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.
“Thank God,” Barnes said. “I am so happy and so relieved. We were scared to death.
“You don’t feel like COVID will affect you and your family. I didn’t think it was even a possibility, because it wasn’t bad here (in Tucson). It never really hits you until someone you love has it, and then it hits you harder. We were more sensitive to the pandemic because of (UA assistant and husband) Salvo’s (Coppa’s) family in Italy. But I didn’t think anyone in my family would have it. Then I was like, ‘We’re not leaving our house.’ It was more real.”
The virus hit Barnes’ family particularly hard. Her sister, niece and aunt all tested positive for COVID-19. Louisiana has seen more than 35,000 positive cases during the pandemic, with 2,520 coming in Shreveport alone. Pima County, at more than twice the size of Shreveport, has had 1,800 cases. It’s quite the contrast.
Each family member suffered in varying degrees. Candace Barnes and her daughter, Alricka Edwards, have recovered. Adia Barnes’ aunt Diane was put on a ventilator because of the disease. She was taken off on Sunday, and still has a long road to recovery, Adia Barnes said.
Candace Barnes initially showed few symptoms. Her daughter noticed that Candace, who has bronchitis and asthma, was coughing more than usual.
Candace was tested twice in one day. Her second test, taken at a hospital, was positive. She has yet to receive the results of the first test, which she took at a Walmart. It’s been a month.
Candace’s doctor prescribed cough medicine and antibiotics and told her not to use her nebulizer — the tool that helps her breathe when it’s difficult for her.
Other symptoms soon began to show. Candace said she was achy and stiff and lost her sense of taste of smell.
“It was weird; I couldn’t taste anything,” Candace said. “I never had a fever. On Day 8, I had an upset stomach for two days.”
Candace drank lots of fluids — hot tea with lemon and hot water with honey — and took both vitamin C and black seed oil.
And she did one more thing.
“I tried not to move much — to not exert myself in any way,” Candace said. “I was as stable as possible. I didn’t want to give myself a reason to breathe heavy. I was nervous and my main concern was having to go to the hospital and go on a ventilator.
“Every day I was scared. You never know — it could get worse every day.”
Here are the latest updates related to COVID-19 from Tucson and Southern Arizona.
She wasn’t the only one who was scared. The women in her family — Candace’s mom, Patricia, and sisters Maisha and Adia — were especially concerned.
“I was really worried about her,” Adia Barnes said. “I honestly thought it was going to get worse and thought she’d go to the hospital. When she told me she had chest congestion, I was like, ‘Are you sure you aren’t worse?’
“I was trying not to sound panicked or scared when I talked to her — I needed to play it down. It was just wait and see. Talking to her every day and hearing she was OK. I just thought it would hit her faster. Waiting every day, it was hard not knowing what was going to happen.”
Things were even more stressful inside Candace Barnes’ home, which she shares with Edwards and Edwards’ two children, 7-year-old Keaston and McKenzlee, who is 2. Fortunately, neither child showed any symptoms.
Adia Barnes tried bringing Candace to Tucson right away, but interstate travel wasn’t an option. Candace said she would have gone, “but I had to think of Adia and her family and I had to stay as still as possible.” Adia Barnes has a 4-year-old son, Matteo, and is pregnant with her second child, a girl.
“It made me feel special,” Candace Barnes said of the offer. “That’s my baby sister.”
The situation has brought Adia Barnes and her sisters even closer. They talked every day and were part of a family group chat during Candace’s recovery. Candace said the support kept her going.
“It’s like I wasn’t in it alone,” she said. “It’s sisterly love — that sister bond. We would do that for each other.”
As she battled COVID-19, Candace Barnes said she looked forward to two things — breathing fresh air and moving to Tucson. Her plans to relocate have stalled because of the pandemic, but she plans to come soon.
Meanwhile, Candace is trying to get back to normal. She said she’s happy to see people in Shreveport wearing masks. It means they’re taking the pandemic seriously.
“If we’re all cautious and do the right thing — what we’re supposed to do — we will overcome this,” she said.
- Adia Barnes participated in UA’s antibody research study a few weeks ago, and is still awaiting the results. “I’m pretty positive I didn’t have it, but it’s annoying,” she said. Everybody on Barnes’ staff was negative for the virus.
