Teachers help students deal with attacks on Congress, Capitol - AZEdNews
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Teachers help students deal with attacks on Congress, Capitol

A Teacher Instructs One Group Of Her Students During Hybrid Or Modified In-person Instruction At Mesa Unified School District. Photo Courtesy Mesa Unified School District

Click here for updates Jan. 11, 2021 and going forward

Updated 1/8/21: Teachers are helping students understand, process what they saw and deal with their emotions after white Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, attacked police, damaged Congress and put members of Congress in danger.

They’re also discussing how that compares with police response at the Black Lives Matters protests this summer.

Here are some ideas for talking to young people about the riots at the Capitol from National Public Radio.

If Indiana legislators can fund virtual school at the same rate as in-person instruction, will Arizona lawmakers be willing to do the same?

Click here to learn why distance learning hurts Arizona schools’ budgets.

The Arizona Interscholastic Association voted today to cancel high school winter sports, azfamily reports.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona rose to 596,251 today from 584,593 yesterday, and 9,938 have died from the virus, said the Arizona Department of Health Services.

COVID-19 Briefing Jan. 8, 2021 with Dr. Cara Christ

In Maricopa County, there are 367,856 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 79,190 in Pima County, 32,178 in Pinal County, 30,368 in Yuma County, 14,699 in Mohave County, 13,020 in Yavapai County, 12,242 in Navajo County, 12,368 in Coconino County, 8,533 in Cochise County, 8,119 in Apache County, 6,507 in Santa Cruz County, 4,964 in Gila County, 3,966 in Graham County, 1,788 in La Paz County and 451 in Greenlee County.

Interactive Graphic: (Hover over counties and boxes for more info)


If you’re looking for mentoring, leadership programs and activities for Black youth in Phoenix, check out these opportunities from Phoenix Soul.

Remember you are seen and you are loved, and The Lifeline is there if you need to talk, Horizon Honors Schools shares.

Roosevelt School District distributed donated turkeys to students’ families.

National School Boards Association Executive Director Anna Maria Chavez says school board members are focusing on the most critical issues.

If you’re looking for native food seeds and seeds that attract pollinators, learn more about the Maricopa Community Colleges Native Seed Library in this Phoenix New Times article.

Santa Cruz Valley Unified School District No. 35 shares information about the new hybrid instruction model and more.

Updated 1/7/21: Social studies teachers today will help students understand and deal with the attack on Congress yesterday and what it means for our country.

Teachers will also help students deal with their emotions about the insurgency at the nations capitol in order for them to be able to learn, Education Week reports.

Supt. of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman encouraged teachers to discuss with students the attack on the Capitol yesterday with and encourage kindness and empathy to avoid what they saw happen yesterday.

Maricopa County Public Health’s updated Schools COVID-19 Community Spread Dashboard shows most of Maricopa County remains in the substantial spread category.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona rose to 584,593 today from 574,680 yesterday, and 9,741 have died from the virus, said the Arizona Department of Health Services.

In Maricopa County, there are 360,707 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 77,854 in Pima County, 31,497 in Pinal County, 29,715 in Yuma County, 14,347 in Mohave County, 12,668 in Yavapai County, 12,086 in Navajo County, 12,095 in Coconino County, 8,502 in Cochise County, 8,045 in Apache County, 6,441 in Santa Cruz County, 4,867 in Gila County, 3,601 in Graham County, 1,719 in La Paz County and 441 in Greenlee County.

Parents sign up now for Read Better Be Better‘s at-home literacy kits available for free for Arizona families.

Does social media change students’ free speech rights? That’s what a possible Supreme Court case will examine.

Need help filling out your FAFSA? Then check out this drive-in FAFSA event at the Mesa Convention Center on Tuesday Jan. 12.

Looking for ideas to help your online teaching or blended learning? Then register for ASU Prep Digital’s Remote K-12 Summit on Sat. Jan. 9.

Cartwright Elementary shared this update for bus stop lunch distributions.

Students will be able to compete in two new offerings for the esports season starting March 1 after recent Arizona Interscholastic Association action.

