/ Modified jan 8, 2021 5:30 p.m.

News roundup: Tucson remembers deadly Safeway shooting, vaccine rollout charges forward

Recent coverage impacting Southern Arizona, Jan. 8.

Arizona COVID-19 cases: 7 days

Map shows COVID-19 cases and case rates over the week preceding the last update.

Credit: Nick O'Gara/AZPM. Sources: The New York Times, based on reports from state and local health agencies, Census Bureau. Case reports do not correspond to day of test.

Cases 596,251 | Deaths 9,938

On Friday, Jan. 8, Arizona reported 11,658 new cases of COVID-19 and 197 deaths.

Looking ahead 10 years after deadly Jan. 8 shooting

The Buzz

Ten years ago, during a "Congress on your Corner" event at a Safeway in Tucson, a shooter opened fire, killing six people and wounding 13 more, including congresswoman Gabby Giffords.

This week, The Buzz observes the 10th anniversary of the incident with survivors and discusses what has changed in the last decade and what work still needs to be done.

Listen to the full episode here.

January 8th anniversary & restoring civility, tourism outlook, COVID vaccinations

Arizona 360

Ten years after the Jan. 8 shooting that claimed six lives and wounded 13 others, including former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Arizona 360 checks in with Keith Allred, executive director of the National Institute for Civil Discourse. The University of Arizona created the institute in response to the shooting with the mission of promoting effective ways to bridge partisan divides in politics and respectfully discuss our differences. Lorraine Rivera also hears from former Republican U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake, who crossed the aisle to support Giffords in the aftermath of the shooting while the two served in the U.S. House.

Tony Paniagua reports on the pandemic’s impact on local industries in 2020 and challenges facing businesses in 2021. From Banner University Medicine, Physician Executive Dr. Joshua Lee gives an update on the hospital’s vaccine distribution program.

The successors of former Pima County Recorder F. Ann Rodriguez and former Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall were recently sworn in, but with more than half a century of public service combined in those roles, the two have had a lasting impact in the county.

Watch the full episode here.

Jan. 8 Memorial dedicated


A bell tolled 19 times, once for each person shot during the mass shooting ten years ago.

The shooting that killed six and wounded 13 others took place during a Congress on Your Corner event hosted by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. She was one of the 13 people wounded during the attack.

The ceremony took place at the new January 8th memorial on the grounds at the historic Pima County Courthouse.

The opening of the memorial was closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it was streamed online. It is supposed to help represent what happened in the aftermath of the shooting.

Learn more here.

Victims in 2011 Giffords attack see parallel to Capitol riot


PHOENIX — A decade ago, a gunman with paranoid schizophrenia killed six and injured 13 including Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. She was meeting with constituents in a grocery store parking lot in Tucson.

Now, some survivors say the violence at the U.S. Capitol this week has sparked painful memories and once again highlighted the bitter strife that continues to grip American politics.

In Tucson, the county is set to mark the 10-year anniversary of the attack Friday and dedicate a memorial to those slain and injured.

Giffords left Congress after the shooting. Her husband, Mark Kelly, was elected to the U.S. Senate last year.

Learn more here.

State to open 24/7 COVID-19 vaccination site in Maricopa County


Arizona will dramatically increase the pace of its vaccine rollout starting next week.

On Friday, Gov. Doug Ducey and Arizona Department of Health Services Director Cara Christ announced that on Monday the state will open a 24/7 vaccination site at State Farm Stadium in Glendale. Christ said after a "soft launch" targeted at those who work in law enforcement and other protective services jobs, they anticipate vaccinating up to 6,000 people a day. Appointments for others in Phase 1B and Phase 1A will be available starting Tuesday, Jan. 12. Registration information will be posted Monday morning at azhealth.gov/findvaccine.

Learn more here.

After first dose, Tucson nurse urges trust in COVID-19 vaccine


Pima County currently leads the state in the rate of COVID-19 vaccines given out in the first phase so far.

That includes those in long term care facilities and healthcare professionals like Alex, progressive care nurse in Tucson who asked us to withhold her last name and the name of her hospital because she worries she could be penalized for talking to the media. She received the first of the two-dose Pfizer vaccine this week.

"I received the vaccine, the first dose, in my left deltoid, and it was really sore for a day and I took some Ibuprofen and then completely forgot that I had even gotten a vaccine," she said.

Alex will receive the final dose in about 20 days. She said some of her colleagues are still apprehensive about getting the vaccine themselves, and she hopes the ease of her experience will help change their minds.

Learn more here.

Electors, tribal leaders react to seizure of Capitol building


Since supporters of President Donald Trump overtook and looted the U.S. Capitol Wednesday, tribal leaders who cast some of Arizona's electoral votes have spoken out.

Tohono O'odham Nation Chairman Ned Norris Junior and Vice Chairwoman Wavalene Saunders called the violence at the Capitol disgraceful. They emphasized the country's diversity and the role Indigenous peoples played in developing freedoms of speech and separation of powers.

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer also asked citizens of their nation not to perpetuate the divisive behavior ripping across the country.

Learn more here.

Arizona governor to stay focused on virus in yearly address


PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey will continue to focus on the coronavirus that has sickened more than a half-million Arizonans and killed nearly 10,000 when he delivers his State of the State address.

The Republican governor said in an interview ahead of Monday's speech that the response to the public health emergency that's consumed his administration since March will be reflected in his speech. That includes laying out ways for children to catch up on learning and on replenishing the state's unemployment insurance fund.

Ducey has been broadly criticized for failing to reimpose business and other restrictions in recent weeks. This week, the state reached a tops-in-the-world spot for the most infections per resident.

Navajo Nation Officials Gearing Up For Second Phase Of COVID -19 Vaccine Rollout Plan

Fronteras Desk

The Navajo Nation, which spans across portions of Arizona, Utah and New Mexico, is getting ready to enter the next phase of its COVID-19 vaccine rollout. Officials are gearing up to enter the second phase of the COVID vaccination plan next week, said Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez.

“We’re going to do a blitz, a vaccination blitz if you want to call it that or just getting out there and vaccinating those that are 65 years and over, high-risk patients," he said.

In addition, Nez said individuals from the first phase such as health care workers and frontline workers who were initially hesitant to get the shot, are also getting vaccinated.

Nearly 12,000 doses of the 20,000 vaccines that the Navajo Nation received have been given out so far to residents, said Dr. Loretta Christensen, chief medical officer of the Indian Health Service's Navajo Area. Christensen expects more vaccination events will be scheduled as it receives more supply.

Navajo Nation reports 257 new COVID-19 cases, 6 more deaths


WINDOW ROCK — Navajo Nation health officials on Thursday reported 257 new coronavirus cases and six more deaths.

The latest figures increased the tribe’s totals since the pandemic began to 24,521 cases and 844 known deaths. Health officials said more than 212,000 people have been tested for COVID-19 on the reservation and more than 12,600 have recovered.

On Monday, the Navajo Department of Health identified 73 communities with uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 on the tribe’s vast reservation that covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

The tribe has extended the stay-at-home order and weekend lockdowns through Jan. 25.

Learn more here.

Tucson hospital launches center for virus antibody treatment


Federal health officials are teaming up with a Tucson hospital to provide COVID-19 medicines that may help keep infected people out of the hospital.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says Tucson Medical Center on Thursday began administering monoclonal antibody therapeutic treatments at a temporary COVID-19 infusion center.

The department says the center is the second federally supported infusion facility in the country to treat certain COVID-19 patients with mild to moderate symptoms but who are at high risk of severe illness or hospitalization.

Antibodies are made by the body’s immune system to fight the virus.

Learn more here.

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