Weekend wrap-up: The biggest Arizona stories from Aug. 7-9
PHOENIX — There were fewer than 1,000 new coronavirus cases in Arizona on Sunday for the first time in two months. A judge issued an order regarding Gov. Doug Ducey and gyms in the battle for re-opening. Temperatures broke a state record.
Here are some stories that headlined the Arizona news cycle over the weekend.
PHOENIX – Arizona health authorities reported 816 new coronavirus cases and 13 additional deaths on Sunday morning.
The numbers on Sunday brought the state’s documented totals to 186,923 COVID-19 infections and 4,150 fatalities, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.
It is the first time since June 8 that fewer than 1,000 new cases were reported. The state on June 29 reported 625 cases, however, a reporting partner missed the deadline to be included in the cases that day.
Multiple key metrics about the severity of Arizona’s pandemic, including coronavirus-related hospitalizations, are at or near the lowest they’ve been in weeks.
The rolling seven-day average for newly reported cases was 1,300.71 on Saturday, the lowest since June 16, according to tracking by The Associated Press.
PHOENIX — Sonora Quest Laboratories is accused of violating the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act with false claims over coronavirus testing times.
In a letter to Sonora Quest, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office called for the laboratory to halt claims about processing tests in 24 to 72 hours when processing has taken upwards of nine days.
“At this critical juncture in Arizona’s battle with COVID-19, testing turnaround times are incredibly important to consumers, health care providers, and society at large,” Assistant Attorney General Joshua Weiss said in a letter Friday.
“Misrepresenting testing capabilities undercuts contact tracing, and frustrates consumers’ ability to change their behavior and notify others they may have infected.”
PHOENIX – An Arizona judge who gave the state one week to provide gyms with a way to apply for reopening has rejected Gov. Doug Ducey’s motion to delay enforcement of the order.
That doesn’t necessarily mean the state’s indoor fitness centers are any closer to being allowed to reopen, although one chain owner appears ready to move ahead next week.
“The Executive Orders are in full force and effect and there is nothing preventing the Executive Branch from enforcing those orders and preventing the spread of the coronavirus,” Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Timothy Thomason’s Friday ruling says. “The only thing that this Court’s Order did was require a modicum of due process to aggrieved parties.”
Thomason’s denial came two days after Ducey filed the delay motion in a lawsuit brought by the Mountainside Fitness and EOS Fitness chains.
PHOENIX — Arizona set a record on Sunday afternoon and it’s not a good one.
The temperature in Phoenix climbed to 110 degrees for the 34th calendar day in 2020, according to the National Weather Service, breaking the record from 2011.
An Excessive Heat warning went into effect for Phoenix at 9 a.m. Sunday and is scheduled to last until Monday at 8 p.m. with temperatures expected to reach upwards of 114 degrees on Sunday and 112 degrees on Monday.
PHOENIX — Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich is warning residents about recent scams associated with coronavirus test results.
Scammers may be calling individuals claiming they have their COVID‑19 test results, but in reality are trying to get patients’ personal information or tricking them into incorrectly paying money, Brnovich said in a press release Thursday.
“Unfortunately, whenever there’s a crisis it brings out the best in some people and the worst in other people,” Brnovich told KTAR News Thursday. “We have seen the scammers now trying to prey on the Covid pandemic.”