The story describes the difficulties of dealing with emergencies during the pandemic time and how social isolation negatively affects one's ability to weather these emergencies.
My daughter is attending 3 weeks of summer school for PACE training. It's basically a test to determine if your child deserves extra resources for gifted students. When she goes to campus on Monday, she won't need a mask unless she's within 3 feet of other students. It's incredible to see how dramatically policies and infection rates have shifted behaviors. The vaccine seems to be keeping infection rates low. She has the chance to regain a little bit of normalcy.
--Reflections on the Pandemic Archive--
Looking back over my experience with the “Journal of the Plague Year” COVID-19 archive, my prevailing emotion is gratitude. This opportunity granted me experience that few historians earn, and the remote, asynchronous work schedule allowed me to collaborate with my colleagues in ways that maximized our respective contributions. The breadth and depth of our individual experiences and perspectives tremendously improved our collective process and products.
I spent enough time in the Arizona State Archives last year to recognize such collections as historical treasure chests, but I have now participated in processing an archive’s content and navigating the ethical dilemmas those submissions sometimes create. Archivists and curators are the history profession’s truly unsung heroes, and their work facilitates society’s perception of itself.
My background in police work and public safety drew me to the archive’s existing Law Enforcement collection. In taking on that subset, I succeeded in reshaping the collection’s parameters to now include stories about police and law enforcement. I wanted to diversify the collection to encompass perspective of both the police and the public with whom they interact and serve. While some overlap exists between the Law Enforcement and Social Justice collections, each remains distinct. Through my contacts and writing, I promoted a Call for Submissions to an international audience of law enforcement professionals to reduce their relative silence within the archive.
Within the archive’s content, I recognized that one’s location might shape their pandemic experience, and I created and designed an Arizona-based exhibit to explore that. Further research and discussion with my mentors and colleagues ensured the exhibit illustrated these differences without excluding visitors whose diverse experiences could further enrich the archived and exhibited content. I am proud of my “Arizona’s COVID-19 Pandemics” exhibit, particularly because of its compressed, one-month incubation period. Beyond displaying images, data, and stories representative of the diverse pandemic experiences within the state, the ACP exhibit offers visitors numerous levels of interaction and engagement to became active participants and create their own exhibit experience. Visitors can complete opinion surveys, add a story to the archive, explore additional content related to the displayed pieces, view ever-changing results from pre-defined archival content searches, conduct their own archival search, view collective visitor survey results, and apply to join the staff. The exhibit’s searches will include the archive’s future submissions, which reshapes both the exhibit and the experience visitors may have with it.
A more detailed explanation of my ACP exhibit may be reviewed here: https://covid-19archive.org/s/archive/item/43037
Because of Dr. Kathleen Kole de Peralta and Dr. Mark Tebeau, I stand prepared to join research, curation, and exhibition teams and immediately contribute to their work products.
Despite my gratitude for this experience and the opportunities it presented, I look forward to the day COVID-19 is no longer part of humanity’s daily vernacular.
22 April 2021
While working as a curatorial intern on ASU's 'A Journal of the Plague Year' COVID-19 archive, I created this exhibit on the pandemic experience within the state.
In addition to obvious, overarching realities such as socioeconomic status and immediate access to healthcare systems, I initially believed one of the greatest deciding factors that determined one's experience in Arizona was an individual's residence in either predominantly urban or rural environments. The proposed exhibit had been originally titled "A Tale of Two Arizonas" to pay respect to Charles Dickens and the differing realities experienced here.
To test my proposed hypothesis, I went about finding data, stories, and submissions that substantiated or disputed my premise. Within a short time, I had identified four distinct environmental drivers of personal pandemic experiences; to me, that indicated the existence of many more I hadn't yet found or had overlooked along the way. My evidence suggested a minimum of four pandemic locales: Urban, Rural, Border, and Tribal within the State of Arizona and its fifteen counties. The recorded health data and personal experiences demonstrated the naivete of my initial hypothesis, and I retitled the exhibit: "Arizona's COVID-19 Pandemics."
The Exhibit Background section illustrates the vast dichotomies within Arizona in terms of population density and access to healthcare facilities. Given the virus's respiratory nature, these factors seemed especially relevant to driving diverse local experiences. I chose to include a flyer from the Coconino County Health and Human Services' "Face It! Masks Save Lives" campaign. The flyer included a specific line to "Stay Home When Sick" that seemed to illustrate a different public health paradigm than the broader "stay home" orders from Maricopa and Pima county. This section also features an image of Sedona's red rocks and a portion of The Wave to remind visitors of the wide-open rural areas accessible to all, as well as those with cultural significance to the Native American tribes and limited access to the general public.
The next section asks a short, five-question survey in which visitors may participate.
The Silver Linings piece features a short audio clip of a father and husband discussing some unexpected benefits of the pandemic. Visitors may explore additional Silver Linings stories and submit their own experience.
The Tséhootsooí Medical Center piece seeks to illustrate the different pandemic experience on the state's tribal lands. I hoped to inspire some relevant emotional turmoil for the visitors through the piece's visual presentation. I wanted to create a series of waves with quotes from the medical center's healthcare workers. I hoped visitors' attention would be drawn to the large, bolded key words, and that they would first experience the segments out of sequence because of that. After potentially feeling a sense of chaos, they might settle themselves into a deliberate reading of the texts and find their own order within the experiences provided here. This piece allows further exploration of Native submissions and topics, a review of an additional related news article, and a submission prompt that invites visitors to offer guidance to hospital managers.
The next piece illustrates the differences between mask mandates in communities across Arizona. In addition to hearing an audio clip of interviews with mayors and a public health official, visitors can explore additional submissions related to mask mandates and submit their thoughts on statewide mandates.
The Arizona Department of Health Services provides zip-code specific infection data on its website, and the wide array of known case infections therein further illustrates potential dichotomies across the state. In working to include and represent this data in a consumable way, I encountered inconsistencies with tribal data. The nation's Indian tribes are overseen by Indian Health Services, a federal public health agency, and it does not collect or report data in the same manner as the State of Arizona or its counties. At first glance, the data would seem to suggest that tribal areas had less severe pandemic experiences than the rural and urban areas, which was not objectively true. I wanted to offer the unedited data to visitors, allow them to drawn their own conclusions, and invite them to offer their thoughts on what potential misunderstandings might emanate from these reporting differences. Visitors may also choose to review the foundational data from this piece, as well.
I used the following two sections to offer submission prompts about the visitor's overall pandemic experience as a function of their location, as well as what they might have done if placed in charge of their city, county, or state during this pandemic.
A diverse Search section allows visitors to explore additional topics of interest to them. 23 hyperlinks offer pre-defined search parameters. An Advanced Search link allows self-defined research, and a Join The Staff link connects visitors with opportunities to work within the JOTPY archive.
A final section asks visitors to provide feedback on the exhibit, its content, and the pandemic in general.
Both surveys within the exhibit will display overall results to visitors who participate in them.
Through this process, I found incredible amounts and diversity of data outside the archive that spoke to these generally localized experiences, but not that much yet within the archive explained what Arizonans had experienced outside the state's urban environments. I created a call for submissions and delivered it to fifty rural entities that might help support the effort to collect and preserve more rural Arizona stories. Between all the local libraries, historical societies, museums, small-town mayors, and county health officials to whom I asked for help, I am optimistic the archive will better represent all Arizonans in the coming months and years. Despite the exhibit having been created, I ensured its internal search features would include future submissions and allow the exhibit to remain relevant long after its release.
During March and April 2021, I created an online exhibit from content within Arizona State University's "A Journal of the Plague Year" COVID-19 archive. Entitled "Arizona's COVID-19 Pandemics," the digital exhibit contained images previously submitted to the archive, along with several copyright-free images I found on pexels.com. I have attached all these images. Listed by their order of appearance within the exhibit, their sources are as follows:
1- "Face It" Campaign flyer: Coconino County Health & Human Services ( https://covid-19archive.org/s/archive/item/42998 )
2- Red Rocks, Sedona: Courtesy of Gregory Whitcoe via Pexels.com
3- Online Learning: Courtesy of August de Richelieu via Pexels.com
4- Tséhootsooí Medical Center staff: Courtesy of FDIHB Marketing Department and Navajo Times newspaper ( https://covid-19archive.org/s/archive/item/41189 )
5- Arizona's Mask Mandate Map: created by Sarandon Raboin ( https://covid-19archive.org/s/archive/item/26267 )
6- Arizona COVID-19 Infection Zip Code Map: Courtesy of Arizona Department of Health Services ( https://covid-19archive.org/s/archive/item/42035 )
7- Woman Shopping: Courtesy of Anna Shvets via Pexels.com
8- Woman on Rural Arizona Road: Courtesy of Taryn Elliot via Pexels.com
9- Masked Woman in Crowd: Courtesy of Redrecords via Pexels.com
10- The Wave: Courtesy of Flickr via Pexels.com (this image is found only in the PDF submission of the exhibit, not in the public-facing exhibit itself due to document formatting technicalities - the PDF version can be found at https://covid-19archive.org/s/archive/item/42998 )
These eight documents are the eight Public Health Emergency Orders issued by the Navajo Department of Health issued through 19 April 2021.
