Briefs: Arizona reports 1,961 new COVID-19 cases, 1 new death

PHOENIX - Arizona health officials are reporting 1,961 new COVID-19 cases and one new death.

It's the first time this month the daily new-case count has been under 2,000. The state Department of Public Health Services released the latest virus figures Monday, which now have Arizona at a total of 1,266,809 cases and 22,230 deaths.

Hospitalizations hit a new peak with 2,581 people in hospital beds due to COVID-19 as of Sunday. The current surge's last peak was 2,574 last week.

Public health experts worry about a major rise in cases and hospitalizations in the weeks following Thanksgiving, where more people with mixed vaccination status gathered indoors. There are also growing concerns about the omicron variant, which has popped up in other countries.

According to Johns Hopkins University data, Arizona’s seven-day rolling average of daily new cases dipped slightly to 3,475 on Saturday from 3,681.9 on Friday.

The state’s rolling average of daily deaths decreased from 41.6 to 40.7.

Flagstaff delays construction of USGS facilities over costs

FLAGSTAFF - The city of Flagstaff is hitting pause on the construction of new buildings in partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey because of soaring costs.

The Arizona Daily Sun reported Saturday that officials made the decision earlier this month after determining the project would cost $10 million more.

The collaboration encompasses demolishing old buildings on the USGS campus near Buffalo Park and erecting a new warehouse and lab offices. The city owns the land and buildings but leases it to the USGS.

City Capital Improvements manager David Peterson says the Flagstaff City Council approved going through with the project in September but it’s been in the planning stages for a decade.

In 2016, the projected cost was $20.8 million. Now, it is $32.8 million.

Rick Tadder, city management services director, said the project was approved by voters in 2004. He is optimistic that the city and federal officials can step back and find an alternative solution.

Phoenix on cusp of breaking November heat record set in 1949

PHOENIX - Phoenix is on track to finish a warmer than usual month of November, the National Weather Service said.

If temperatures hit at least 80 degrees Fahrenheit Tuesday, meteorologist said Phoenix will have had 25 days at 80 degrees or higher. That would break the record set in November 1949 of 24 days of 80 degrees or warmer temperatures.

The warm weather in Phoenix will extend into at least early December with a high of 82 F predicted on Wednesday and 80 on Thursday, weather service officials said.

Officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service, said La Nina climate conditions have emerged for the second consecutive year and that brings drier and warmer winter weather.

Police: Teen shot and wounded at a west Phoenix high school

PHOENIX - A teenager was shot and wounded at a high school in west Phoenix on Monday afternoon and police were searching for a suspect.

They said the incident occurred at Cesar Chavez High School and the teen’s injuries were not considered life-threatening.

Police said it’s not considered an active-shooter situation, but officers were working to safely clear the campus of the rest of the students.

Phoenix Union High School District sent a message to parents that said “after school today there was an altercation in a restroom on campus that resulted in a student being wounded, allegedly from a firearm.

“Local authorities were immediately contacted to assist. All other students and staff who were on campus are safe,” district officials said. “This incident took place after school and the campus is being cleared. All afternoon activities at Chavez have been moved or rescheduled.”

The name and age of the student who was shot wasn’t immediately released by police.

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