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Sun, May 16

245 new COVID-19 cases in Yavapai County in past day

YAVAPAI COUNTY – Yavapai County Community Health Services Thursday reported 245 new COVID-19 cases and one death in the past day.

Included in that total are 84 new cases in the Verde Valley, 38 of which were documented in Cottonwood.

Prescott, with 76 cases, and Prescott Valley, with 55, have been the hardest hit communities in Yavapai County during the past 24 hours.

Since testing began in January, the county has confirmed 6,220 COVID-19 positive tests, 126 deaths and 2,782 recoveries.

Yavapai Community Health Services has confirmed 2,277 cases in the Sedona-Verde Valley region since testing began. That total includes:

-932 confirmed in Cottonwood.

-499 in Camp Verde.

-308 in Sedona.

-157 in Clarkdale.

-144 in Rimrock.

-122 in Cornville.

-101 in the Village of Oak Creek.

-13 in Jerome.

-One case elsewhere in the Verde Valley.

YCCHS reports 65,737 people in Yavapai County have been tested for COVID-19 with 90.5% of those being negative.

Women outpace men by a 3,399-2,821 margin for positive COVID-19 tests in Yavapai County, according to YCCHS.

Hospital Reports

Thursday morning, Verde Valley Medical Center reported 28 COVID-positive patient admitted with no tests pending. The Cottonwood hospital showed a census of 60 patients with seven in critical care.

Flagstaff Medical Center reported 29 positive tests with 17 results pending. FMC has admitted 189 patients; 30 of those patients are in critical care.

See nahealth.com/covid-19-resources.

Governor Ducey unveiled a series of new mitigation measures designed to curb spiking caseloads and hospitalizations Wednesday:

• An increase of $60 million to cover additional staffing at AZ hospitals, with a report from ASU predicting hospitals exceeding capacity in December.

• Local governments must post, enforce measures for public events. Going forward, if a jurisdiction approves an event, it must publicly post the precautions organizers have committed to taking and enforcing on their website and submit a copy to the state Department of Health Services. Local governments also must dedicate additional resources to their own enforcement of mitigation measures.

• Ducey highlighted revised state health department policies for businesses that fail to follow health and safety guidelines designed to slow the spread of COVID-19. Those businesses will still get a warning and an opportunity to comply the first time someone complains, he said. But if a second, valid complaint is made, the business will face closure.

• Restaurant owners who wanted to extend their dining areas onto sidewalks and public rights of way previously faced “red tape” involving liquor licenses and local permits, according to Ducey, something that resulted in longer wait times for diners. In response, the governor issued another executive order relaxing those restrictions to encourage a shift to outdoor dining. He backed it up with $1 million from the state’s Crisis Contingency and Safety Net Fund. Restaurants can receive up to $10,000 each for items such as outdoor furniture, barriers, patio heaters and patio covers.

• The state’s distribution plan already had health care workers, law enforcement officers, residents of long-term care facilities and other vulnerable populations at the front of the line. Ducey stressed the importance of adding educators to that list.

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