This article focuses specifically on Arizona's efforts to provide students with internet/technology access in order to achieve online learning. It goes into detail about how several Phoenix schools dealt with the pandemic and online learning in the spring semester of 2020 as well as discusses how some students dealt with internet access issues in creative ways, either due to lack of internet or hotspot issues. Some examples are utilizing hotspots or through just going to public areas despite quarantine conditions to complete schoolwork.
what impact covid 19 has had on my son
Conversation with Armani Richard and the impact of COVID-19 on Arizona education. Currently studying at Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College and fulfilling a promising career in the Army.
Conversation with Kristina Erickson an Arizona K-12 educator. Ms. Erickson weigh-ins on the March 15th executive order, in-person instruction, COVID protocols and procedures, and the future of education in her community
This is an oral history interview with Joan Church and Keith Sciarra. Keith gives his insight on how covid-19 has affected wildlife. Keith has many years working within wildlife, specifically with dolphins and ocean life. He gives us advice on how we can help the cause after covid and talks on the topic of ocean conservation.
This is the Arizona State University-specific COVID-19 resources for students. I wanted to include this University's specific resources because one of the people I interviewed attends ASU as a student and I want to provide this source as a supplement for some of the difficulty that he mentioned having in finding resources while living as a person experiencing housing instability. The website houses all messages and updates the university has sent to students with regard to the Coronavirus. The site focuses on health and staying healthy for students but seems to lack a clear guide on how to access resources and aid that students may qualify for.
The Navajo Nation has reinstated the “Stay-At-Home” order due to an increase of Covid-19 cases.
Two weeks ago, there was one day with zero reported cases. On Friday, there were 26 reported new Covid-19 cases.
My husband and I went camping in February 2021 at the White Tanks Regional Park.
This article from the Associated Press relays the arguments Pima County officials have made in keeping mask mandates in place despite recent orders from Governor Doug Ducey on 25-March-2021 that prohibit new mask requirements and phase out current restrictions previously issued by local governments across Arizona.
This news article from Laura Lollman of 3TV/CBS5 in Phoenix, Arizona, relays updated COVID-19 guidelines that Gov. Doug Ducey signed into place on March 25, 2021. These included a statewide phase-out of municipal and county mask mandates and prohibitions on new mask mandates; businesses may continue to require patrons and employees to use masks or face coverings; gatherings of more than 50 people no longer require permission from local governments; bars may fully open and choose to require patrons and employees to wear masks and social distance
This online news article from Catherine Holland of 3TV/CBS5 in Phoenix, Arizona, relays her assessment of key highlights in Arizona's pandemic history from the first anniversary of SARS-CoV-2's confirmed presence in Arizona on January 11, 2020.
Declaration of Emergency - COVID-19
WHEREAS, the World Health Organization declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on January 30, 2020, the United States Department of Health and Human Services declared a Public Health Emergency related to the COVID-19 outbreak on January 31, 2020, and the World Health Organization officially declared a pandemic due to COVID-19 on March 11, 2020; and
WHEREAS, globally there are 124,908 total confirmed cases and 4,591 total deaths to-date related to COVID-19, and the situation is rapidly evolving with person-to-person transmission and continued community transmission; and
WHEREAS, COVID-19 was first discovered in Wuhan, China, and is known to cause respiratory illness, which can result in severe disease complications and death; and
WHEREAS, Arizona is proactively leading on the COVID-19 response in the United States, as the third of 39 states that have confirmed cases of COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, the Arizona Department of Health Services and local public health departments have identified 9 cases of CO VID-19, including cases spreading in the community, and have additional patients under investigation linked to the global outbreak; and
WHEREAS, COVID-19 poses a serious public health threat for infectious disease spread to Arizona residents and visitors if proper precautions recommended by public health are not followed; and
WHEREAS, the Arizona Department of Health Services in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local public health departments have implemented disease surveillance and testing for confirmed COVID-19 case(s) and patients under investigation; and
WHEREAS, in Arizona, public health and health care systems have identified precautions and interventions that can mitigate the spread of COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, the Arizona Department of Health Services requires a more robust and integrated response to successfully combat the COVID-19 outbreak; and
WHEREAS, the Governor and the Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services have reasonable cause to believe the spread of COVID-19 can lead to severe respiratory illness, disease complications, and death for Arizona residents, particularly those with underlying medical conditions or the elderly; and
WHEREAS, it is necessary and appropriate to take action to ensure the spread of COVID-19 is controlled and that the residents of Arizona remain safe and healthy; and
WHEREAS, the Governor is authorized to declare an emergency pursuant to A.R.S. § 26-303(D) and in accordance with A.R.S. § 26-301(15).
WHEREAS, pursuant to A.R.S. § 26-307(A), a state agency, when designated by the Governor, may make, amend and rescind orders, rules and regulations necessary for emergency functions;
WHEREAS, pursuant to A.R.S. § 36-787(A), during a state of emergency declared by the Governor as a result of an occurrence or imminent threat of illness or health condition caused by an epidemic that poses a substantial risk of a significant number of human fatalities or incidents of permanent or long-term disability, the Arizona Department of Health Services shall coordinate all matters pertaining to the public health emergency response of the State; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to A.R.S. § 36-787(B) and (C), during a state of emergency declared by the Governor, the Governor, in consultation with the Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, may issue orders pertaining to the public health emergency response of the State; and
WHEREAS, pursuant A.R.S. § § 36-788 and 36-789, during a state of emergency declared by the Governor, the Arizona Department of Health Services, to protect the public health, may establish and maintain places of isolation and quarantine and require the isolation or quarantine of any person who has contracted or been exposed to a highly contagious and fatal disease;
WHEREAS, the Legislature has authorized the expenditure of funds in an event of an emergency pursuant to A.R.S. § 35-192; and
WHEREAS, Executive Order 2017-06 establishes the Arizona Emergency Response and Recovery Plan to assist in responding to emergencies including public health emergencies; and
NOW, THEREFORE I, Douglas A. Ducey, Governor of the State of Arizona, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and Laws of the State, do hereby determine that the COVID-19 outbreak presents conditions in Arizona, which are or are likely to be beyond the control of the services, personnel, equipment, and facilities of any single county, city or town, and which require the combined efforts of the State and the political subdivision, and thus justifies a declaration of a State of Emergency; accordingly, pursuant to A.R.S. §§ 26-303(0) and 36-787, I do hereby:
a. Declare that a State of Emergency exists in Arizona due to the COVID-19 outbreak, effective March 11, 2020; and
b. Direct that the State of Arizona Emergency Response and Recovery Plan be used, and the Division of Emergency Management to be engaged, as necessary or requested, to assist the Arizona Department of Health Services' coordination of the public health emergency response and authorize the use of state assets as necessary; and
c. Authorize the Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services to coordinate all matters pertaining to the public health emergency response of the State in accordance with A.R.S. Title 36, Chapter 6, Article 9;
This Emergency Declaration will be eligible for termination upon the resolution of the outbreak as determined by the Arizona Department of Health Services.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the Great Seal. of the State of Arizona.
GOVERNOR (Douglas Ducey)
DONE at the Capitol in Phoenix on this 11th day of March in the Year Two Thousand Twenty and of the Independence of the United States of America the Year Two Hundred and Forty-Fourth.
Secretary of State (Katie Hobbs)
"Senior officer says border migrant flow will only worsen"
By Lyda Longa, firstname.lastname@example.org, Mar 29, 2021
The situation with undocumented migrants flocking to the Southwest border of the United States from Mexico is only going to worsen, a senior Border Patrol agent warned Friday.
The agent, who spoke to various media outlets during a conference call, said at least 380,000 undocumented people had been apprehended at the Southwest border in February and the numbers would be higher for March and beyond.
The agent spoke on background with the agreement that media would not reveal his name.
“I fully expect to see the numbers increase as we go into the summer months,” the senior agent said, concerning migrant crossings.
In Cochise County that warning has begun to bear out near Douglas and in Willcox, where the already stretched-thin Border Patrol is arresting more single adults attempting to slip into the country or taking in and processing children who are flocking to the border unaccompanied.
Douglas Mayor Donald Huish said Friday the latest information he received this week from Border Patrol agents at the station just outside Douglas is that they’re confronting and repatriating about 100 single adults daily who are trying to slip in illegally.
“They are getting closer and closer to town,” Huish said.
What concerns Huish even more is that Border Patrol agents from the Douglas station are being pulled out to help in busier areas such as Yuma and Tucson.
“They’re siphoning them off to the western part of the state and leaving us with a skeleton crew,” Huish said.
In Willcox, Mayor Mike Laws said he was told two weeks ago by the Border Patrol there were 54 unaccompanied children at the Border Patrol station.
“That was two weeks go. Who knows now?” Laws said. “The station can only hold up to 81.”
Laws said he was told by Border Patrol that a “third party” has been arriving at the facility and taking 10 to 20 children to Phoenix by via bus. The mayor said he does not know how often the transportation comes or who the third party is.
“We have not seen anyone (undocumented migrants) running the streets so far,” Laws said. “All we have is the youths, but we don’t see them either.”
Laws and Sierra Vista Mayor Rick Mueller said citizens in their respective communities would gladly help the undocumented migrants but there aren’t enough resources available to do so. Laws, Mueller and other mayors in Cochise County signed a letter recently asking the federal government for help with the matter.
Last week, the town of Gila Bend, which has a population of about 2,000, declared an emergency after Border Patrol agents dropped off a group of migrant families with children in a park.
Gila Bend Mayor Chris Riggs told reporters he and his wife ended up using loaned vans to drive the families to the Phoenix Welcome Center so they would have a safe place to stay. Riggs said Border Patrol agents told him to expect more of the same.
