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Some Arizona nonprofits may not overcome virus-driven losses

May 6, 2020 GMT

PHOENIX (AP) — Nearly half of nonprofits in Arizona will be unable to serve the public within the next month because of the heavy toll brought by the coronavirus pandemic.

Arizona State University released a survey Tuesday that found many nonprofits are facing bleak prospects due to losses in revenue and volunteering. While some programs like food banks and child care are seeing their demand balloon, other nonprofits such as performing arts groups continue to spiral.

Those surveyed cited cancellations of major fundraisers and few donations because of rising unemployment. Stay-at-home orders also forced groups to cease regular in-person activities.

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The report states more than 40% of nonprofits believe they will stop offering services in the next four weeks. Furthermore, nearly 20% expect to only be able to cover payroll for another eight weeks.

Conducted in mid-April by the ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation, the survey is based on feedback from around 450 leaders of nonprofit organizations.

There were an estimated 23,000 charities across Arizona in 2016, according to the National Center for Charitable Statistics and the IRS. Nonprofit work makes up $8.3 billion in wages in the state with one in 16 people working in that sector.

In other developments, 14 employees at county jails have tested positive for the coronavirus, including four new cases in Maricopa County, two in Coconino County and one in Pima County, officials said Wednesday.

Officials previously said seven other jail workers in Yavapai County tested positive, including a Camp Verde Detention Center employee who died last week.

Three prisoners in Arizona’s county jails have tested positive -- one in Maricopa County and two in Coconino County, where a new case was reported Wednesday night at the jail in Flagstaff.

In Arizona’s prisons, 64 inmates and 50 corrections employees have tested positive for the virus. Five inmates have died.

Prisons, jails and detention centers are believed to be vulnerable spots for the spread of the coronavirus because inmates with compromised health live in close quarters.

Across Arizona, the state Department of Health Services reported 402 new COVID-19 cases and 31 additional deaths Wednesday. In total, 9,707 people in Arizona have been diagnosed with the coronavirus and 426 people have died.

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. The vast majority of people recover.