Arizona State Representative Matt Gress (R-Phoenix) released a statement Friday applauding the new executive rulemaking from Governor Katie Hobbs (D) that aims to increase access to childcare services in the state.
“This policy is designed to expand opportunities for Arizona’s working families and provide more options for their children when they are not in school,” Gress said. “Given the lack of providers for school-age children, it is crucial that we increase the supply of childcare centers to better serve our communities. For parents that qualify for federal subsidy, this effort will help ensure that parents can continue to work and provide for their families. I applaud the Governor for taking action on this important issue.”
Arizona State Representative Quang Nguyen (R-Prescott) announced Thursday that his bill, HB 2194, to reinstate the Drug Overdose Fatality Review Team (DOFRT) had received Gov. Katie Hobbs’s signature.
“Prevention works and the data provided by the Review Team to help with that is essential to combating dangerous narcotics and overdoses,” said Nguyen. “Entities such as MATForce in Yavapai County, prosecutors, and the State Legislature depend on information from the Review Team to identify and implement recommendations to prevent overdoses.”
Gov.-Elect Katie Hobbs’ selection of Pima County Health Director Dr. Theresa Cullen to lead the Arizona Department of Health Services marks another likely point in policy changes in contrast to outgoing Gov. Doug Ducey’s administration.
Cullen promoted strict coronavirus measures in the county, which includes Tucson, when it came to precautions like masking, and she has become a high-profile voice in the Arizona medical community.
Arizona State Sen. Nancy Barto (R-Phoenix) called for an overhaul in the Arizona State Hospital (ASH), a psychiatric care facility, to better protect nurses and patients and create stronger accountability.
“While the Arizona Department of Health Services [AZDHS] claims this incident was a rare occurrence, I’ve been contacted over the years by numerous courageous whistleblowers from within the system that have provided disturbing testimony on the many dangerous incidents, injuries, patient conditions and the lack of staffing that has led to what I see as a collapse of operations at the Arizona State Hospital,” said Barto.
Arizonans enjoyed a cooler and wetter summer in 2021 but so did mosquitos, which caused West Nile virus infections at rates multiple times higher than previous years.
As of Dec. 23, the Arizona Department of Health Services recorded 1,567 known or probable cases of the virus. The agency attributes 99 deaths to the virus.
By contrast, 2020’s dry summer saw 11 total cases and two deaths, one of the lowest years of transmission since the virus was first discovered in 2003. The only year Arizona recorded more cases was in 2004, when the state had 391 cases.
Students in Arizona’s public schools failed reading and math assessments at higher rates this spring than before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Test results from the AzM2 and MSAA – Arizona’s two statewide assessments conducted annually – show around oner-third of students who took the tests passed them, though the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) warns not to read too deeply into the low scores.
Gov. Doug Ducey announced on Wednesday that Dr. Cara Christ, Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) Director, is leaving her position on August 27 to become chief medical officer for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona.
“When Cara Christ became a doctor, she did it to help others and save lives. That’s exactly what she’s done,” Ducey said in a news release. “She dedicated countless hours to protecting millions of Arizonans from the COVID-19 pandemic — and she’s done it with grace, stability and confidence.”
Despite fears that COVID-19 cases are surging in Arizona due to the state’s low vaccination rate and the emergence of the delta variant, new cases barely exceed 1,000 per day. The most recent data from Worldometer, which is cited by reputable organizations and governments around the world, shows the number of new daily cases was 1,043 on July 21. The number of new cases has stayed generally between 500 and 1,000 since the beginning of March.
The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) informed The Arizona Sun Times that the White House hasn’t contacted them about the Delta variant response teams.
The Biden Administration announced in a press briefing last week that it would be launching these response teams due to the expectation of a surge in the COVID-19 Delta variant, which they claim is more infectious and dangerous. White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients explained that these response teams would have five focuses: increase testing and contact tracing; provide therapeutics for the infected; deploy federal personnel for vaccination, testing, and therapeutics; assist with public health response work like epidemiology, data analysis, field investigations; and increase vaccinations through campaigns.