Mueller said there have been no such issues in Sierra Vista, but he is worried that the municipality, if hit with something similar to what happened in Gila Bend, would have no resources to offer.
Last week Arizona senators Kyrsten Synema and Mark Kelly announced they’ve been pushing for more federal resources to help Arizona cities with a sudden influx of undocumented migrants. The senators helped secure at least $110 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency as reimbursement to cities that assist migrants left within their jurisdictions.
Also last week, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and Florida Senator Rick Scott — who sits on the Homeland Security Committee — called on President Joe Biden and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to visit the Southwest border. Ducey and Scott, accompanied by a handful of law enforcement and other elected officials, had toured a portion of the border near Douglas.
At his first press conference on Thursday since taking office in January, Biden said he would come to the border soon, but thought a visit now would deflect attention from the issue at hand.
The senior Border Patrol agent who spoke Friday, meanwhile, said 300 Border Patrol agents who work along the northern border of the U.S. have been “mandated” to the Southwest border to assist with the influx of migrants.
He said about 2,000 family units out of the 6,000 who are trying to cross daily are being processed in Texas by the Border Patrol. The agent revealed that unaccompanied children are being kept in Border Patrol facilities longer than the 72 hours established by law because too many are showing up and agents are overwhelmed.
“They’re keeping them a few days, sometimes up to a week,” the senior agent said.
Once an unaccompanied child is encountered, Border Patrol contacts the Department of Health and Human Services. The latter makes arrangements for the migrant children to be taken by the Office of Refugee Resettlement.
The agent also mentioned an increase in the criminal element among undocumented migrants.
“The threats we see are significant,” the senior agent said. “We have seen criminal (undocumented migrants).”
Additionally, he said that COVID testing for migrants is only being done in facilities in Del Rio, Texas, and soon in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. Other than that, testing is being undertaken by non-governmental agencies that are helping the migrants and U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement officials.
He said it was probable that some migrants with COVID-19 may have been released into communities.
By Rima Krisst | Mar 26, 2021 | CORONAVIRUS, People |
Tséhootsooí Medical Center workers share experiences
Wilberta “Billy” Jackson, public health nurse III
This pandemic has been the longest roller coaster of stress, grief, and loss. I’ve kept my routine simple – sleep, eat, and exercise. And, more sleep.
This has been and will probably be the most challenging time of our lives. I could focus on all the bad, but so much good has come from this, from community members stepping up, leaders rolling their sleeves up and getting dirty, how we came together to care for our elders, and so much more.
Professionally, we’ve adjusted and readjusted a million times over and completely changed how we deliver health care. We’ve had information, guidance, and policies being added or changing every day and we still were able to deliver health care in a safe, efficient manner.
At the beginning of the pandemic, our leaders were warning everyone about the health care system being overwhelmed. Most people thought about it in terms of hospitals running out of beds, but they didn’t think of it in terms of how an underfunded and shorthanded public health force would respond to a pandemic in a rural area with limited resources, and where a population’s most basic physiological and safety needs are not being met.
When you don’t have access to clean water, food, shelter and security, you’re not able to prioritize prevention measures until your basic human needs are addressed.
The resiliency of the Diné people is unrivaled.
The days I’m struggling or feel like giving up, I hear my grandmother’s words, and that’s what keeps me going. And my mother’s surprise delivery of Navajo soul food meals.
I’m a public health nurse, so it won’t come as a surprise that I’m excited about the COVID vaccines. We’ve already seen a substantial decline in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, so we know it’s working.
My hope is that our response to the next pandemic or health care crisis won’t be complicated by politics, lack of national strategy, lack of preparation, and misinformation.
Stacey Burnside, Primary Care registered nurse
What I have learned from this pandemic is to cherish every day and every person that you love.
COVID-19 has impacted my family and me profoundly. I lost an uncle and an aunt to COVID-19, and to this day, it is surreal that they are gone.
As a primary care nurse, it is difficult to hear about losing a patient to COVID-19, and at the peak, it was almost a daily occurrence…
The challenges that I faced during this pandemic were adapting to the changes in work roles and being separated from the people I love. The clinic that I worked in was closed when the pandemic hit the first peak, and I, along with my coworkers, was informed that we had to work in the Emergency Room.
The moment that I saw a patient who needed me to be their nurse, despite having COVID-19, humbled me. That moment in the ER humanized COVID-19 for me and made me realize that I was put there for a reason. No matter what the situation is, nurses adapt, and the teamwork and strength we draw upon each other are phenomenal.
A huge hit to me personally and professionally was losing a friend to suicide … dealing with grief, loss, and stress has been a daily thing.
What has helped me is drawing strength from my God, husband and son, and family. There are many negatives to the pandemic, but one positive that many have seen is the love and strength we have found among our families.
I am thrilled that we are at a point of a high vaccination rate in the Navajo Nation. I remember when I administered my first COVID-19 vaccine to a patient, it brought tears to my eyes, and I cried after work.
Leah Chattin, respiratory therapist
I’ve been a respiratory therapist since 2003. What I experienced throughout the first surge of COVID-19 here on Dinetah is not what you prepare for.
I see the impact on my life as deep internal scars that I buried and to resurface those experiences is a nightmare. Imagine the inability to fully take a deep breath, something so simple we take for granted.
Supporting my patients with breathing treatments, providing chest physical therapy, changing breathing devices constantly because the demand for oxygen escalates all in a 12-hour or more shift.
All these specialized techniques to avoid the last option of intubation, allowing an artificial airway introduced to your trachea with an opening at the tip to provide mechanical breaths from a mechanical ventilator.
Fear expressed from my patients was a frequent emotion. You are alone, isolated from your family, your loved ones, no familiar face to embrace, to celebrate your improvement or the worst, a decline despite the battle you have endured. I’d remind my patients not to give up…
Instinct took over because I’m a mother too, a nurturer. I can remember softly stroking their hair, holding their hands, shedding tears, praying, putting myself in that empty place at bedside where your family should be gathered, processing the grief. Accepting loss was tremendously difficult.
I lost myself because I did not decompress my emotions. My spirit slivered away slowly each time my patients faced rejection of our efforts to sustain life.
How I endured and sustained my sanity was prayer requests. Prayer was undoubtedly my saving grace.
This virus is fluidic, the path it took was unpredictable. I strongly believe we need to continue wearing a mask, following the CDC guidelines and begin or sustain our health and wellness. Putting into words my experience was not an easy effort, however it’s a pathway for healing. Every COVID patient I battled for will forever have a place in my heart.
Sandra Fouser, nurse executive of the Primary Care and Specialty Clinics
Seeing the virus cross the ocean and hit the heart of the Navajo Reservation forever changed our lives. As a health professional, I knew venturing into the unknown with limited protection meant some would survive and some wouldn’t.
What I have learned working on the front lines – compassion, cohesiveness, companionship, strength, sadness and mental stress. We have been battered, beaten, praised, comforted and have also received recognition from all walks of life.
I am proud to be a nurse.
I believe the strength to endure comes from resiliency and the people we work with and the support of our families at home. As nurses, we cannot stand still. I feel it is in our blood to help and move forward.
I have lost friends, coworkers, relatives and patients. The grief I feel is palpable, almost more than I can handle. Seeing my family, staff and patients suffer through illness and grief has been very challenging and heartbreaking.
As a team, I believe when something happens to one of us, we all feel the effects, we grow closer and find comfort in each other.
I see the vaccine as a progression toward eradicating the detrimental effects of this virus and giving us hope that there is a better tomorrow and that Hózhó will be restored.
Dr. Karen Williams, hospitalist physician
I am a Native physician (Mountain Maidu/Apache) and Indian Health Service Professional Scholar.
When the pandemic started our hospitals were suddenly overwhelmed with large numbers of very ill patients needing oxygen. Some patients who worsened were placed on a “life support” or ventilators since they could no longer breathe on their own.
Despite our best medical management efforts, including use of high-flow oxygen, there were patients who did not survive.
I witnessed more death in a year than I have ever experienced in my career. This was traumatic for me because every day I came to work I felt like I was coming into a war zone.
We saw people struggling to breathe and fighting for their life. We heard family members saying their goodbyes to their loved ones and crying over the phone. We held hands of those who took their last breath and witnessed co-workers not able to control their tears.
If it were not for our team efforts, almost a military-style mentality, we could not have managed.
As a hospitalist physician, the biggest challenge was ensuring that I had the most up-to-date medical knowledge to save a patient’s life. During the beginning of the pandemic many doctors throughout the country did not feel prepared. This was quickly overcome by learning medical strategies used by doctors throughout the world.
The treatments used included steroids, anticoagulant medications, and high-flow oxygen. We had the support of our hospital’s incident command leadership and adapted to the changes. This included being able to offer our patients who needed oxygen a federal Drug Administration-approved “emergency use” medication called Remdesivir, and more recently Bamlavinimab for non-hospitalized patients
My experiences on the front lines were psychologically and physically overwhelming … I sought support from elders and used my Native spirituality for strength. I also sought protection support from traditional Indian practitioners who set up a tipi and hogan outside the hospital for employees.
I sometimes thought twice about the danger I was in. However, I acknowledged that I would never walk away. This is a result of my obligation to the Native community and the hundreds of patients I had gotten to know for so long. I “warriored up” in my mind and sought to do the best I could.
I do not foresee an end to mask wearing, and now recognize how careful we all must be to protect each other. I saw too many elders get severely ill and even pass away from COVID as a result of young family members not being careful and bringing it home.
