science Bureau on KJZZ

What Is Arizonas Positivity Rate? That Question Is Harder To Answer Than You Might Think
When Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey or the state’s public health officials talk about benchmarks for reopening schools or businesses, they talk a lot about the percentage of COVID-19 tests that turn up positive. But the positivity rates the state reports are consistently lower than what’s reported by other sources.
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Analysis: 41% Of Phoenix Schools Are Near A Tobacco Retailer
More than 60% of schools nationwide are located within a thousand feet of a store that sells tobacco products. That is among the findings of a new report from a trio of universities, which looked at 30 American cities. The analysis shows the number of Phoenix schools in close proximity to a tobacco retailer is lower than the national average, but other metrics are less positive.
Aug. 14, 2020
Delays In Cancer Screenings Could Lead To Uptick In Deaths
The coronavirus pandemic has led to a significant decline in cancer screenings. Since the start of the pandemic, the number of mammogram screenings has dropped by nearly half. Routine mammograms are key to catching breast cancer early. But many women are putting off this test.
Aug. 13, 2020
Why Teachers Are Being Encouraged To Drive Learners Away From Technology In Online Instruction
The state has set aside $7.5 million to help its teachers get free training on how to effectively lead classes online and in blended learning settings. The sessions kicked off Aug. 11 and are being conducted by ASU Prep Digital.
Aug. 13, 2020
Arizona School Districts Getting Ready To Offer In-Person Classes, Disregarding Health Benchmarks
Monday is the earliest that Arizona schools can begin welcoming students back to classrooms since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Some school districts have approved plans to do just that before state officials recommend it's safe.
Ducey Defends School Districts Ignoring Public Health Guidelines
Aug. 12, 2020
Improving Arizona COVID-19 Trends Could Drive Testing Declines, Complacency
Coronavirus testing has dropped off dramatically, with the Arizona Department of Health Services reporting less than one-half as many tests in early August as during late June and early July. Is better news driving worse testing rates?
Aug. 12, 2020
Fire Officials Focusing On Wildland Firefighters Mental Health
The Show spoke with Don Weaver, the state fire planner for the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management, to learn about the conditions that contribute to mental health issues for wildland firefighters.
Aug. 12, 2020
Transgender Teens File Lawsuit Over Ban On AHCCCS-Funded Surgery
A lawsuit involving a pair of Arizona transgender teens has drawn national attention. The two — a 15-year-old known as D.H. and a 17-year-old going by John Doe — wanted to get male chest reconstruction surgery, but the state bans its Medicaid system, AHCCCS, from paying for it.
Aug. 11, 2020
ASU Professor:  Mask Campaigns Need To Appeal To Masculinity
Wearing masks has been politicized almost from the beginning of the pandemic. For a while, it was presumed that if you didn’t wear a mask, you were probably a supporter of President Trump. And it seemed that, anecdotally, more women were wearing masks than men. As a response to that, an elaborate campaign was introduced in late July in the hope of getting more residents to Mask Up Arizona.
Aug. 11, 2020
Encouraging COVID-19 Trends In Sonora, 5 Other States
Sonora is currently considered orange according to the four-color federal semáforo — or traffic light — rating system. That means that nonessential businesses can operate at substantially reduced capacity.
Aug. 10, 2020
TGen Dolphin Study Offers Clues To Human Aging
Researchers who study aging use mainly short-lived animals like flies and mice. To understand how aging works in long-lived animals like humans, a researcher from the Translational Genomics Research Institute has turned to a U.S. Navy marine mammal — and no, it’s not a SEAL.
Aug. 10, 2020
SRP Expands Sustainable Energy Offerings
Salt River Project says 21 more businesses, cities and education organizations have signed agreements with the utility to get a portion of their power from solar sources. Apple, Target, Arizona State University and Boeing are among the customers included in SRP’s sustainable energy expansion.
Aug. 10, 2020
Arizona Nursing Home Task Force Meets For The First Time
The task force that will develop recommendations on how and when to allow visitors back inside Arizona’s long-term care facilities met for the first time on Friday. Participants talked about their goals and the many challenges they face dealing with the coronavirus.
Aug. 10, 2020
U.S. Drops Global Travel Advisory, Keeps Mexico Warning
The U.S. State Department dropped its global “Level 4” health warning urging people not to travel abroad Thursday, but promptly re-imposed that same advisory level on Mexico. Since March 19, the department had advised U.S. citizens to avoid all travel abroad because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Aug. 9, 2020
Sonoran Officials: Youth Responsible For Most Coronavirus Spread
As in Arizona, leaders in neighboring Sonora, Mexico, continue to struggle to tamp down on the spread of the coronavirus. And the state’s health secretary says young people are most responsible for proliferating the virus.
Aug. 9, 2020
Phoenix Area May Set Another High Temperature Record Sunday
It’s been a hot summer, which is nothing unusual for the Valley, but Sunday’s high temperature could be a record-setting milestone.
Aug. 9, 2020
NAU Lists COVID-19-Related Expectations For Students This Fall
Northern Arizona University listed its COVID-19 related expectations for students for the fall semester which starts on Aug. 12 in a Friday statement. They include mask wearing and physical distancing when on or off campus.
Aug. 8, 2020
Tolleson Holding 2 Free COVID-19 Community Events
The city of Tolleson is partnering with Maricopa County officials, its local school district and Southwellness Comprehensive Medical Care to host two free COVID-19 community testing events this month. The first one is taking place this Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Arizona Desert Elementary School gymnasium.
Aug. 7, 2020
ASU, UA And NAU Outline Plans For Fall Reopening
Back in March, the state's three public universities — Arizona State University, the University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University — all moved their classes online. Now they're each rolling out their plans for how they'll pick up again in the fall. The Show spoke with KJZZ's Rocio Hernandez, who has been covering all of this, about the upcoming semester.
Aug. 7, 2020
Rock Core From Petrified Forest Helps Geologists ‘Connect Puzzle Pieces’
Rock from the Petrified Forest National Park in eastern Arizona is offering some clues into how big events may have shaped Earth’s ecosystems. Researchers from the University of Texas-Austin drilled a core in a parking lot at the park in an effort to better understand part of the Triassic Period.
Aug. 7, 2020
Report: Phoenix Homicides, Aggravated Assaults Have Jumped 25%
Homicides and aggravated assaults have each increased by more than 25% from January to June of this year when compared to 2019’s numbers. Phoenix Police Department won’t definitively conclude those figures are directly related to the pandemic. The Show spoke with Jenna Panas, CEO of the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence, for her observations.
Aug. 7, 2020