Learn more about the options at each Glendale Union High School District campus at Future Freshman Night on Jan. 14.

Flagstaff Unified invites all parents to participate in their Special Education Parent Advisory Council to make improvements all students will benefit from.

Mesa Public Schools congratulated Coach Brandau on being named State Strength and Condition Coach of the Year.

Update 1/6/21: Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ spoke about COVID-19 vaccine distribution during a news conference today and encouraged people to get the vaccine when it’s their turn.

Dr. Christ spoke about healthcare workers receiving their second dose of the vaccine, and vaccination appointments in Maricopa County opening up on Monday, Jan. 11 to people in the 1B priority group, which includes K-12 teachers, childcare workers, people over 75 years old, law enforcement and protective service workers.

People in the 1B priority group will be able to make appointments on Monday through the county’s registration system according to the Maricopa County Public Health website.

AZ Dept. of Health Services Jan. 6, 2021 COVID-19 update

More than 119,000 frontline medical workers along with residents and staff at skilled nursing facilities have already received the COVID-19 vaccine in Arizona, and today representatives of those groups are receiving their second dose of the vaccine that boosts the effectiveness to an estimated 95 percent, Dr. Christ said.

“Most counties will be moving to prioritized group 1B vaccinations, in fact Pinal and Gila counties are already there,” Dr. Christ said. “that group includes protective service workers, educators, childcare providers and those that are 75 and older.”

As more vaccine arrives it will be administered at more locations, including grocery stores, pharmacies and doctor’s offices, Dr. Christ said.

Arizona Dept. of Health Services launched an online resource this week at azdhs.gov/findvaccine at which Arizonans can see which phase their county is in and how to get registered for vaccination.

“When your place in line arrives, I encourage you to get vaccinated,” Dr. Christ said. “These vaccines are the light at the end of the tunnel, and vaccines are one of the most effective public health tools for controlling diseases such as flu, measles or whooping cough.”

Dr. Christ reminded Arizonans that side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine include pain at the injection site, fever, fatigue, headaches, chills, and muscle and joint pain, but those side effects are normal and mean that the body is producing an immune response.

“Because it will be a number of months before vaccine to be available to all, we must continue doing all we can do to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and we must continue to take precautions every time we are around people who are not members of our household,” Dr. Christ said. “So please wear a mask, maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance, wash and sanitize your hands often, stay home if you feel sick and avoid crowds.”

Then a number of health professionals received their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and shared their reasons for being vaccinated.

Teachers help students deal with attacks on Congress, Capitol Olau-reciving-COVID19-vaccine-1-6-21
“I’m just doing my part to stop the spread of COVID,” said Olau Onadiko, a certified nursing assistant who works as a caregiver for Sparrow Staffing Services, as he received his second COVID-19 vaccination on Jan. 6, 2021. Photo courtesy Arizona Dept. of Health Services

Valleywise Health ICU Nurse Manager of a COVID-19 unit Regina Via, who frequently provides bedside care to COVID-19 patients, said, “I’m just so grateful to start to be the one who can help prevent the spread of this virus. That’s what I’m passionate about. It just needs to end. We’re tired.”

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona rose to 574,680 today from 567,474 yesterday, and 9,444 have died from the virus, said the Arizona Department of Health Services.

In Maricopa County, there are 354,810 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 76,243 in Pima County, 30,729in Pinal County, 29,394 in Yuma County, 14,109 in Mohave County, 12,491 in Yavapai County, 12,011 in Navajo County, 11,981 in Coconino County, 8,143 in Cochise County, 7,942 in Apache County, 6,367 in Santa Cruz County, 4,789 in Gila County, 3,548 in Graham County, 1,686 in La Paz County and 428 in Greenlee County.

Update 1/5/21: Chandler Unified School District‘s governing board decided to move to virtual learning after hearing from teachers and parents yesterday about their concerns at COVID-19 cases surge, and Gilbert Public Schools‘ governing board extended hybrid learning until January 29.

