Arizona added over 300 more cases to its COVID-19 total, surpassing 11,700.
According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, there are 11,736 cases and 562 deaths of the coronavirus as of Tuesday morning.
Using 2019 population estimates, Arizona’s case rate per 100,000 residents is 161.2. That rate is lower in Maricopa County — 138.6 — despite the most populous county accounting for 6,219 cases, per AZDHS.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.
Relief funds top $8.2M
The Office of Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced more than $8.2 million has been donated to the AZ Coronavirus Relief Fund to support COVID-19 relief efforts.
The fund was established as part of the Arizona Together Initiative, supporting Arizonans during the COVID-19 outbreak and connecting individuals and businesses to needed resources.
More than $175,000 of the total donation amount is from private citizens. Additionally, the Arizona Department of Health Services and the Arizona Department of Education have received in-kind donations of personal protective equipment and computer equipment, totaling more than $258,000.
In April, the Ben and Catherine Ivy Foundation donated $5 million to support the purchase of PPE including 1.1 million N-95 masks. As the equipment is received, the AZDHS will distribute it to county health departments across the state.
In addition, a first round of grant funding was approved to nonprofit organizations totaling nearly $1,500,000. Grant announcements will be made as disbursements are finalized.
A five-member committee was selected shortly after the fund was announced in March. Over the past month, the committee has conducted detailed due diligence on hundreds of requests for funding. Opportunities for the fund to provide support have been evaluated on the basis of how an organization and its constituents have been impacted by COVID-19, numbers of the vulnerable population served and more.
Nonprofit organizations receiving funding must use the funds for direct services and may not use funds for operational overhead or management salaries.
Also, the committee has coordinated with the philanthropic community in Arizona, including the Arizona Grantmakers and the Arizona Community Foundation to understand community needs.
The AZ Coronavirus Relief Fund is managed administratively by the Arizona Commerce Authority. All dollars donated to the fund are going to causes and organizations in need; the ACA is receiving no additional funding to provide administrative support. Donations to the fund are fully tax-deductible as they are used solely for charitable purposes.
Individuals and organizations interested in supporting the AZ Coronavirus Relief Fund can learn more about how to contribute at www.ArizonaTogether.org.
Unemployment assistance underway
The checks are finally going out to Arizonans who are ineligible for the state’s regular unemployment insurance program.
Officials from the Department of Economic Security said Monday they were mailing 165,000 checks out to individuals who filed for benefits through May 2. These checks will be for at least $2,151 — $171 base state payment plus $600 under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program — which represents three weeks’ worth of benefits.
The total being paid out to those 165,000 Arizonans amounts to $350 million. And, eventually, those who are eligible will get checks going back as far as Feb. 2.