I have encouraged community members and my own family to get the vaccine as soon as possible. I received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine and said a prayer in my Native way each time for protection.
Natasha Topaha, certified medical assistant, Mobile Unit
Overall, this year has been extremely challenging, but also has reinforced my personal strength and resiliency. I have had ongoing concerns throughout the epidemic regarding my kids’ isolation and their mental health.
It has been difficult, but doable, to manage both working in health care and supporting my family both emotionally and physically. I had constant worry about bringing the virus home and infecting my family given that I was working in high risk areas and providing COVID testing, vaccines and social and mental health support to patients.
I found that doing outdoor activities with my family, such as bike riding and hiking, helped me ease my stress and helped teach my children some healthy coping skills. And we could spend time together!
I feel very happy and grateful in both receiving the vaccine and being able to provide it to patients and the community. I feel safer at work and at home now.
Johnny Willeto Jr., facility manager/logistics chief
The strength to endure comes from within yourself. For me this began in my childhood as the son of Delphine Damon Willeto and Johnny Willeto Sr., who nurtured me to become a great human being. They taught me to be a courageous, productive worker and know my limitations.
As a facilities manager, my main focus and responsibilities are the protection in the physical environment of all who walk through the doors of Fort Defiance Indian Health Board’s facilities.
All we knew is that COVID-19 was airborne and surface communicated. I treated it as you would tuberculosis and ensured that my staff had adequate PPE to help protect them when they are tasked with working in the patient care areas.
This responsibility was a big challenge when trying to procure medical equipment such as masks, gloves, safety glasses, gowns, scrubs, and so forth.
Having an MBA has allowed me to flourish in this high stress environment and to adjust with adaptations to finding supplies and creating new relationships with trustworthy suppliers.
Being in close proximity to patients who are struggling with getting well can be heart wrenching.
Being able to fulfill my duties in the support role to the best of my ability for my community and teammates has allowed me to sleep well at night knowing that I gave it my all.
I have lost a brother-in-law who contracted the virus in the Scottsdale area of Arizona.
These were very difficult times because as Navajos we are accustomed to comforting each other by a hug or handshake. With COVID, gatherings are not safe, so having family meetings for planning the funeral is off and also the funeral usually consists of 10 minutes before the burial with only a few close family in attendance.
One of the biggest assets I have gained is the spiritual belief in God and keeping the communication open by saying my prayers often – to be thankful for the blessings that have come my way or when asking for strength to endure the hardships.
In my free time I isolate on the Willeto Sheep Ranch in Goatsprings Valley, Arizona, where I tend 120 sheep and goats. Being able to separate the everyday stress and recharge is paramount to going forward with courage and mental sharpness to make the right choices for the organization, patients and employees.
The vaccines are an effective tool to help reduce the mortality of the virus on us and give us protection to this invisible enemy.
Corinne Legah, Environmental Service supervisor
Personally, I was scared when I first heard of the spread of the virus overseas. It was shocking how fast the virus traveled.
In the beginning our team was needed to help keep the hospital sanitized and safe for patients. We reinforced training on the cleaning process for the airborne/droplet virus. I constantly stressed wearing PPE and hand washing.
I am so proud of the team for stepping up by protecting our patients. They became warriors to fight the virus.
I believe without my husband’s support and God I would not have been able to cope. I have lost friends and family from this virus. It saddens me that many of our people are now in the spirit world.
Being a Native and growing up with Navajo beliefs, I had to be strong. My ancestors went through so much and our people are resilient. Prayer is our strength.
I cried when I watched the news when the vaccine was given to the first person in the U.S. If everyone gets their vaccine we will be able to interact with family again. I am looking forward to that day!
By Rima Krisst | Mar 9, 2021 | CORONAVIRUS, News |
President Jonathan Nez proudly said last week that the Navajo Nation had exceeded its goal of administering 100,000 COVID-19 vaccine shots by end of February, crediting tireless health care workers who have been serving seven days a week to plan vaccinations and administer the vaccines.
On Tuesday, the president’s office reported that 135,161 COVID-19 vaccine shots have gone into arms on the Navajo Nation, which represents 92% of the total 146,980 doses received and includes 48,800 persons who have had their second shots.
This means that over 26% of the approximately 327,000 enrolled Navajos have gotten a shot through the Navajo Area Indian Health Service and tribal health care system, which is an amazing feat.
By comparison, in New Mexico 22.4% of the population (738,705) has been given at least one shot. Arizona has administered at least one shot to 17.1% of the population (1,847,750), with Utah trailing behind at 12.2% receiving at least one shot (687,925), according to the CDC data vaccine tracker.
And as of March 2, 15.3% of the U.S. population had received at least one shot, with 76.9 million shots administered, including 25.4 million receiving the second dose. Approximately 1.8 million vaccines per day are being administered daily in the U.S.
So, percentage-wise, Navajo is outpacing both neighboring states and the general U.S. population.
On a Feb. 25 IHS media call, IHS Chief Medical Officer Rear Adm. Michael Toedt reported that as of Feb. 18 the IHS had also achieved its goal of administering 400,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine “across IHS, tribal, and urban Indian Health programs,” representing 16% of the “target population,” with 6.3% receiving two doses.
“This milestone was reached ahead of schedule despite severe weather, making travel to health facilities difficult across much of Indian Country and leading to shipping delays,” said Toedt.
Toedt said most IHS facilities have now vaccinated the majority of their priority populations and are moving into Phase 2, which includes those who work in higher risk settings such as schools and prisons.
“Very shortly we expect that everyone who needs a vaccine will be able to receive it,” he said.
Toedt credited IHS and tribal health care employees across the country who are committed to ensuring the protection of tribal communities in 11 geographic areas covering 26 states and 349 health facilities, many in rural and remote locations.
“We have had an amazing partnership with our tribes to use all available resources to help with delivery of vaccine,” said Toedt.
This included distribution and redistribution of vaccines by ground and air transportation as needed.
Toedt said the IHS has also conducted over 2 million COVID-19 tests at a higher per capita than most states and is reporting a seven-day average test positivity rate of 4.5%, below the 5.6% all-races rate in the U.S., despite the fact that COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact on American Indians/Alaska Natives.
The Navajo Nation has conducted 245,085 COVID-19 tests resulting in 29,774 positive cases.
Coordinated public relations campaigns in partnership with tribes have been key to the success of the vaccine rollout, said Toedt.
Navajo Area IHS Chief Medical Officer Loretta Christensen agreed, saying public messaging has been critical.
“This collaboration is one of the reasons we’ve been extremely successful,” said Christensen. “Honesty and transparency, developing that trust with the people you are serving is vital. We have spent a great deal of time on that relationship with our Navajo people to encourage them to be vaccinated.”
She said the communication process has been very unified across Navajo and with the president’s office, using social media, radio, and a bilingual approach.
“This is constant public education,” she said. “We encourage people in a very personal way that we would like them to be safe, keep their families, their communities safe. We feel very fortunate and grateful that our population has really stepped up.”
Toedt acknowledged there has been some vaccine hesitancy relating to how quickly the vaccines were developed and whether or not they are completely safe, which has made some people distrustful.
According to IHS Public Affairs Specialist Joshua Barnett, a recent IHS-funded survey by the Urban Indian Health Institute reported that 75% of Native Americans were willing to get a vaccine and 74% believe that doing so is their responsibility to help protect their community.
“I’m confident that the process for vaccine development has the full integrity and completeness of time necessary to make sure these vaccines are safe, but it’s our job as healthcare providers to communicate that in a way that’s acceptable and trusted by our population,’ said Toedt. “We know our efforts are working and we’re seeing good delivery and acceptance of these vaccines in our communities.”
Reaching the homebound
Christensen said one of the strongest assets in the Navajo vaccination campaign has been the collaboration between public health nurses and community health representatives in reaching out to community members at the local level, including homebound elders and persons with disabilities.
“These are the people out in the rural areas that know the families, that know the homes,” said Christensen. “We rely on them for that person-to-person contact out in the communities.”
She said between 4,000 to 5,000 homebound individuals have actually been vaccinated at home or close to home.
Moving forward with the goal of getting the Navajo population vaccinated and achieving “community immunity,” Navajo Area IHS wants to make sure that all 27,000 square miles of the Nation have been penetrated, said Christensen.
“We want to be able to target any communities, populations or subgroups that have perhaps maybe not been able to get vaccinations,” she said. “So, our first step is to heat-map our whole area and then focus on those populations that are perhaps more rural or don’t have easy access to healthcare facilities.”
“Our goal is to get every single person vaccinated and to keep our populations in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah safe,” she said.
Christensen said her team will be working with chapters to identify anyone who might have been missed.
They have also reached out to Navajos living off reservation and have established an online registry to help people find a place to get their vaccination.
“We highly encourage them to come back if they need to and we will certainly take care of them and their families,” she said.
In regard to surveillance for COVID-19 variants, Toedt said IHS does contribute its tests to state public health labs as well as different large lab corporations such as TriCore, LabCorp. and additional processes for genomic testing are in development.
“The samples that are included through those mechanisms are sampled through the CDC’s processes to test for genomics,” said Toedt.
Christensen said similarly the Navajo Area and the Health Command Center are working to establish more specific genomic surveillance within Navajo Nation.
“In the meantime, we are participating in testing both in New Mexico and Arizona,” said Christensen.
Christensen said the Navajo Epidemiology Center has also reached out to bordering states requesting any relevant information on variants be shared.