- The women’s basketball team won the UA’s Director’s Cup for Community service for the fourth consecutive year — every year that Barnes has been head coach, racking up 34.27 service hours per student-athlete.
Leo and Ivan Villa
Refugio "Kito" Del Cid
Cheyenne Hudson and Laneya Wright
May's Tucson-area coronavirus coverage: Cases rise, judge rules that state can keep nursing home data from public
Here's a look at May stories surrounding local coronavirus coverage. This collection will continue to be updated. To see stories from January through March, click here. To see stories from April, click here.
The creators of the test hope it will bring peace of mind in work spaces, other public places that COVID-19 isn't hanging around on surfaces or in the air.
Advocates in Arizona ask that Gov. Doug Ducey amend his virus outbreak order to help prevent rental debt and homelessness.
Most virus-related deaths in Pima County were older, lower-income people with pre-existing conditions, a new report shows.
It will also provide an early warning system about levels of the coronavirus in the community if there's another spike in the fall, University of Arizona experts say.
Data released last week appeared to show COVID-19 cases in Arizona had peaked. But it turns out it was just a lag in reporting of new cases.
Most of those who benefitted are full-time musicians whose livelihoods were decimated with coronavirus pandemic.
The 2020 primary election is approaching. While people are being encouraged to vote by mail, the Pima County Recorder’s Office is also taking precautions for those who prefer to vote early in person or drop off their mail ballot at an early voting location.
Arizonans won't be learning which nursing homes have residents who contracted COVID-19, at least not from the state.
Nearly $250 million in federal CARES Act funding was allocated for Arizona K-12 schools, including district schools, many charter schools and nonprofit private schools.
The governor also gave the go-ahead Thursday for summer day camps to open next week and for youth sports to restart now.
The plan includes $22 million in community aid, $38 million in funding for the continuity of city operations and services and $33 million in reserves in anticipation of a potential resurgence of the coronavirus.
It's important to recruit and retain students from Arizona after the the UA saw an increase in full-time out-of-state undergraduates in 2019, but a decrease in in-state graduate and online enrollment, officials said.
Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra Music Director Linus Lerner hopes to be back in Tucson before his orchestra begins their season in September.
Governor is allocating only $441 million, a quarter of the more than $1.9 billion he is getting in coronavirus relief dollars. He'll set aside most of the rest for the state's future needs.
With their conductor in Brazil and the musicians separated, the volunteer ensemble managed to get out a message of hope in praise of those battling the coronavirus pandemic.
Final decisions are expected over the summer as the campus prepares to begin the fall semester's Aug. 24 start.
A University of Arizona researcher identified four compounds that can block the replication of the coronavirus within a cell. It's a promising starting point for the development of drugs that can treat COVID-19.
Joel Revzen, who led Arizona Opera through an artistic resurgence in the early 2000s, died Monday. He was 74.
Live music is returning to St. Philip’s Plaza this weekend with the Humane Society of Southern Arizona’s “Munchies, Music and Mutts” fundraisi…
Should on-campus housing open as expected in the fall, undergraduates can expect a price increase.
Nearly 25,000 Arizonans filed first-time claims for unemployment benefits last week.
The most recent data from the organization that help people book reservations finds that dine-in seating at the restaurants surveyed is down about 60% from the same time a year ago. Most restaurants spent several weeks closed entirely to dine-in patrons.
The surprise move came as three Republicans joined with all 13 Democrats to halt all further business and go home.
A legal clinic run by the Tucson-based humanitarian aid group No More Deaths is working to get immigrants released from custody during the coronavirus pandemic.
Tucson students are invited to participate in a virtual forum this week on how the coronavirus has impacted them academically and socially, and what they'd like to see happen moving forward.
Pima County residents who are facing an eviction can get help at an eviction prevention resource fair from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Thursday…
A gain in electricity use by residents didn't offset a sharp decline in use by commercial and industrial customers.
Grant funds are available for low-income families who need help paying utility bills.
"These are people who live on very small incomes and now their incomes are gone," organizer says.
Education news from Tucson and Southern Arizona.
