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Thu, July 29

Grand Canyon announces low county transmission, encourages vaccinations
No-cost vaccine events offered June 18 for Grand Canyon, Tusayan residents

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. — At the National Park Service (NPS) stakeholder meeting June 9, Chief of Commercial Services at Grand Canyon, Doug Lentz, announced Arizona has reached its lowest “rolling” average of COVID-19 cases per day since spring of 2020, at 392.

“(This is) really good news,” Lentz said.

A rolling, or moving average, is calculated by adding the daily totals of one week and dividing them by seven-days to come up with a mean average total for that specific week.

As of June 9, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) designated Coconino County’s rate of community transmission as low, with a rate of 9.76 cases per 100,000 residents.

However, the Coconino County weekly report from the same time shows the rate of transmission as moderate, with 16.3 cases per 100,000.

According to the CDC, the disparity could be due to differences in how data are reported and how the metrics (a method of measuring something) are calculated. For example, the Coconino County reporting data uses only ELR (Electronic Laboratory Reporting) to calculate the percentage of positive cases, and will only move to a different risk category if community transmission thresholds are met for two consecutive weeks.

Conflicting data has been a recurring theme throughout the pandemic, and is a contributing factor to vaccine avoidance as it relates to public trust, according to a recent report by The Atlantic. The report stated that a “lack of cohesion between states and the federal government on matters of reporting has led to sweeping inconsistencies across the country, which made it difficult to produce national summaries of COVID-19 statistics and compare situations between states”.

Additionally, it can be difficult to know which sources of information are reliable, according to the CDC.

In an effort to mitigate misinformation, the CDC has compiled a “myths and facts” page to provide answers to address public concerns about vaccines, at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/facts.

Lentz said before considering vaccine information, the public should check the information and where it comes from, along with the credibility of the source.

“Did you know that you will not become magnetic, think of Megneto in Marvel Comics, by getting vaccinated? It is a myth, it should not be believed. I wouldn’t expect any X-Men-like super powers from the vaccine, but protecting others from the virus is a lot like being a superhero,” Lentz said.

In Grand Canyon, 58.5 percent of residents age 15 and older have been fully vaccinated, and local efforts continue to provide opportunities for residents to receive vaccinations.

Vaccine events in Grand Canyon and Tusayan

On June 17, Coconino County in coordination with Tusayan Fire Department, will host a no-cost vaccine event for the Pfizer vaccine available to those ages 12 and over, first and second dose Moderna and Johnson & Johnson one dose vaccine available for those 18 years and older. No appointment is needed. The event takes place from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Grand Canyon Village IMAX Theater, 450 AZ-64 (parking lot) in Tusayan. Masks are required at the vaccination site. Additionally, a Spanish translator will be present to assist residents who speak English as a second language. More information is available at the COVID-19 Information Line at (928) 679-7300 or by calling Tusayan Fire District at (928) 638-3473.

On June 18, the Grand Canyon Clinic will host a no-cost vaccination event to distribute the single-dose Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine.

Residents may sign up by calling the clinic directly at (928) 638-2551.

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