In Arizona, voter outreach groups become lifelines for people hit by COVID-19

Laveta Brigham

Imelda Quiroz, a staff member of Mi Familia Vota, talks to a voter while door-knocking in Phoenix on Sept. 12. <span class="copyright">(Melissa Gomez / Los Angeles Times)</span>
Imelda Quiroz, a staff member of Mi Familia Vota, talks to a voter while door-knocking in Phoenix on Sept. 12. (Melissa Gomez / Los Angeles Times)

When Imelda Quiroz began knocking on doors this month in search of registered voters, one question would often lead to a glimpse of their daily struggles.

“How has the pandemic affected you?” she would prompt in English, sometimes in Spanish. She wanted to get a sense of how voters were doing and what issues were important to them ahead of the November election.

What Quiroz heard was an outpouring from people worried about paying next month’s rent, electric or water bills. Parents were struggling with their children shifting to online learning without laptops or internet, she said.

“Many had lost their jobs,” Quiroz recalled on a Saturday afternoon as she walked among houses in a predominantly Latino Phoenix neighborhood. While knocking on doors for

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Despite weekend parties and maskless gatherings, Arizona State won’t release COVID-19 data

Laveta Brigham

PHOENIX – The first weekend after classes started at Arizona State University brought parties and people in groups not wearing masks while hanging out together on campus. Tempe Police cited multiple off-campus parties over the weekend.

But the public won’t know whether these parties and group activities, or even students gathering in classes or dorms, have resulted in additional COVID-19 cases.

Arizona State will not disclose how many cases it has on campus or among its students and employees, nor the locations of any cases or exposures, to the general public, citing “privacy issues.”

The Arizona attorney general has previously said universities can disclose cases as long as the information doesn’t identify any individuals. Experts on government transparency say there’s no reason this information should be withheld.

And other universities across the country are publicly disclosing case numbers.

Students walk across the bridge above University Drive the day before school opens on Aug. 19, 2020, at Arizona State University in Tempe.
Students walk across the bridge above University Drive the day before school
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A man was forcibly carried out of an Arizona grocery store after he screamed profanities at an employee over face mask requirements

Laveta Brigham

Joanne Millar store manger of Joules in Belfast places a sign in the shop window advising customers that face masks must be worn at all times as face coverings are now compulsory for shoppers.
Joanne Millar store manger of Joules in Belfast places a sign in the shop window advising customers that face masks must be worn at all times as face coverings are now compulsory for shoppers.

Liam McBurney/PA Images via Getty Images

  • An Arizona man was forcibly carried out of a grocery store after the man shouted profanities at an employee, the news website AZCentral reported. 

  • The dispute was over a face mask requirement. 

  • “These people won’t learn,” the man yells at a Sprout’s worker in the video. “You are a bunch of idiots wearing masks. You know it’s not real.” 

  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

An Arizona man was forcibly carried out of a Sprouts grocery store after the man shouted profanities at an employee following a dispute about face-mask wearing a mask, AZCentral reported.

The encounter occurred on Saturday and a video of the incident went viral on Twitter.

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Why are Arizona casinos still open despite experts saying they’re high-risk during COVID-19 spike?

Laveta Brigham

Plexiglas is placed around slot machines, gaming tables, and other areas at the Lone Butte Casino in Chandler on May 14, 2020. Casinos under the Gila River Indian Community were planning to reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic with new safety measures on May 15, 2020.
Plexiglas is placed around slot machines, gaming tables, and other areas at the Lone Butte Casino in Chandler on May 14, 2020. Casinos under the Gila River Indian Community were planning to reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic with new safety measures on May 15, 2020.

Movie theaters across Arizona are empty.

Gyms have locked their doors.

And restaurants are filled with taped-off tables, welcoming half of the customers they would usually see for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

But casinos, which operate on tribal land in Arizona, are open for business, despite health experts warning that customers are engaging in a high-stakes gamble: risking their health along with their money.

Casinos are the only business designated as high-risk by Arizona’s health department that remain unrestricted amid the recent COVID-19 spike in the state.

But some public health experts say they shouldn’t be. Dr. Shad Marvasti, director of public health at the

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Virus Surges in Arizona, but the Rodeo Goes on

Laveta Brigham

Testing for the coronavirus at a drive-thru testing site in Phoenix, Ariz., on Saturday, June 27, 2020. (Adriana Zehbrauskas/The New York Times)
Testing for the coronavirus at a drive-thru testing site in Phoenix, Ariz., on Saturday, June 27, 2020. (Adriana Zehbrauskas/The New York Times)

PHOENIX — As infections surged through Arizona’s desert landscape this week, word spread that the Round Valley Rodeo, a century-old tradition luring calf ropers, youth riders and big crowds to the mountain town of Springerville, might be called off. The fate of the Fourth of July parade in the nearby hamlet of Eagar seemed in doubt, too, as Gov. Doug Ducey prepared to issue new pandemic guidance.

But Ducey stopped short of ordering a halt to such events, and as of Friday, he had not required Arizonans to wear face coverings in public spaces, as Texas did Thursday. The rodeo and parade will march ahead Saturday as planned, even as infections in the state spiral.

Such is the way fiercely independent Arizona has handled the virus from the

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Fauci hopes for vaccine in early 2021; new ‘pandemic potential’ found in China; Arizona delays school openings

Laveta Brigham

A new pandemic threat could be simmering in China while at home the nation’s leading infectious disease expert expressed hope that a vaccine would be widely available early in 2021.

For now, though, more states are tightening restrictions aimed at tamping down an alarming boom in coronavirus cases. New York, New Jersey and Connecticut doubled the number of states on its quarantine list, to 16. Arizona delayed the start for in-class learning for the 2020-21 school year. Oregon and Kansas are the latest states that will begin to require face masks in public.

In China, researchers are concerned about a new swine flu strain in pigs that could have “pandemic potential.” At least one U.S. health official said the strain was not an immediate threat to Americans.

Here are some major developments:

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci and other top health officials testified before Congress Tuesday on the state of the pandemic. 

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New ‘pandemic potential’ found in China; Arizona delays opening of schools; kids sports march on

Laveta Brigham

A new pandemic threat could be simmering in China while at home more states are tightening restrictions aimed at tamping down an alarming boom in coronavirus cases.

Arizona delayed the start for in-class learning for the 2020-21 school year. Oregon and Kansas are the latest states that will begin to require face masks in public.

“Modeling from the Oregon Health Authority shows that if we don’t take further action to reduce the spread of the disease, our hospitals could be overwhelmed by new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations within weeks,” Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said. “The choices every single one of us make in the coming days matter.”

In New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy announced late Monday that the state would pause its planned reopening for indoor dining and banned smoking and drinking at Atlantic City casinos set to reopen this week.

And in China, researchers are concerned about a new

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