The labor union believes a coronavirus outbreak inside the UPS facility has transformed it into a hub for spreading the virus through Arizona.
Concerns for older worshippers who are at higher risk for contracting the virus, and are most likely to attend services, are at the forefront for Tucson churches.
Less than one third of the state's preschools and centers are open, due in part to little demand from parents during the pandemic
The program allows employers to avoid losing trained staffers during the coronavirus pandemic.
More than 71% of those surveyed said they feel unsafe or very unsafe around others, even with social distancing practices still in effect, according to the latest Arizona Daily Star Community Pulse poll.
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 semester. Officials say the campaign brought in $650,000 in donations.
For the first time in Arizona, the number of weekly coronavirus cases decreased from one week to the next.
Arizona Attorney General's Office said COVID-19 surcharges need to be disclosed up front to customers.
Hunkering down, working and learning from home during the COVID-19 pandemic means more attention to pets and the need for your furry office pal to adapt to changing circumstances.
Snippets of life from the Old Pueblo while sheltering in place.
The Pima County Board of Supervisors voted Thursday to amend a set of controversial regulations for businesses through the duration of the pandemic.
Some venue operators worry that reduced capacity to maintain coronavirus social distancing could be unsustainable and possibly devastating.
While Tucson International Airport isn’t requiring visitors to wear face masks, most major airlines require them.
State senators will return to work Tuesday to consider up to 30 proposed laws, then adjourn.
The fourth Saturday of the testing blitz is scheduled for this Saturday.
Tucson city manager apologizes for "hot mic" comments; Sen. Martha McSally muddies hydroxychloroquine debate at telephonic town hall.
Direct loans of up to $25,000 at zero interest are available to small businesses but the deadline is May 26.
Victims or their survivors could sue only if they could show someone was grossly negligent, rather than merely negligent.
Meanwhile, Laffs Comedy Caffe is planning to reopen, just in time for its 32nd anniversary.
Local artists, dancers, engineers and more are working with Tucson students to form community relationships.
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.
Sites will be open for the long Memorial Day weekend, and officials expect large crowds.
The party-line vote to keep the session open came as the GOP majority said it's time to stop worrying about the virus and get back to the regular business of the Legislature.
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.
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.
Nix the balloons, flowers and gifts, but don't forget a face mask for TUSD's in-person graduation ceremonies this summer.
The Southern Arizona VA Healthcare System will continue with implemented safety measures, including screenings and social distancing.
City plan would be to test about 1,000 people a day for two months, starting with city employees, before expanding to public.
Owner hopes to reopen in late May or early June.
While a statewide stay-at-home order has been lifted and various businesses have been permitted to open, Tucson casinos remain closed.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases across Arizona is 14,566, the Arizona Department of Health Services said.
Official says some of these artists could end up on a UA Presents stage.
The new figure brings to nearly 577,000 the number of Arizonans who have sought unemployment compensation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Instead, the maximum penalty for violating emergency orders — such as the COVID-19 orders — would be a civil fine of $100.
Legislation would make it harder for someone who contracts COVID-19 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.
As of last week, 84 long-term-care residents and one staff member have died from COVID-19. That represents nearly 60% of the county’s total virus deaths.
The government is being urged to automatically extend work authorizations for DACA recipients, many of whom serve in health care and as essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The fallout could mean a rise in vaccine-preventable illnesses, ongoing child abuse and neglect, mental health challenges
Education news from Tucson and Southern Arizona.
The unlikely pairing of pop songwriter Ryan Alfred and prog-rocker Gabriel Sullivan might surprise some of their fans.
Confirmed coronavirus cases in Arizona topped 13,900 on Sunday, according to new state figures.
At least in the Tucson-area, small the small testing total was caused by a number of factors, including difficulties securing test kits, a lack of equity of test site locations and limits on who can get tested, according to local officials.
Commonplace practices like accompanying a child to a dance lesson, singing in church and passing time in waiting rooms may be a thing of the past, at least for now.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases across Arizona is 13,631, the Arizona Department of Health Services said.
Mayor Regina Romero "strongly advises" residents to wear masks and employers to let workers telecommute during the COVID-19 pandemic
An investigation into Pima County's proclamation will be conducted the Arizona Attorney General over the next 30 days.
