need to wear face masks through at least the end of 2020, says an aide to Gov. Doug Ducey.

The US needs to provide funding to help stop the spread of the coronavirus in the developing world for their protection — and ours, writes John Waszczak, a Tucsonan who is a member of the  U.S. Global Leadership Coalition.

Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus will be today's guest in the Star's online reader chat.

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