“We all stand by ready to support this process and we are hopeful that we will have more specific information for Navajo Nation very soon,” she said.
Christensen confirmed that she was not aware of any variants having been identified on the Navajo Nation from random sampling.
“We have requested that information but we have not received it as of yet,” she said.
Any adverse events, or serious side effects, related to vaccinations within IHS are collected and reported to the same CDC system that collects the data nationally, said Toedt, but the data broken down by individual tribes is not publicly available.
“We are part of that Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System through the CDC,” said Toedt. “All adverse drug reactions are investigated by the CDC to determine what category it goes in and how they analyze data.”
Navajo Area is gathering information on any adverse events on the Navajo Nation, but there are patient privacy issues when it comes to sharing that publicly, said Christensen.
“We do, as (health care) institutions across Navajo Nation, share basic data with each other when we’re doing best practices,” she said.
Christensen would not answer whether or not there had been any adverse events on the Nation.
“I will say we have done very well with these vaccines,” she said. “There are certainly side effects which have been well defined, but we’ve had minimal significant adverse events. I cannot quantify that for you, but we are tracking those events across Navajo Nation.”
As far as keeping everyone safe after being vaccinated, Toedt said it’s still important to continue to wash your hands, stay six feet apart and to wear a mask.
This is because vaccinated persons can theoretically still contract COVID-19 and spread it after being vaccinated, although they may not have any symptoms due to protection from the vaccine.
There are also still many unknowns related to COVID-19 variants and to what extent they may evade vaccine protection, be more transmissible, or cause more serious disease.
“We have been trying to report on possible variants most recently, explaining that we don’t have all the information yet on what the long term effects of those variants are,” said Christensen. “So we highly suggest that you still watch your distance, wash your hands and wear your mask.”
Christensen said public messaging encouraging everyone to abide by the public health protocols in place, regardless of vaccination status, will continue until there is community immunity.
In numbers: Tracking COVID-19 Across the Navajo Nation
By Navajo Times | Mar 29, 2021 | CORONAVIRUS |
On Sunday, Navajo Nation health officials reported 7 new COVID-19 cases. A total of 30,059 people have been sickened by the coronavirus.
The rate of decrease in new cases is slowing. Nevertheless, the seven day average is 7 new cases per day, a decrease of 30 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
On a per-capita basis, about 3 cases for every 100,000 people on the Navajo Nation are active. This means the Navajo Nation has the lowest per-capita cases anywhere in the 50 U.S. states.
No new deaths were announced, leaving the total at 1,246 casualties of the virus. At least 16,342 people on the Navajo Nation have recovered.
More than 8 of 10 people on the Navajo Nation have received at least one dose of the vaccine, or 86.3 percent of the population as of March 26, according to the Navajo Area Indian Health Service. A spokesperson for the Navajo Area IHS says 244,209 people get health care from it. Of those, 196,902 have received at least their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. That number includes 88,891 people, or 36.4 percent, who are fully vaccinated, according to the spokesperson.
Caution is still warranted: Highly contagious variants of the virus continue to spread. The more lethal U.K. variant is doubling every 10 days throughout the United States. It now represents more than half of new U.S. cases. Many jurisdictions near the Navajo Nation are relaxing COVID restrictions. Some health experts warn that easing up right now is too soon. It could lead to an increase in new cases.
Health experts recommend continued vigilance in wearing masks, social distancing, avoiding socializing with people outside your immediate household, and hand-washing. Double-masking also is recommended.
For those who are fully vaccinated, the CDC still recommends wearing a mask and hand-washing; although social restrictions are more relaxed. Follow this link for complete CDC guidance for those who are vaccinated: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html
Although the Navajo Nation has relaxed some restrictions, a daily curfew remains in efffect from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Businesses may remain open until 9 p.m.
Positive Test Rate
The estimated percentage of people who tested positive was 1.2 percent on Sunday. The 7-day average positive test rate was estimated at 1.9 percent.
The World Health Organization recommends a 7-day average positive test rate of less than 10 percent for two weeks in a row. Localities that have a test rate of 3 percent or less are most successful in containing COVID-19, according to the WHO.
At Hopi, one new cases was reported overnight, bringing the total to 1,376. The Hopi radio station reported on its Facebook page that at least 120 people have died since the pandemic began last year, but the Hopi Tribe has not consistently reported fatalities from the virus.
The following charts and maps show the extent and location of the coronavirus on and near the Navajo Nation. Hover over, tap or click the map markers and graph for expanded information.
(Last updated March 29, 2021 at 10:44 a.m. MDT.)
Growth of COVID-19 on Navajo Nation and Hopi Reservation
Mar 16, 2020 2
Mar 18, 2020 3
Mar 20, 2020 14
Mar 21, 2020 26
Mar 23, 2020 29
Mar 24, 2020 39
Mar 25, 2020 69
Mar 26, 2020 71
Mar 27, 2020 92
Mar 28, 2020 115
Mar 29, 2020 128
Apr 1, 2020 214
Apr 2, 2020 214
Apr 4, 2020 321
Apr 5, 2020 354
Apr 6, 2020 384
Apr 7, 2020 426
Apr 8, 2020 488
Apr 9, 2020 558
Apr 10, 2020 597
Apr 11, 2020 698
Apr 13, 2020 813
Apr 14, 2020 838
Apr 15, 2020 921
Apr 16, 2020 1,042
Apr 17, 2020 1,127
Apr 18, 2020 1,197
Apr 20, 2020 1,206
Apr 22, 2020 1,282
Apr 23, 2020 1,360
Apr 24, 2020 1,540
Apr 25, 2020 1,637
Apr 26, 2020 1,716
Apr 27, 2020 1,769
Apr 28, 2020 1,873
Apr 29, 2020 1,977
Apr 30, 2020 2,141
May 1, 2020 2,292
May 2, 2020 2,373
May 4, 2020 2,474
May 5, 2020 2,559
May 6, 2020 2,654
May 7, 2020 2,757
May 9, 2020 2,976
May 10, 2020 3,122
May 11, 2020 3,202
May 13, 2020 3,392
May 14, 2020 3,632
May 15, 2020 3,740
May 16, 2020 3,912
May 17, 2020 4,002
May 18, 2020 4,071
May 19, 2020 4,153
May 20, 2020 4,253
May 21, 2020 4,434
May 22, 2020 4,529
May 23, 2020 4,633
May 24, 2020 4,689
May 25, 2020 4,794
May 26, 2020 4,842
May 27, 2020 4,944
May 28, 2020 5,044
May 29, 2020 5,145
May 30, 2020 5,250
May 31, 2020 5,348
Jun 1, 2020 5,479
Jun 2, 2020 5,533
Jun 3, 2020 5,661
Jun 4, 2020 5,730
Jun 5, 2020 5,808
Jun 6, 2020 5,918
Jun 7, 2020 6,020
Jun 8, 2020 6,110
Jun 9, 2020 6,150
Jun 10, 2020 6,275
Jun 11, 2020 6,378
Jun 12, 2020 6,470
Jun 13, 2020 6,554
Jun 14, 2020 6,611
Jun 15, 2020 6,633
Jun 16, 2020 6,672
Jun 17, 2020 6,747
Jun 18, 2020 6,832
Jun 19, 2020 6,894
Jun 20, 2020 6,963
Jun 21, 2020 6,990
Jun 22, 2020 7,045
Jun 23, 2020 7,088
Jun 24, 2020 7,157
Jun 25, 2020 7,278
Jun 26, 2020 7,320
Jun 27, 2020 7,414
Jun 28, 2020 7,469
Jun 29, 2020 7,532
Jun 30, 2020 7,549
Jul 1, 2020 7,613
Jul 2, 2020 7,669
