Business

Information roundup: State to take a position hundreds of thousands in universities for COVID-19 efforts, OSIRIS-REx mission approaches vital second – Arizona Public Media

information-roundup-state-to-take-a-position-hundreds-of-thousands-in-universities-for-covid-19-efforts-osiris-rex-mission-approaches-vital-second-arizona-public-media

Arizona COVID-19 one-week snapshot, Sept. 24

This map tracks changes in reported COVID-19 numbers over a one-week period. Since last week, Arizona reported 4,192 new cases (2% increase), 150 more deaths (3% increase) and a statewide positive test rate of 5.6%. The state reported a daily average of 599 cases and 21 deaths. Choose a layer and click on a county to learn more.

Credit: Nick O’Gara/AZPM. Sources: ADHS, county health departments, Census 2018 Quick Facts. *Test numbers are totals including diagnostic and serology tests. Positive test rate is calculated using reported case and test totals. Daily reports may not reflect recent data, the state says.

Cases 215,852 | Deaths 5,559

On Thursday, Sept. 24, the state reported 566 new cases of novel coronavirus and 34 additional deaths. The seven-day rolling average of news cases has been increasing in recent weeks, according to the Associated Press.

State to invest additional $14 million in universities for COVID-19 efforts

AZPM

Gov. Doug Ducey praised the efforts of Arizona’s three state universities on Thursday during a press conference highlighting their research and efforts toward controlling the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ducey began by quickly running through various metrics tracking the spread of the pandemic, pointing to major drops in the state’s percent positivity and hospital beds in use from their heights in July.

Joined by President Robert Robbins of the University of Arizona, President Michael Crow of Arizona State University and President Rita Cheng of Northern Arizona University, Ducey said the state will spend an additional $14 million on their collective efforts toward controlling the spread and developing research to help the state and nation respond. That includes $8 million for additional testing and surveillance at universities, and $6 million for ASU to help it continue developing its “point in need” test.

That test, which Crow described, will allow a user to spit into a device that returns results of a COVID-19 test in minutes. He estimated it would be ready in about six months. It would be first deployed to health care workers and first responders, but eventually would be for widespread public use.

OSIRIS-REx mission nearly ready for sample collection

AZPM

Space scientists are closing in on a critical phase of the University of Arizona-led Osiris Rex mission.

The spacecraft is set to move in close enough to grab a sample of rocky soil from the asteroid Bennu October 20. UA planetary scientist Dante Lauretta said the sampling site has been photographed and examined to the smallest detail.

“We have a team of students at the University of Arizona that are expert asteroid rock counters and they counted hundreds of thousands of rocks at the scale of two centimeters and smaller,” Lauretta said.

It will be the first try for mission planners picking up a sample. Lauretta says the team has scheduled a backup sampling maneuver in case the first attempt doesn’t work out. Osiris Rex will bring the sample back to Earth for study in 2023.

Football will be played in the PAC-12 this fall after all

AZPM

The Pac-12 conference has reversed its decision to cancel its college football season. The reversal comes a week after the Big-10 Conference made the same decision.

Conference teams will play an abbreviated seven-game season beginning Nov. 6 and the conference championship game will be played Dec. 18.But no fans will be allowed to attend games held on conference campuses. The full schedule of games is expected to be released in the next few days.

In August, both Pac-12 and Big Ten medical advisers called for the season to be canceled following the emergence of reports linking potential serious cardiac side effects from the virus, as well as worries that athletes would be not able to travel safely.

The decision affects the University of Arizona and Arizona State University both of which play in the conference.

Schools South Of The Border: Some Sonoran Students, Families Struggle For Education Amid The Pandemic

Fronteras Desk

Thirty million million students in Mexico go to school now by switching on the TV to watch classes being broadcast throughout the country.

Upbeat teachers speak directly to the camera from brightly lit TV studios as they present lessons on math, civics, music and other subjects with perky assistants, some of whom act out the role of students, since the real ones are on the other side of the screen.

In Mexico, all elementary and middle school classes started being broadcast on TV and radio on Aug. 24. The idea was to make distance learning more accessible to families who don’t have internet access.

But that hasn’t meant easy access to education for everyone

Learn more here.

