The Pima Unified School District announced Thursday morning that an entire classroom of students has been placed in quarantine after coming into contact with a staff member who has tested positive for COVID-19.

According to the announcement, the district abandoned many of the COVID-19 mitigation strategies this year because they are no longer legal in Arizona or because “they caused harm to our ability to achieve our mission while having no effect on safety. “

According to the announcement, the positive test result was not due to any of the changes made this year and “none of the mitigation steps (except masking) could have prevented this situation.”

The district urged everyone to practice good hygiene, stay home when they’re sick socially distance when possible.

There has been a 141% increase in the number of Arizonans hospitalized with COVID-19 in the last month and a 138% increase in the number of ICU admissions during the same time frame.

As of Wednesday, there were 1,266 Arizonans hospitalized with COVID-19 compared to 1,019 one week ago and 525 one month ago. Three hundred and twenty-one patients were in ICU Wednesday compared to 335 one week ago and 135 a month ago.

Arizona Department of Health Services statistics also show a 13.4% increase in the number of deaths from June to July. One hundred and sixty-eight people died while battling COVID-19 in June, that number was 191 in July.

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According to Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center, the hospital have been averaging 2.5 patients a day over the last month. On Wednesday, the Graham County Health Department also reported another death due to the virus, bringing the total to 88 since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

Health officials have linked the increase in cases to the much faster spreading Delta variant of the virus and have noted the vast majority of those contracting the virus have been unvaccinated.

Twenty Greenlee County residents have contracted the virus in the last week, according to the Greenlee County Health Department.

Thirty-eight Graham County residents have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since last Thursday, according to the Graham County Health Department.

According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, 52.4% of Arizonans have received at least one dose of the vaccine. In Graham County, 16,628 or 43.2% are vaccinated and in Greenlee County, 3,424 or 33% are vaccinated. Graham County is offering the vaccine Mondays and Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at 627 W. Main Street in Safford and from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursdays.

Also, the Graham County Health Department announced Thursday morning it will be offering the Pfizer vaccine to kids 12 and older at Thursday and Friday evening clinics starting Aug. 12. As of Friday, Aug. 6, parents can sign up their kids for the clinics, which will be held 5-7:30 p.m., on the health department’s website.

All of Gila Health Resources’ clinics are providing COVID vaccines on a daily basis. Patients are encouraged to call and schedule their vaccine by calling their preferred clinic ahead of time, but walk-in requests will also be accepted during normal hours. Currently, eligible patients 18+ can schedule to be vaccinated with the Moderna vaccine and most sites have the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine available, as well.

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