The Arizona School Personnel Administrators Association‘s December 2020 survey results confirm that there is little progress made to the severe teacher shortage in Arizona going into the spring semester.

Click here for more details and data from the survey.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona rose to 567,474 today from 562,542 yesterday, and 9,317 have died from the virus, said the Arizona Department of Health Services.

In Maricopa County, there are 349,852 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 75,584 in Pima County, 30,272 in Pinal County, 29,165 in Yuma County, 13,938 in Mohave County, 12,322 in Yavapai County, 11,991 in Navajo County, 11,892 in Coconino County, 8,038 in Cochise County, 7,801 in Apache County, 6,315 in Santa Cruz County, 4,716 in Gila County, 3,496 in Graham County, 1,635 in La Paz County and 422 in Greenlee County.

Roosevelt School District welcomed students back from winter break.

Teachers are teaming up with parents to engage students in math while they’re in distance learning, Education Week reports.

There are twice as many Pathways courses for students to start on Jan. 19, Deer Valley Unified School District says.

Find more ways to create engaging learning experiences for students at the Remote K12 Connected Teacher Summit on Jan. 9.

Cave Creek Unified shares how their Hope Box Gift Project helps make families holidays better.

Update 1/4/21: Chandler Unified School District teachers say they don’t feel safe returning to in-person instruction after winter break as COVID-19 cases surge, 12 News reports.

There are many ways to build connections with students during online learning, says teacher Beth Lewis.

What students have learned this year during the COVID-19 pandemic is a hot topic right now, KJZZ 91.5 FM reports.

Deer Valley Unified School District‘s Barry Goldwater High School hosted a free COVID-19 testing event today and plans to next Monday also.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona rose to 562,542 today from 556,384 yesterday, and 9,064 have died from the virus, said the Arizona Department of Health Services.

In Maricopa County, there are 346,183 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 74,863 in Pima County, 29,354 in Pinal County, 28,109 in Yuma County, 13,858 in Mohave County, 12,160 in Yavapai County, 11,922 in Navajo County, 11,753 in Coconino County, 7,951 in Cochise County, 7,785 in Apache County, 6,279 in Santa Cruz County, 4,696 in Gila County, 3,472 in Graham County, 1,621 in La Paz County and 417 in Greenlee County.

Carson Junior High School Art Teacher Michael de Alba’s seventh- and eighth-grade students transformed his car into an art project on wheels.

Learn more about how supporting students with academic and behavioral needs has changed during the COVID-19 pandemic at the Council of Chief State School Officers‘ upcoming webisode.

Coyote Springs Elementary School in Prescott Valley shared a student-created video tour of their school.

Know a student interested in biosciences? Encourage them to appl.y for TGen‘s Bioscience Leadership Academy by Feb. 5.

States are renewing efforts to track students’ school attendance as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Education Week reports.

Arizona Center for Afterschool Excellence says save the date Oct. 23, 2021 for the School’s Out, Make It Count conference at the Phoenix Convention Center.

Update 1/2/21: Supt. of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman says given the surge in COVID-19 cases, Gov. Doug Ducey should order schools to provide distance learning for the two weeks following winter break.

C.J. Karamargin with the Office of the Arizona Governor said that, “Gov. Ducey will not be considering this request or issuing this kind of mandate. This is a local decision, the online option is already available, and the governor has repeatedly made his preference clear: Kids have already lost out on a lot of learning, and he wants schools opened, safely.”

Tolleson Union and Phoenix Union High School Districts will continue online learning as school resumes after winter break, while Dysart and Peoria Unified School Districts will resume in-person instruction.

Supt. Hoffman’s request comes after teachers in Gilbert and Chandler Unified School Districts said earlier this week that they may call in sick when school resumes on Monday, Jan. 4.

Arizona Education Association President Joe Thomas said he agrees with Supt. Hoffman and thanked her for listening to the concerns of teachers.

Arizona Education Association Vice President Marisol Garcia also said a statewide call for distance learning is needed.

Supt. Hoffman tells The Arizona Republic she “can’t stand by when we see that we’re losing Arizonans by the thousands.”