Jul 3, 2020 7,733
Jul 4, 2020 7,804
Jul 5, 2020 7,840
Jul 6, 2020 7,914
Jul 7, 2020 7,941
Jul 8, 2020 7,981
Jul 9, 2020 8,042
Jul 10, 2020 8,098
Jul 11, 2020 8,124
Jul 12, 2020 8,187
Jul 13, 2020 8,243
Jul 14, 2020 8,290
Jul 15, 2020 8,370
Jul 16, 2020 8,486
Jul 17, 2020 8,536
Jul 18, 2020 8,568
Jul 19, 2020 8,593
Jul 20, 2020 8,617
Jul 21, 2020 8,639
Jul 22, 2020 8,684
Jul 23, 2020 8,734
Jul 24, 2020 8,768
Jul 25, 2020 8,837
Jul 26, 2020 8,891
Jul 27, 2020 8,912
Jul 28, 2020 8,927
Jul 29, 2020 8,968
Jul 30, 2020 9,019
Jul 31, 2020 9,055
Aug 1, 2020 9,068
Aug 2, 2020 9,103
Aug 3, 2020 9,139
Aug 4, 2020 9,156
Aug 5, 2020 9,195
Aug 6, 2020 9,223
Aug 7, 2020 9,257
Aug 8, 2020 9,293
Aug 9, 2020 9,308
Aug 10, 2020 9,315
Aug 11, 2020 9,334
Aug 12, 2020 9,356
Aug 13, 2020 9,394
Aug 14, 2020 9,412
Aug 15, 2020 9,423
Aug 16, 2020 9,447
Aug 17, 2020 9,469
Aug 18, 2020 9,486
Aug 19, 2020 9,500
Aug 20, 2020 9,519
Aug 21, 2020 9,531
Aug 22, 2020 9,545
Aug 23, 2020 9,547
Aug 24, 2020 9,557
Aug 25, 2020 9,573
Aug 26, 2020 9,597
Aug 27, 2020 9,601
Aug 28, 2020 9,780
Aug 29, 2020 9,789
Aug 30, 2020 9,800
Aug 31, 2020 9,820
Sep 1, 2020 9,830
Sep 2, 2020 9,847
Sep 3, 2020 9,871
Sep 4, 2020 9,883
Sep 5, 2020 9,891
Sep 6, 2020 9,900
Sep 7, 2020 9,901
Sep 8, 2020 9,903
Sep 9, 2020 9,915
Sep 10, 2020 9,933
Sep 11, 2020 9,952
Sep 12, 2020 9,969
Sep 13, 2020 9,977
Sep 14, 2020 9,982
Sep 15, 2020 9,992
Sep 16, 2020 10,059
Sep 17, 2020 10,083
Sep 18, 2020 10,090
Sep 19, 2020 10,107
Sep 20, 2020 10,119
Sep 21, 2020 10,131
Sep 22, 2020 10,141
Sep 23, 2020 10,167
Sep 24, 2020 10,212
Sep 25, 2020 10,237
Sep 26, 2020 10,269
Sep 27, 2020 10,290
Sep 28, 2020 10,312
Sep 29, 2020 10,333
Sep 30, 2020 10,355
Oct 1, 2020 10,369
Oct 2, 2020 10,404
Oct 3, 2020 10,421
Oct 4, 2020 10,441
Oct 5, 2020 10,454
Oct 6, 2020 10,501
Oct 7, 2020 10,546
Oct 8, 2020 10,582
Oct 9, 2020 10,632
Oct 10, 2020 10,675
Oct 11, 2020 10,696
Oct 12, 2020 10,728
Oct 13, 2020 10,737
Oct 14, 2020 10,780
Oct 15, 2020 10,819
Oct 16, 2020 10,857
Oct 17, 2020 10,913
Oct 18, 2020 10,955
Oct 19, 2020 10,969
Oct 20, 2020 10,999
Oct 21, 2020 11,030
Oct 22, 2020 11,101
Oct 23, 2020 11,151
Oct 24, 2020 11,217
Oct 25, 2020 11,298
Oct 26, 2020 11,362
Oct 27, 2020 11,386
Oct 28, 2020 11,462
Oct 29, 2020 11,603
Oct 30, 2020 11,694
Oct 31, 2020 11,753
Nov 1, 2020 11,828
Nov 2, 2020 11,875
Nov 3, 2020 11,947
Nov 4, 2020 12,080
Nov 5, 2020 12,195
Nov 6, 2020 12,288
Nov 7, 2020 12,447
Nov 8, 2020 12,571
Nov 9, 2020 12,641
Nov 10, 2020 12,720
Nov 11, 2020 12,818
Nov 12, 2020 12,971
Nov 13, 2020 13,069
Nov 14, 2020 13,249
Nov 15, 2020 13,373
Nov 16, 2020 13,596
Nov 17, 2020 13,744
Nov 18, 2020 13,880
Nov 19, 2020 14,085
Nov 20, 2020 14,441
Nov 21, 2020 14,612
Nov 22, 2020 15,039
Nov 23, 2020 15,236
Nov 24, 2020 15,374
Nov 25, 2020 15,616
Nov 26, 2020 15,862
Nov 27, 2020 15,954
Nov 28, 2020 16,223
Nov 29, 2020 16,427
Nov 30, 2020 16,595
Dec 1, 2020 16,711
Dec 2, 2020 17,035
Dec 3, 2020 17,310
Dec 4, 2020 17,495
Dec 5, 2020 17,738
Dec 6, 2020 17,915
Dec 7, 2020 18,163
Dec 8, 2020 18,324
Dec 9, 2020 18,575
Dec 10, 2020 18,943
Dec 11, 2020 19,199
Dec 12, 2020 19,420
Dec 13, 2020 19,608
Dec 14, 2020 19,766
Dec 15, 2020 19,929
Dec 16, 2020 20,095
Dec 17, 2020 20,395
Dec 18, 2020 20,569
Dec 19, 2020 20,810
Dec 20, 2020 21,019
Dec 21, 2020 21,177
Dec 22, 2020 21,327
Dec 23, 2020 21,513
Dec 24, 2020 21,833
Dec 25, 2020 21,833
Dec 26, 2020 22,155
Dec 27, 2020 22,155
Dec 28, 2020 22,371
Dec 29, 2020 22,526
Dec 30, 2020 22,776
Dec 31, 2020 23,090
Jan 1, 2021 23,429
Jan 2, 2021 23,581
Jan 3, 2021 23,728
Jan 4, 2021 23,841
Jan 5, 2021 23,978
Jan 6, 2021 24,247
Jan 7, 2021 24,521
Jan 8, 2021 24,776
Jan 9, 2021 24,979
Jan 10, 2021 25,216
Jan 11, 2021 25,383
Jan 12, 2021 25,383
Jan 13, 2021 25,746
Jan 14, 2021 25,952
Jan 15, 2021 26,073
Jan 16, 2021 26,287
Jan 17, 2021 26,383
Jan 18, 2021 26,448
Jan 19, 2021 26,517
Jan 20, 2021 26,612
Jan 21, 2021 26,782
Jan 22, 2021 26,955
Jan 23, 2021 27,109
Jan 24, 2021 27,484
Jan 25, 2021 27,573
Jan 26, 2021 27,665
Jan 27, 2021 27,887
Jan 28, 2021 27,987
Jan 29, 2021 28,075
Jan 30, 2021 28,217
Jan 31, 2021 28,325
Feb 1, 2021 28,388
Feb 2, 2021 28,471
Feb 3, 2021 28,544
Feb 4, 2021 28,668
Feb 5, 2021 28,796
Feb 6, 2021 28,872
Feb 7, 2021 28,897
Feb 8, 2021 28,937
Feb 9, 2021 28,994
Feb 10, 2021 29,041
Feb 11, 2021 29,098
Feb 12, 2021 29,167
Feb 13, 2021 29,205
Feb 14, 2021 29,269
Feb 15, 2021 29,283
Feb 16, 2021 29,308
Feb 17, 2021 29,336
Feb 18, 2021 29,386
Feb 19, 2021 29,464
Feb 20, 2021 29,509
Feb 21, 2021 29,535
Feb 22, 2021 29,551
Feb 23, 2021 29,576
Feb 24, 2021 29,602
Feb 25, 2021 29,655
Feb 26, 2021 29,710
Feb 27, 2021 29,719
Feb 28, 2021 29,740
Mar 1, 2021 29,754
Mar 2, 2021 29,774
Mar 3, 2021 29,794
Mar 4, 2021 29,816
Mar 5, 2021 29,838
Mar 6, 2021 29,857
Mar 7, 2021 29,866
Mar 8, 2021 29,873
Mar 9, 2021 29,887
Mar 10, 2021 29,900
Mar 11, 2021 29,911
Mar 12, 2021 29,930
Mar 13, 2021 29,945
Mar 14, 2021 29,948
Mar 15, 2021 29,954
Mar 16, 2021 29,957
Mar 17, 2021 29,968
Mar 18, 2021 29,987
Mar 19, 2021 29,992
Mar 20, 2021 29,998
Mar 21, 2021 30,007
Mar 22, 2021 30,007
Mar 23, 2021 30,010
COVID-19 Cases on the Navajo Reservation
Chinle AZ IHS
Tuba City Regional Health
Shiprock NM IHS
Gallup NM IHS
Fort Defiance NM IHS
Crownpoint NM IHS
Kayenta AZ IHS
Utah Navajo Health System
Number of cases
Community Presumptive Positive Tested Positive Died Recovered
Navajo Nation 0 12483 1205 16,212
Chinle AZ IHS 5496 0 0
Tuba City Regional Health Care 6 5324 0 0
Shiprock NM IHS 0 5018 0 0
Gallup NM IHS 0 4729 0 0
Fort Defiance NM IHS 0 3562 0 0
Crownpoint NM IHS 0 2861 0 0
Kayenta AZ IHS 0 2642 0 0
Winslow IHS 0 1948 0 0
Zuni reservation 0 1454 0 0
Hopi reservation 0 1372 120 0
Utah Navajo Health System 0 1064 0 0
NOTE: Navajo Nation officials have been reconciling discrepancies for July and August data. At the end of August, in a press release, the president’s office added 165 cases that occurred between April 6 and Aug. 12. Then, on Sept. 8, they added 2 more cases for July. Health officials also added 16 more deaths to the overall tally at the beginning of September. According to a news release, the deaths occurred between May and August. Officials blamed several states for delayed results. On Sept. 16, officials added 49 previously unreported cases in New Mexico.
SAFFORD – The Graham County Department of Health and Human Services has announced that starting Monday, March 22, any resident of Graham County who is 18 years old or older will be eligible to receive a vaccine for COVID-19.
Those who would like a COVID-19 vaccination should contact their primary care physician or schedule an appointment with the health department by clicking here.
Those who schedule appointments will currently be given the two-shot Moderna vaccine at the Graham County Health Department Vaccination Center at 627 W. Main Street in Downtown Safford.
The health department will announce a clinic for the one-shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine at a later date.
While the Pfizer and Moderna two-shot vaccines utilize messenger RNA, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine works through a different mechanism and uses the more traditional DNA, which is introduced to the nucleus of cells with an adenovirus which is modified so it cannot replicate itself and cause disease. All three vaccines have been approved for use by the federal government and have safety records in good standing. All prompt the body to produce T-cells, which retain a memory of the protein and attack it.