The University of Arizona's livestreamed commencement ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. The pre-show starts at 5: 30 p.m.
$3.5 million in state funding will provide 250,000 antibody tests to Arizonans, officials say.
Gov. Doug Ducey urges businesses: "Please make sure there is good behavior ... We don't need any outliers or bad actors.''
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases across Arizona is 13,169, the Arizona Department of Health Services said.
The state's largest operator of theaters is waiting for the release of anticipated summer blockbusters.
The poster campaign has gained financial backing from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, along with city and county support.
PHOENIX (AP) — The number of inmates in Arizona’s prisons who have tested positive for the coronavirus reached 121 on Wednesday, twice as many…
Keeping a poker face will be less challenging with a requirement to wear masks and gloves. Fewer slot machines, destruction of playing cards daily are among other plans following a two-month coronavirus closure.
Border Patrol agents and customs officers in southern Arizona now must wear protective masks when dealing with the public during the coronavir…
After a two-month coronavirus closure, local gyms were able to open their doors with social distancing practices in place.
The aircraft will fly over "a variety of facilities that support the fight against COVID-19," including hospitals and police and fire stations across Southern Arizona.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases across Arizona is 12,674, the Arizona Department of Health Services said.
Expanding on Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey’s recommendations, the guidelines are intended to protect employees and customers.
Social distancing can be challenging at some of Tucson's popular trails. Instead, head to one of these trails less traveled.
Report anticipates Tucson will draw in skilled workers fleeing highly-populated areas post-COVID-19, and the firms that would be expected to follow.
The popular west-side hiking spot will have tightened guidelines due to COVID-19.
With statewide coronavirus restrictions easing, the Pima County Library plans to re-open branches with limited services. But no browsing will be allowed. Books and other items have to be reserved online for pickup for the time being.
#GotSway was the idea of Tucson social media darling Jessica Northey-Shaw and dozens of aspiring country singers responded.
"We're tough as saguaros," editorial cartoonist David Fitzsimmons says. He says he saw a video made for the people of Detroit and became inspi…
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases across Arizona is 12,176, the Arizona Department of Health Services said.
The delay, one of a number of additional changes, represents at least the second modification to the plan since it was announced by UA President Robert Robbins on April 17.
Several Tucson restaurants got off to a slow start Monday, the first day eateries were allowed to offer dine-in service since coronavirus restrictions went into effect.
Dozens of Tucson small businesses and restaurants sign onto movement that opposes reopening until the coronavirus pandemic markedly improves.
A man returning from a basketball tournament in Tucson brought the coronavirus to the Navajo highlands, doctors say.
The organization has decided not to host any in-person celebrations for the 2020 calendar year.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases across Arizona is 11,736, the Arizona Department of Health Services said.
The county says the measures are intended to protect Tucson's food service employees and customers as much as possible.
Checks are finally going out to Arizona's self-employed, independent contractors, and gig economy workers who are ineligible for the state's regular unemployment insurance program.
A fund at the University of Arizona has helped more than 1,000 students who needed help covering rent, utilities, medications or buying food.
When coronavirus cases were first confirmed in Arizona, Pascua Yaqui leaders got to work creating an incident command system and putting measu…
Funding will provide $2 million for small business continuity grants; $3 million for assistance to workers and families, including rent assistance and gas and food cards; and $500,000 for nonprofit continuity grants.
Opening their dining rooms next week will take more than just flipping on the "Open" sign.
Tucson’s air quality suffered a relapse from its coronavirus-fueled cleanup last week, and there’s a good chance Phoenix’s typically bad air p…
The Fox Theatre in downtown Tucson will stay closed for public events through Aug. 31 due to the coronavirus, the staff announced Saturday.
Accelerate Diagnostics, AudioEye are among eight Arizona public companies getting Paycheck Protection Program loans, while more smaller firms are getting funded.
Religious gatherings have been listed as a constitutionally protected essential activity in Governor Doug Ducey’s executive orders regarding activity restriction during the coronavirus pandemic.