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona rose to 539,150 today from 530,267 yesterday, and 9,061 have died from the virus, said the Arizona Department of Health Services.

In Maricopa County, there are 331,233 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 71,894 in Pima County, 28,482 in Pinal County, 28,375 in Yuma County, 13,057 in Mohave County, 11,582 in Navajo County, 11,678 in Yavapai County, 11,437 in Coconino County, 7,661 in Apache County, 7,673 in Cochise County, 6,176 in Santa Cruz County, 4,596 in Gila County, 3,370 in Graham County, 1,525 in La Paz County and 409 in Greenlee County.

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Arizona set a record for the most ventilators in use for COVID-19 for the second day in a row on Saturday, as the state reported more than 8,800 new cases and 46 new known deaths.<a href=”https://t.co/2XzltJcYXK”>https://t.co/2XzltJcYXK</a></p>&mdash; azcentral (@azcentral) <a href=”https://twitter.com/azcentral/status/1345456075001180160?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>January 2, 2021</a></blockquote> <script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>

Update 12/30: Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona rose to 512,429 today from 507,222 yesterday, and 8,718 have died from the virus, said the Arizona Department of Health Services.

In Maricopa County, there are 314,464 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 68,437 in Pima County, 27,191 in Pinal County, 27,115 in Yuma County, 12,108 in Mohave County, 11,196 in Navajo County, 11,101 in Yavapai County, 10,982 in Coconino County, 7,336 in Apache County, 7,324 in Cochise County, 5,857 in Santa Cruz County, 4,419 in Gila County, 3,180 in Graham County, 1,387 in La Paz County and 392 in Greenlee County.

Interactive Graphic: (Hover over counties and boxes for more info)

Updated 12/29: Balsz School District is the first in Arizona to use the 1619 Project, which examines the role of slavery in shaping the United States, the contributions of Black Americans to the history of the United States, and supplements the history already being taught in classrooms. Click here to read more about it.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona rose to 507,222 today from 504,423 yesterday, and 8,640 have died from the virus, said the Arizona Department of Health Services.

In Maricopa County, there are 311,242 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 67,679 in Pima County, 27,068 in Yuma County, 26,857 in Pinal County, 11,119 in Navajo County, 11,862 in Mohave County, 10,887 in Coconino County, 10.912 in Yavapai County, 7,274 in Apache County, 7,259 in Cochise County, 5,824 in Santa Cruz County, 4,361 in Gila County, 3,144 in Graham County, 1,347 in La Paz County and 387 in Greenlee County.

For Isabella Aiukli Cornell her junior prom in 2018 was about an opportunity to call attention to what has been described as an epidemic of murder and abuse faced by Native American women, Cronkite News reports.

U.S. government dietary guidelines for infants and toddlers released today recommend feeding only breast milk for at least six months and no added sugar for children under two years old, the Arizona Daily Star reports.

KJZZ’s youth media center is keeping high school students engaged in virtual learning throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

University of Arizona has self-imposed a one-year post-season ban on their men’s basketball program as a proactive measure in its ongoing NCAA enforcement process.

Arizona Board of Regents Chair Larry Penley and Supt. JoEtta Gonzales of Casa Grande Elementary School District say strong teachers and principals can help Arizona meet its goal for 60 percent of Arizonans to have a college degree or post-secondary certification to increase the state’s and its residents’ economic stability.

Here are 12 strategies teachers share to get students to revise their writing, courtesy of Education Week.

Updated 12/28: School districts and college systems are facing a surge in ransomware attacks on their computer networks since the COVID-19 pandemic started, Education Writers Association reports.

Supt. of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman encourages people to extend with kindness and empathy to each other, and “treat others how you wish you were treated and cared for at your lowest moments,” in a guest column in The Arizona Republic.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona rose to 504,423 today from 494,337 yesterday, and 8,469 have died from the virus, said the Arizona Department of Health Services.