“We would like to thank everyone for their support as we have navigated through the COVID-19 pandemic this past year,” said Graham County Health Department Director Brian Douglas.
Gila Health Resources in Greenlee County will hold a COVID-19 vaccine drive at the Morenci Club Hall at 314 Plaza Dr. in Morenci on Friday, March 19, from 1 – 8 p.m.
At the vaccine drive, any adult resident of Greenlee County or those who work in Greenlee County can show up to receive a dose of the Moderna vaccine with no appointment or registration necessary.
By Jacob Holter/Cronkite News
WASHINGTON D.C. – Children from 6 months up to 12 years old could soon start getting the COVID-19 vaccine in Phoenix as part of a trial of the drug’s effectiveness on young people.
Drug-maker Moderna announced this week that Phoenix will be one of the cities where it will test smaller doses of its COVID-19 vaccine, which has currently only been approved for adult use, on preteens. The company has already started trials of the vaccine on teenagers.
While children have proven to be less susceptible to the disease, health experts say it’s important to have the option of a vaccine for younger kids as schools reopen and to improve the odds of “herd immunity” for the overall population.
“The reason we want to make sure that all of these kids get vaccinated is so we can truly achieve herd immunity. We don’t want to have little pockets of people who might be infectious and not be protected,” said Dr. Georges C. Benjamin, director of the American Public Health Association.
The preteen trials were announced Tuesday by Moderna, one of three pharmaceutical companies with vaccines approved for emergency use in adults in the U.S., along with Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson. Moderna and Pfizer vaccines require two doses, while the newer Johnson & Johnson vaccine has a one-dose protocol.
The announcement came the same day that the Arizona Department of Health Services announced that just over 1 million Arizonans have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. Overall, the state has administered about 2.6 million doses to a little more than 1.6 million people.
Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said in a statement that more than 53 million doses of his company’s version of the vaccine have been administered in the U.S., but “this pediatric study will help us assess the potential safety and immunogenicity of our COVID-19 vaccine candidate in this important younger age population.” The statement said the new trials would take place in the U.S. and Canada.
Dr. Steven Plimpton, the lead investigator for the Phoenix trial, said Tuesday that his office has “already gotten hundreds of calls” from parents interested in getting their children into the trial. He said parents interested in the trial in Phoenix can go to the KidCOVE site for more information or can call 602-368-1928 or 866-913-5454.
One University of Arizona expert said it will likely take a little while to get the trials in motion.
“I would say sometime in the next several weeks, as they get recruitment on board and they have a critical mass to start with and they have all of the aspects of the trial set up in terms of location, staffing, and everything that they need in place,” said Dr. Shad Marvasti, director of public health and prevention at the University of Arizona College of Medicine.
Moderna said that children in the first phase of the trial will receive doses of 25, 50, or 100 micrograms of the vaccine – an adult dose is 100 – depending on their age. Results from that phase will be used to determine dosages in a second phase when come subjects will get a placebo.
Ultimately, Moderna expects to include 6,750 children in the latest trials.
“The adult dose for the Moderna is 100 micrograms, but they are starting with 25 micrograms and then basically watching folks and kids to see how they react,” Marvasti said. “If that looks good and there are no major issues, then they will have a group of kids in the study with 50 micrograms and then if that looks okay they will have another group that has 100 micrograms.”
He added that Moderna’s trust that the vaccine is safe enough to begin trials on kids could have the added benefit of helping to quell vaccine hesitancy among others.
“Hopefully, depending on the results, it will help give people more confidence to get the vaccine, especially if it proves to be as safe and effective in children as it has been in adults,” Marvasti said.
The announcement of the preteen trials also comes as the state has ordered schools to begin to resume in-person schooling, after a year in which most students have attended class virtually.
Benjamin said that with schools reopening, in Arizona and across the U.S., a vaccine for youth would make a definite difference in controlling the virus, as it would prevent kids from spreading it to each other and then bringing it home with them. Vaccination would also expedite kids’ ability to return to normal.
“Getting kids vaccinated, I think, will certainly improve their quality of life and their ability to effectively interact with their friends,” he said.
March 22, 2021 - by News Director
SAN CARLOS – The San Carlos Apache Healthcare Corporation is proud to present a COVID-19 vaccine drive-through clinic for SCAT members and their family and friends of the surrounding communities of Globe, Miami, Superior, Hayden, Winkleman, Kearny, Pima, Thatcher, Safford, and Morenci.
Our SCAHC Vaccination team will be administering the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine at the San Carlos High School, on Saturday, March 27, from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. No appointment is necessary.
For the Pfizer vaccine, those receiving it must be 16 years of age or older (must have a parent/legal guardian consent if under 18)
For the Moderna vaccine, those receiving it must be 18 years of age or older.
Please remember to bring your state ID. There is no charge for the vaccine.
By Jon Johnson
SAFFORD – Graham County has had very few new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the past month, lowering its numbers to just 147 active cases as of Thursday.
According to the Graham County Department of Health and Human Services, Graham County has had a total of 5,355 confirmed cases for the course of the pandemic, with 5,132 listed as being recovered, 147 active, and 76 deaths in more than a year.
No new cases were recorded Thursday, and, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services COVID-19 school dashboard, Graham County had just a 1 percent positivity rate as of the week of March 14. That is good for a tie with Apache County for the second-lowest percent positivity rate out of Arizona’s 15 counties. Only Greenlee County, which registered a zero percent positivity rate from Feb. 27 – March 14, had lower.
With the lower cases statewide and vaccine rollout, Governor Doug Ducey issued an Executive Order on Thursday, rolling back several COVID-19 mitigation measures involving businesses and gatherings. This comes as other states roll back their COVID-19 mitigation measures as well.
The rollout of the various COVID-19 vaccines has picked up steam in the last month, with the state opening up the vaccine to anyone 16 years old or older for the Pfizer vaccine. Anyone 18 years old or older can be administered the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. The San Carlos Apache Healthcare Corporation is holding a free, drive-through vaccine clinic on Saturday, March 27 at the San Carlos High School. No appointment is necessary. The clinic will be administering both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
Graham County and Greenlee County are also providing vaccination sites for those 18 and older, and provide the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
According to the Greenlee County Health Department, the county currently has just nine active cases of COVID-19.
For the course of the pandemic, Greenlee County has had 568 confirmed positive cases (by far the lowest out of any of Arizona’s 15 counties), with 549 recovered cases, nine active, and 10 deaths.
Covid-19 changed the way we deliver Mental Health Services. This is my personal story of how it felt and what it required to provide Trauma Psychothery during the Pandemic.
Interviewee: Maryann Ricketts
Interviewer: Joan Church
Location: Chandler, Arizona
Transcriber: Joan church
Maryann Ricketts is a 64 year old woman who resides in Chandler, Arizona with her husband and two loving cats. This pandemic has hit all of us hard but it has hit some of us harder than others. Maryann has been retired for a few years now and has had many hobbies since retiring. Her hobbies include volunteering for homeless shelters, working with animal shelters, and keeping busy with her new grandson. She has always kept busy and this pandemic has made it hard for her to see all her loving friends and family and also keeping busy. She has realized throughout it all that she is very grateful for everyone she has. In this short oral history Maryann explains what something positive is that has come from this pandemic.
Interviewee: Kathy Brooks
Interviewer: Joan Church
Location: Tempe, Arizona
Transcriber: Joan church
Kathy Brooks is a 60 year old woman who resides in Tempe, Arizona with her husband, son, and dachshund. This pandemic has hit all of us hard but it has hit some of us harder than others. Kathy has been retired for years now and usually would spend her days at home painting or gardening even before the pandemic. It seems now with the pandemic though she now feels the need to go out and do things that were possible before but are no longer possible. She loves shopping so this pandemic has helped her by stopping her from shopping as much as before, although online shopping is still an option for her. In this short oral history interview Kathy goes into detail on this subject.
ASU is now vaccinating people on campus. Members of the ASU community receive an email when they are eligible. I am eligible and have tried making an appointment twice, but the appointments are always full. After you get a vaccine, employees are supposed to upload a copy of their vacine to an ASU website.
As the vaccines were getting rolled out in Arizona, we were excited to learn that Arizona State University faculty fit into category 1B, as teachers. When the Arizona Patient Portal opened for 1B appointments on January 11 we dropped by the site at lunchtime, worried that we'd missed our opportunity. As luck would have it there were appointments available on January 15 at State Far Stadium in the wee hours of the morning. We were surprised as we'd heard the rollout of the site had met with difficulties earlier in the morning; we chose the a time just after midnight on the morning of the 15th, rather than at 4am (which seemed just too awkward.)
On the 15th, we were antsy and hoped that the wait would not be too long; we decided to leave a bit early for the stadium, which is an hour drive from our home. As we arrived, we saw the shining portable lights of the vaccination center, just south of the stadium, in a parking lot. We navigated to the entrance and were delighted that nobody appeared to be waiting. Volunteers directed us through an elaborate maze of lanes, and traffic cones. (Many of my friends, in fact, served as volunteers, partly out of civic duty and partly to get the vaccine.) We showed one registrar our appointment slips (from the state website), and he wrote our appointment numbers on the window of my car (in either sharpie or wax pencil). We briefly waited in another line, as two registrars sitting under portable heaters that are so common on chilly winter nights in Arizona (normally you'd encounter them at restaurants.) They checked our identification and entered our names into the system, as well as asked about our health. From there we were directed around more cones into traffic lanes, leading up to where the vaccinations were delivered. Again, after a brief wait, and more checking our registration--confirming our appointment numbers (written on the windows) and names--we entered a tent. Two nurses briefed us on the vaccine and delivered our shots. They directed us to a waiting area, where we were asked to wait 15 minutes in case of an adverse reaction.
