The Arizona Department of Economic Security announced Monday the launch of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program for individuals who were previously ineligible for unemployment insurance benefits, including self-employed, independent contractors, and gig economy workers.

DES is mailing checks today to 165,000 individuals who filed an initial claim for benefits between February 2 and May 2 and did not meet the criteria for regular UI, but do meet the eligibility criteria for PUA. These individuals will receive an initial payment representing the minimum PUA benefit amount ($117 per week) plus the additional $600 in weekly benefits added by the CARES Act. These first payments will include three-weeks’ worth of benefits.

Pandemic unemployment benefits are available for weeks of unemployment beginning February 2 through the week ending December 26. PUA provides a benefit ranging from $117 to $240 per week, for up to 39 weeks. Individuals receiving PUA benefits will also receive an additional $600 weekly in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation benefits between the weeks of March 29, 2020 and July 25, 2020.

Visit https://des.az.gov/pua for updates and additional information.

State COVID-19 cases diagnosed now stands at 11,380

According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, as of Monday, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona is 11,380. That number was 11,119 Sunday.

The number of positive cases diagnosed overall in Graham County is 19. The number in Greenlee County is two. Cochise County has recorded 42 cases.

According to the Cochise County Health Department, of the 42 cases diagnosed since the beginning of the outbreak, six required hospitalization. The website indicates 33 have been released from isolation.

The number of people who have died from COVID-19 in Arizona is 542. On Sunday it was 536.

As of Monday ADHS is reporting 72 people died the first week of April, 105 the second week, 108 the third week and 96 the fourth week. The state is reporting that as of Monday, 78 people died between April 29 and May 5.

The number of people tested by the state so far is 150,241. On Sunday, that number was 137,739.  The percentage that have tested positive is 6.7 percent. 

The CDC is reporting 26,660 news cases as of Monday, bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases since Jan. 22 to 1,300,696 The agency is also reporting 1,737 new deaths. The death toll stands at 78,771.

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