In Maricopa County, there are 309,737 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 67,360 in Pima County, 26,946 in Yuma County, 26,388 in Pinal County, 11,067 in Navajo County, 11,799 in Mohave County, 10,852 in Coconino County, 10.772 in Yavapai County, 7,255 in Apache County, 7,236 in Cochise County, 5,798 in Santa Cruz County, 4,347 in Gila County, 3,137 in Graham County, 1,347 in La Paz County and 382 in Greenlee County.

Arizona State University President Dr. Michael Crow honored the life and legacy of Phoenix civil rights leader and Phoenix City Councilman Calvin Goode.

Phoenix Union High School District also mourned the loss of Calvin Goode, who was a longtime PUSD employee.

Arizona students enrolled in after-school programs are invited to a Q&A session with NASA astronauts on the International Space Station on Jan. 7th.

Arizona Council for Economic Education helps teachers show students how managing money is vital to success.

Learn more about the National School Boards Association‘s Dismantling Institutional Racism in Education initiative below.

Madison Meadows Middle School students and teachers are excited to move into a new campus.

Arizona teachers can pursue National Board certification with funding help from Arizona K12 Center, Expect More Arizona says.

Arizona Dept. of Education‘s Office of Indian Education is seeking feedback from Native American parents and caregivers on their strategic plan linked to below.

Frustrated by federal failure, indigenous nations across the country are reclaiming control of their children’s education. See what that has meant for the Hopi as they take control of their schools from the Bureau of Indian Education in this Arizona Republic article.

Balsz School District and PBS Teachers recommend these books to teach young learners the history and meaning of Kwanzaa.

Tolleson Elementary School District reminds people that kindness matters.

Higley Unified celebrates their hardworking maintenance staff including Master Electrician Joe Russo.

The Rural School Leadership Academy is seeking applications for its fellowship developing rising rural school leaders.

Updated 12/24: Nearly 10 million Americans who have lost work during the COVID-19 pandemic remain unemployed and are facing a holiday season unlike any other.

Nearly 30,000 people who applied for Navajo CARES Hardship Assistance may not get the help they need due to missing records or data that doesn’t match existing records, ABC 15 Arizona reports.

NORAD is still tracking Santa Claus this year, but not every child will be able to reach a call center volunteer to check on where Santa is at any given moment.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona rose to 480,319 today from 473,273 yesterday, and 8,294 have died from the virus, said the Arizona Department of Health Services.

In Maricopa County, there are 295,379 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 63,472 in Pima County, 25,732 in Yuma County, 25,317 in Pinal County, 10,752 in Navajo County, 10,927 in Mohave County, 10,407 in Coconino County, 10.091 in Yavapai County, 7,083 in Apache County, 6,724 in Cochise County, 5,605 in Santa Cruz County, 4,182 in Gila County, 2,999 in Graham County, 1,284 in La Paz County and 365 in Greenlee County.

Volunteers bring Christmas cheer to nursing home residents in Italy isolated by COVID-19 restrictions.

If you’re looking to share a little kindness this holiday, consider this fundraiser to brighten the holidays for justice-involved youth in Maricopa County’s Durango location with chips, toothpaste and books.

Updated 12/23: Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona rose to 473,273 today from 467,215 yesterday, and 8,179 have died from the virus, said the Arizona Department of Health Services.

In Maricopa County, there are 291,412 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 62,159 in Pima County, 25,588 in Yuma County, 24,789 in Pinal County, 10,650 in Navajo County, 10,699 in Mohave County, 10,303 in Coconino County, 9,902 in Yavapai County, 7,004 in Apache County, 6,559 in Cochise County, 5,536 in Santa Cruz County, 4,141 in Gila County, 2,931 in Graham County, 1,225 in La Paz County and 364 in Greenlee County.

Updated 12/22: When an Arroyo Elementary School student was struggling with online learning, his mom emailed his principal for advice and Principal Phil Liles stopped by to talk with the boy on the front lawn, azfamily.com reports.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona rose to 467,215 today from 461,345 yesterday, and 8,125 have died from the virus, said the Arizona Department of Health Services.