And, voila, it was over--in under an hour.
Fall high school sports in Arizona were delayed and in some cases canceled completely. My daughter, an 11th grader at Cactus Shadows High School, is on the cheer team and was disappointed not to have her usual, very full cheer season. Football games finally were allowed to happen, and four home games were put on the schedule. They ended up only playing 3 due to quarantines with both our own team and opponents, and they were allowed to attend one away game. Our school is also known for a very rowdy and fun student section, so it was sad to be at the game without students in the stands, and only four spectators per athlete. At least they got to cheer- even in masks- and got some semblance of a football season.
Already more than a month into Arizona's vaccination program, the state has just announced its second vaccination site for the Phoenix area, one of the largest metro areas in the US. The rollout has been slow, with only a little more than half of one million people having received the vaccine as of 30 January, 2021.
This picture shows what I get when I try to schedule a COVID-19 vaccination through the Arizona Department of Health Services website. I'm basically out of luck for the time being. It is good that a vaccine is available now and the end of the pandemic is in sight, but the process is frustrating.
While I understand that our state agency had to develop their website in a short time, they've known for months that vaccines were on the way. Their site is needlessly complex, buggy, and non-informative. I initially got hung up on a page that required me to enter my health insurance information; it took several tries and a few phone calls to figure out exactly what I needed to enter in each of the fields.
Once I get through, I can't find an open appointment. There is no indication on the webpage, but it seems that the system returns no open appointments for me because I am not yet eligible. My mother who is more than 75 years old has managed to get an appointment and get her first shot.
I'm concerned that many other people, particularly the elderly who need the vaccination more than others, will not get access to them because they will not be able to navigate through the website. I have read a number of media reports about this. It seems like poor planning to set up a process that relies on individuals to use the internet without offering an alternative.
97-year-old Alexander White, a Holocaust survivor, got a vaccine with a push from Arizona lawmakers.
97-year-old Alexander White, a Holocaust survivor, got a vaccine with a push from Arizona lawmakers.
This photo was taken a few minutes before 1:00 PM on Friday, March 13, 2020 at the Arizona Historical Society Heritage Center in Tempe. That day stands out as the day everything started shutting down due to COVID-19. I had set out for an appointment in downtown Phoenix, but found out it had been cancelled when I was about halfway there. I got my Lyft driver to change course and head to the Heritage Center instead so that I could take care of some other business. As all this was happening, a rather freakish thunderstorm broke out. That same day, my son received an email from the University of Arizona advising him not to return from Spring Break, and I found out that Arizona State University would conduct all classes on line for the rest of the semester. The following Monday, my wife was sent home early to work remotely and has continued to do so ever since. Looking back after ten months of the pandemic (whoever dreamed it would go on this long?), this picture symbolizes the start of the whole chaotic ordeal.
In October, my friend and I decided to go to the Wonderspaces art instillation in Scottsdale. They had a new interactive experience where a robot would draw you. They were adamant in telling us that we must leave our masks on the entire time, or we would be asked to leave. It was interesting to be around everyone in masks enjoying art but with out acknowledging each other. What you see is the end product. forever a memory of this pandemic.
This is an interview with Clay Carpenter. Clay Carpenter was born in Devils Lake, North Dakota and grew up multiple small North Dakota towns. He studied Elementary Education and Physical Education at the University of North Dakota, where he met Melody Carpenter, his wife. They moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where they work in the education system. They had a son, Dakota Carpenter, and moved to Arizona shortly after. In Arizona they continued to work as educators with Clay teaching in elementary school, middle school, and high school before becoming a high school administrator,. While working in Arizona they adopted two sons, Artem Carpenter and Andrey Carpenter. Clay’s long experience in the field of education as both a teacher and an administrator provides him with a wealth of knowledge, experiences, and a view of the changes made in the education system. In this interview, he reflects on the coronavirus and the affect it has had on the education system, students, and teachers.
Over the past 14 weeks, I have had the opportunity to work on The Journal of the Plague Year digital archive with Arizona State University. I learned a vast amount over the course of the internship, such as how to write press releases, collection plans, blog posts and other forms of advertising for the archive. I also learned about the ins and outs of archiving and the behind-the-scenes considerations that are involved in building and maintaining an archive.
This was my very first graduate school class and as such, I wasn’t sure that starting with an internship was the best idea, but after the first week or two I realized that this was the perfect way to start, since it was basically getting a preview of the type of work someone in the public history field would be doing and I got very excited, determined that this was the type of career I wanted to pursue.
The writing for publication skills that I have started to develop, I think will be extremely valuable as those skills are not just applicable to public history, but any career field really. The oral history project also provided the opportunity to work on my interviewing skills. Oral histories are vital to the study of history and even though this is an area I still need to work on, at least now I have the basic foundation to build on.
For my collection within the archive, I chose to focus on Law Enforcement, as that is a community that is near and dear to my heart. I currently work in law enforcement and I have family that does as well. When we discussed silences in our weekly readings, we talked about how to identify silences and how to work towards filling them. I noted that there were very few if any, submissions to the archive from the perspective of law enforcement so I wanted to work towards filling that silence.
Overall, this internship was a great experience and entry into both the public history field and graduate studies. I know that the skills I have developed here will serve me well as I continue my graduate studies!
From March through August, I walked through the environs of downtown Tucson to make images capturing the effect of the pandemic.
From March through August, I walked through the environs of downtown Tucson to make images capturing the effect of the pandemic. After the murder of George Floyd, I also documented the aftermath of the resultant demonstrations during the end of May and June.
After 7+ months of isolation and with our museum closed to the public for most of this year, my coworker and I - archivists at the Arizona Historical Society in Tucson - were delighted to look out the library window and see the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile parked in front of the newly-opened hotel across the street. And to preface this story - this hotel just opened during a pandemic after construction delays all year, and working across the street we've been subjected to the horribly annoying sounds, smells, and dust of construction ALL DAY LONG for this entire year. But as soon as our last researchers left the museum, we raced outside to take pictures with some of the other museum staff. The amount that the unexpected visitor has made us laugh this week has really brought out how tough this year has been on us all mentally, so much so that the tiniest thing has made us smile more than we have in months (and despite the fact that we're all die-hard opponents of capitalism and I'm a vegetarian).
Arizona is seeing a surge in its cases again as winter approaches. The state is nearing 1,000 new cases a day with hospitalizations and ventilator usage is increasing.
We had to find ways to beat cabin fever, and that was hard because it was the hottest summer on record in Arizona. We took mini trips to Sedona, Tucson, and Camp Verde. We hiked and did as much outside as we could on cooler days. The kids enjoyed taking trips, because they couldn't see their friends or play with them during the lockdown.
My husband, two daughters and I drove up to Flagstaff, Arizona for a few days of relaxation and fun. Less than 2 hours from our home, Flagstaff is a mountain town and about 30 degrees cooler. As Arizona is opening up the state after the quarantine, there is evidence of safety precautions and practices everywhere.
At the hotel, the seating area in the lobby was blocked off, and the free breakfast was a sack breakfast that you requested from the front desk. Even the bar area where there is usually a free happy hour was closed. The front desk staff wore masks, and they even had a sign up suggesting handshake alternatives. Housekeeping staff did not do a daily cleaning as a way to limit contact with guests.
While out and about, most stores and restaurants were open, but with new policies in place. Every store and restaurant required masks for customers and had signs stating such at entrances. Some restaurants still only offered takeout, but others had patio space and limited indoor seating available. The first night we had dinner at Beaver Street Brewery and sat outside. We ordered our food at the bar before we were seated, then it was delivered to our table. There was very little interaction between guests and employees. The second night we did takeout from another local place, The Lumberyard, and took it to a local park for a picnic. Stores were limiting customers, requiring masks and encouraging social distancing by having barriers by the cash registers requiring distance between the cashier and the customer. In the downtown area, all public parking meters were covered, so customers could park for free while venturing out to stores and restaurants.
The most important recently opened area for our family was the Mt. Humphry trail in the Kachina Peaks Wilderness. My husband climbed the mountain while we enjoyed the beautiful weather and scenery. There were no special restrictions on the mountain, but all of the hikers maintained space and were considerate of others. After being at home for so long, getting away for a day or two was wonderful. It also allowed us to get a glimpse of what the next few months could look like, and how we will adjust to lives with masks and restrictions. I refuse to call it a new normal, but a temporary adjustment is just fine.
Guidelines issued by the Arizona Department of Public Health to school districts concerning graduation ceremonies. ADHS did not recommend holding ceremonies, but if districts decided to they should follow the guidelines. CCUSD held 11 smaller ceremonies and followed all CDC, ADHS and their insurance carriers recommended safety guidelines. Guidelines outlined by the CDC were part of the recommendation.
A waiver that parents and students had to sign in order to attend smaller graduation ceremonies. Cactus Shadows High School offered 11 smaller ceremonies to graduates and 2 guests as an option since the traditional ceremony was canceled.
Letter from our Principal, Jim Swetter, about the alternative graduation ceremonies for 2020 Cactus Shadows High School seniors.