Some businesses may seek larger spaces, providing more distance between employees. Others may want less space going forward as employees enjoy working from home.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases across Arizona is 10,960, the Arizona Department of Health Services said.
Tucson educators jump into action to keep families afloat during the coronavirus school closures and economic devastation, providing computers, food, tech support and even covering electric and water bills.
Advocates have called for the release of immigrant detainees since the pandemic began, citing rising COVID-19 cases and a confirmed death.
Tucson Premium Outlets opened Friday with extensive safety protocols in place.
Bars, breweries and wineries can open as long as they have a food menu and customers can eat inside the establishments. The menu can be as simple as a selection of chips and snacks, to a food truck or people bringing in takeout from nearby restaurants.
TEP home customers will get $13 off their bills and electric and gas customers of sister utility UniSource will also credits to help them amid the pandemic.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases across Arizona is 10,526, the Arizona Department of Health Services said.
Some lawmakers say the coronavirus pandemic makes it necessary to call this legislative session over, while others say there's too much left to do.
State health department reversed course and told team to continue its work predicting COVID-19's spread.
In addition to the delayed in-person ceremonies, TUSD will televise graduation programs for each high school later this month.
After crossing through a port of entry, drivers and passengers get out of their cars and walk through inflatable tunnels on the side of the road to help ward of the virus from Americans.
The Arizona Department of Health Services announced Thursday that it has established "an ongoing partnership" with experts from UA and ASU to continue to provide predictions of the spread of COVID-19 locally.
The new group asks the UA to shifts more of the cost-cutting to higher-paid employees and for an independent audit to look for alternative cost-saving possibilities.
Pima County official says bars aren't designed for social distancing, which could make their wait to reopen longer.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases across Arizona is 9,945, the Arizona Department of Health Services said.
Danilo Cardenas Leyva, a U.S. citizen, reportedly told the officer: "you are sick too" with the coronavirus.
Most Tucson area bike shops are open as "essential services."
Records being sought by news outlets are not public, said a lawyer for the state in a lawsuit over data health officials are releasing about COVID-19 in long-term care facilities.
The city budget did not take into account things like $95.6 million Tucson received through the federal CARES act, and $44.3 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
State officials say the team of experts from the University of Arizona and ASU to "pause" work so it can switch to secret federal modeling figures to make decisions about fighting the COVID-19 spread.
Flagstaff resident says state had scientific information that showed COVID-19 was no more deadly than a host of other diseases.
Additional coronavirus antibody testing is now available for community members, health-care workers and first responders through the University of Arizona.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases across Arizona is 9,707, the Arizona Department of Health Services said.
Loans of up to $25,000 are available to businesses with 50 or fewer employees.
The state claims additional information from the Department of Health Services would be a breach of personal information.
Apartments tend to be more stable than office or retail properties during economic downturns.
In an effort led by City of Tucson Councilmember Lane Santa Cruz, the lighting of the “A” would coincide with National Nurses Week and National Hospitals Week.
On National Nurse's Day, doughnut shop is celebrating everyone helping out in the coronavirus pandemic.
University of Arizona President Robert Robbins discussed the plans to reopen campus Tuesday with Chuck Todd on "Meet the Press Daily"
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey says the state worked with industry leaders and public health officials to get to this phase of re-opening.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases across Arizona is 9,305, the Arizona Department of Health Services said.
Worst-case scenario for city means heavy cuts to public safety, transit and jobs.
Everyone's been saying hello — from a safe distance.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases across Arizona is 8,919, the Arizona Department of Health Services said.
One Tucson school district is making home visits in an effort to connect with kids who have been unreachable over the last two months.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected transportation operations across Arizona, but it won’t stop vehicles from needing emissions tests, offic…
An updated plan taking effect on May 11, shows UA employees making less than $44,500 are now exempt from furloughs.
Tucson officials are thinking outside the box when it comes to devising ways to use the $95 million from the federal CARES Act that the city r…
Twenty off-duty Tucson Police officers have answered a call for volunteers from Mobile Meals of Southern Arizona. The officers are delivering meals during the coronavirus pandemic.
A part of the UA’s Department of Family and Community Medicine, Sims was an anthropologist seeking to improve medical care among ethnic populations.