In Maricopa County, there are 287,646 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 61,344 in Pima County, 25,265 in Yuma County, 24,600 in Pinal County, 10,548 in Navajo County, 10,475 in Mohave County, 10,237 in Coconino County, 9,707 in Yavapai County, 6,964 in Apache County, 6,412 in Cochise County, 5,482 in Santa Cruz County, 4,096 in Gila County, 2,873 in Graham County, 1,196 in La Paz County and 359 in Greenlee County.

Gov. Ducey announced that $16.3 million in federal funds from the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development’s Emergency Solutions Grant will be used to engage homeless people in helpful programs and services, improve the number, quality and help operate smergency shelters for homeless people, rapidly re-house homeless people and prevent families and individuals from becoming homeless. Gov.

Ducey also said that 23.8 million in Community Development Block Grant Funding will be administered through the Arizona Department of Housing for emergency payments of rent, utilities, food and clothing for individuals and families for six months.

Reading is an important way to help your young child develop language skills and learn new words, Expect More Arizona says.

Check out the Phoenix Zoo website to take a video safari tour and learn more about animals over winter break, Madison Elementary School District recommends.

WestEd thanks teachers and education leaders for all they do.

Childhood development experts say social distancing will not impact infants and toddlers too much since their most important relationships are with their parents, Annie E. Casey Foundation says.

Balsz School District encourages families to learn how they meet the needs of all learners.

President-elect Joe Biden plans to nominate Connecticut schools chief and former teacher Miguel Cardona for education secretary.

Open enrollment for Dysart Unifed Schools has begun,

Less than 20 percent of public school teachers are persons of color, while 51 percent of students are, The Education Trust says.

Consider making a tax credit donation to help schools in your community, Mesa Public Schools says.

Sunnyside Unified School District invites you to learn more about enrolling your young child in Ocotillo Learning Center.

Updated 12/21: Congress approved a $900 billion economic relief package Monday night that will help people and businesses who have struggled to survive during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The aid package will add $300 to unemployment benefits for 11 weeks, more paycheck protection program loans to help small businesses stay open, up to $600 in cash payments to most individuals, and help families facing evictions stay in their homes.

In Arizona, St. Mary’s Food Bank will remain open until 1 p.m. on Christmas Eve to help provide meals to Arizonans in need, Gov. Ducey said.

As Winter Break begins, many students are feeling mental health and academic pressures, The Arizona Republic reports.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona rose to 461,345 today from 453,597 yesterday, and 7,972 have died from the virus, said the Arizona Department of Health Services.

In Maricopa County, there are 284,462 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 60,360 in Pima County, 24,964 in Yuma County, 24,198 in Pinal County, 10,422 in Navajo County, 10,234 in Mohave County, 10,145 in Coconino County, 9,579 in Yavapai County, 6,918 in Apache County, 6,219 in Cochise County, 5,422 in Santa Cruz County, 4,064 in Gila County, 2,816 in Graham County, 1,188 in La Paz County and 354 in Greenlee County.

Look to the sky tonight to see an astronomical event.

Supt. of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman shared America Celebrates ornaments created by Pinnacle High School art students for the National Christmas Tree display.

Roosevelt School District wishes everyone a safe, healthy and fun winter break.

See how these teachers incorporate students cultural traditions and values in culturally responsive teaching, edutopia says.

Kindergarten has changed so much in the past 20 years, but is what it’s become best for students?

Maricopa Community Colleges celebrate creating learning opportunities to help their students.

Dramatic arts strategies can help increase student engagement in reading activities, edutopia says.

Updated Dec. 16: Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ asked people to avoid gathering for the holidays with people they do not live with, and Gov. Doug Ducey asked people to keep their holiday gatherings small and outdoors if possible at a news conference updating Arizonans on efforts to fight the spread of COVID-19 at 2 p.m. today.

Dec. 16 COVID-19 news conference with Gov. Ducey and Dr. Christ

“We continue to remain concerned about the metrics we see regarding COVID-19 transmission throughout the state,” said Dr. Christ. “That includes cases, percent positivity and COVID-19 patients in our ICU and inpatient beds.”