Fake news a growing threat in 2020

AZPM

The circulation of fake news is complicating the upcoming presidential election. That’s according to a University of Arizona researcher who studied false stories that appeared in the run up to the 2016 contest.

UA law professor Derek Bambauer co-authored a report that identified hoaxes, propaganda, online trolling and satire. He’s updating that study with one that focuses on events in 2020. Bambauer explained the distribution of fake news stories has become harder to stop despite recent efforts by online platforms.

“Even if we come up with effective intervention, fake news is fast and intervention is slow,” he said.

Bambauer notes purveyors of fake news have refined their tactics to make false stories look more authentic. He says fake news is also impacting the way people view the coronavirus pandemic, and could make a difference in how much trust there is in a COVID-19 vaccine.

Bars, Clubs In Sonora Prepare To Reopen Starting This Week

Fronteras Desk

State officials have opened the door for bars, cantinas and nightclubs in Sonora to resume business as early as this week — with restrictions. Establishments will only be allowed to stay open until midnight and operate at half capacity, and must implement temperature checks and other coronavirus safety practices.

The reopening comes after months of demands and protests from the industry, said Manuel Lira, state representative for the national restaurant association.

Learn more here.

Arizona sees 566 new virus cases, very low hospital counts

AP

PHOENIX — Arizona hospitals continue to get a break from the influx of coronavirus cases that nearly overwhelmed their ability to care for patients early in the summer. But new case counts are again edging up.

Virus counts released Thursday by the state Department of Health Services show 566 new confirmed cases across the state. That brings the total since the pandemic hit to 215,852. The state announced 34 new deaths, bringing that total to 5,559.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Arizona has risen over the past two weeks. That increase may in part be due to the state now counting some “probable” cases.

Learn more here.

FBI raises reward for info on Navajo Nation double homicide

AP

PHOENIX — The FBI now is offering up to a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible for a double homicide on the Navajo Nation six months ago.

The bodies of 39-year-old Matthew Reagan and his 29-year-old brother Philip Reagan were found on March 21 in Sawmill, Arizona. FBI officials say the two men were traveling from Ohio to California and were passing through Sawmill at the time of their deaths. They say it appears the brothers’ car became stuck and they may have been walking for help when they were killed. Authorities ruled both deaths a homicide.

Learn more here.

Black man held at gunpoint by Arizona officer seeks $2.5M

AP

PHOENIX — A Black man has filed a $2.5 million claim against the Arizona city of Tempe after a police officer held him at gunpoint while looking for an armed white suspect at a hotel. The Arizona Republic reports the claim — a precursor to a lawsuit — was filed by hotel employee Trevonyae Cumpian over his Aug. 29 detention by Officer Ronald Kerzaya.

Video shows Kerzaya held Cumpian at gunpoint despite Cumpian not matching the suspect description. Kerzaya wouldn’t lower his gun until he confirmed Cumpian was an employee. The suspect was not found.

Tempe spokeswoman Nikki Ripley says the city hasn’t yet received a copy of the notice.

Learn more here.

Fake news a growing election threat

AZPM

The circulation of fake news is complicating the upcoming presidential election. That’s according to a University of Arizona researcher who studied false stories that appeared in the run up to the 2016 contest.

UA law professor Derek Bambauer co-authored a report that identified hoaxes, propaganda, online trolling and satire. He’s updating that study with one that focuses on events in 2020. Bambauer explained the distribution of fake news stories has become harder to stop despite recent efforts by online platforms.

“Even if we come up with effective intervention, fake news is fast and intervention is slow,” he said.

Bambauer notes purveyors of fake news have refined their tactics to make false stories look more authentic. He says fake news is also impacting the way people view the coronavirus pandemic, and could make a difference in how much trust there is in a COVID-19 vaccine.

Trump won’t commit to peaceful transfer of power if he loses

AP

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is declining to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the Nov. 3 presidential election. Trump told reporters Wednesday he would “have to see what happens” when asked about the matter. Trump’s Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, responded by asking, “What country are we in?”

It is highly unusual that a sitting president would express less than complete confidence in the American democracy’s electoral process. But he also declined four years ago to commit to honoring the election results if his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, won.

Learn more here.

0 Comments

admin

Reply your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*