“We are asking everyone to avoid gatherings with people you do not live with especially for the holidays,” Dr. Christ said.

Dr. Christ asked Arizonans to wear a mask anytime they are with other people that you do not live with, to reduce the size of gatherings and stay physically distanced from those who you do not live with and wash your hands frequently.

“We share eveyone’s excitement with the COVID-19 vaccine now in the state, but we still have a long way to go before everyone is vaccinated.” Dr. Christ said. “So until then it’s critical that each of us takes steps that are proven to reduce the spread and protect our most vulnerable.”

At that same news conference Gov. Doug Ducey reminded Arizonans they needed to continue wearing masks and remaining physically distant to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“I need Arizonans to continue to do their part in slowing the spread of this virus,” Gov. Ducey said. “This means, of course, following public health guidelines. Wearing a mask, washing your hands, physically distancing yourself and limit your time with the most vulnerable. And today we have another ask, to please get the vaccine when it is available to you.”

Gov. Ducey said we want to make sure that people are connecting with their families during the holiday season, “and the most important thing is that we do it in a safe way.”

“We have to keep our guard up, we have to remain vigilant at this time, so please limit the size of the gatherings, celebrate outdoors in any instance which you can, and I’d add, please connect virtually,” Gov. Ducey said.

“Likely, the challenge we’re facing right now is a result of those gatherings several weeks ago. That’s why I’m talking about Christmastime and the holidays and being as responsible as possible,” Gov. Ducey said.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona rose to 429,219 today from 424,382 yesterday, and 7,530 have died from the virus, said the Arizona Department of Health Services.

In Maricopa County, there are 266,196 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 54,957 in Pima County, 23,447 in Yuma County, 22,597 in Pinal County, 9,980 in Navajo County, 9,451 in Coconino County, 9,012 in Mohave County, 6,622 in Apache County, 8,489 in Yavapai County, 5,097 in Santa Cruz County, 5,494 in Cochise County, 3,761 in Gila County, 2,673 in Graham County, 1,102 in La Paz County and 341 in Greenlee County.

Earlier COVID-19 coverage

Nov. 30 – Dec. 16: Watch it now: Dr. Christ asks people to avoid holiday gatherings with people they do not live with

Nov. 18 – 25: COVID-19 cases rise before Thanksgiving adding to school and hospital leaders’ concerns

Nov. 16: More schools return to online learning as COVID-19 cases rise

Nov. 2 – 13: $19 M grant would help schools with teacher development, stipends, reading & math curriculum, summer ed resources and more

Oct. 20 to Oct. 30: AZDHS amends COVID-19 school benchmarks

Oct. 7 – Oct. 19What are teachers doing ahead of elections to support students afterwards

Aug. 25 – Sept. 8: Parents voice concern about online class size; school nurses prepare for students

Aug. 12 – Aug. 24: Students, teachers affected by Zoom outage

July 30 – Aug. 11Parent organizes co-op for learners; group rallies for in-person school days after benchmarks release

July 13- July 30: Teachers prepare for digital learning and back to school

June 29 – July 12Video: Gov. says ‘Goal is to get children back to school when it’s safe;’ Schools lay out learning models

June 29: Video: Gov. delays in-person classes to Aug. 17 due to rise in COVID-19

June 15 – June 29: Video: Gov. pauses re-opening of some businesses as COVID-19 cases rise

June 24: Plan provides more funding, flexible instruction as schools re-open

May 26 – June 12: Increase in COVID-19 cases marks a new daily high

May 20 – 25: AZ Dept. of Ed releases COVID-19 guidance to schools for summer programs, back to school

May 11 – 19: Arizonans consider workplace safety, what back to school will look like amid COVID-19

April 26 – May 10: Stores re-open, COVID-19 testing blitz resumes on Saturday

April 8 – 25You can get tested now if you think you’ve been exposed to COVID-19

March 12 – April 7Coronavirus response: Cases rise; AZ Day of Giving