Arizona Public Health Officials Update Community Transmission Level of COVID-19

Residents asked to take precautions and practice social distancing

The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) has updated the community transmission level of COVID-19 in Arizona to widespread. Widespread transmission indicates that cases have been confirmed in 12 or more counties throughout the state. As of March 26, Arizona has confirmed 508 cases in 13 counties. There have been 8 deaths reported due to COVID-19.

“Given widespread transmission, all Arizonans should expect that COVID-19 is circulating in their community,” said Dr. Cara Christ, ADHS Director. “COVID-19 is a serious disease that is highly contagious and can be fatal in anyone, especially our elderly population and people with underlying health conditions. Protecting those at highest risk of complications and ensuring that our healthcare system is prepared to deal with a surge in cases is our highest priority. It is imperative that everyone takes precautions to protect themselves and their family from this disease.”

The best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

COVID-19 spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Symptoms are thought to appear within two to 14 days after exposure and consist of fever, cough, runny nose and difficulty breathing. For people with mild illness, individuals are asked to stay home, drink plenty of fluids and get rest. For people with more severe symptoms, such as shortness of breath, individuals are advised to seek healthcare.

ADHS activated its Health Emergency Operations Center Jan. 27 after the first case of travel-associated COVID-19 was confirmed in Arizona. The Health Emergency Operations Center remains open to coordinate the State’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak. For more information about the COVID-19 response in Arizona, go online to azhealth.gov/COVID19.

 

Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center Remains Open for Wildlife Emergencies, Orphaned Animals

The Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center (SWCC) will remain open for wildlife emergencies and orphaned animals during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Scottsdale wildlife refuge is closed to the public and its annual fundraiser and other spring events have been canceled to protect public health in response to the virus.

The following statement was issued from Southwest Conservation Center founder and executive director Linda Searles on current operations:

“SWCC veterinary hospital will remain open 24/7 for orphans and wildlife emergencies during the Coronavirus pandemic. Our animal care staff will remain working on site, continuing to provide the highest quality wildlife care. The SWCC medical team will also be on duty for medical emergencies and to care for orphans.

As is always the case, many of our volunteers will be here every day to help support our animal care staff. We are dedicated to our wildlife and will continue to be here for them. If you have a wildlife emergency, please call 480.433.5656. SWCC will continue to receive emergency wildlife drop offs at our facility, but please call first if you can.

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center has closed our Center to the public and cancelled our annual fundraiser, as well as all remaining spring events, in an effort to protect the health and well-being of our visitors, volunteers, and staff.

 Our hearts and prayers are with you. Please keep safe and take care of yourselves. We are strong and will get through this together.”

The Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center is home to approximately 350 wild animals including foxes, porcupines, coyotes, bobcats, owls, bears, hawks, raccoons and mountain lions. The nonprofit wildlife refuge is located near 156th Street and Rio Verde Drive in Scottsdale. Throughout the year, Southwest Wildlife rescues and rehabilitates native wild animals always with the goal to release the animals back into the wild, whenever possible.

Established in 1994, the SWCC rescues and rehabilitates wildlife that has been injured, displaced, and orphaned. Once rehabilitated, they are returned to the wild. Sanctuary is provided to animals that cannot be released back to the wild. Educational and humane scientific research opportunities are offered in the field of conservation medicine. Wildlife education includes advice on living with wildlife and the importance of native wildlife to healthy ecosystems. For more information or to donate go to www.southwestwildlife.org.

OneAZ Community Foundation Announces $200,000 in Grants to Help Arizona Nonprofits Affected by COVID-19 Pandemic

OneAZ Credit Union and OneAZ Community Foundation have pledged to award $200,000 in emergency COVID-19 Community Impact Grants as part of their commitment to helping Arizona communities. Area 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations impacted by COVID-19 may submit applications online beginning March 20.

OneAZ Credit Union and OneAZ Community Foundation are committed to supporting the local economy through several initiatives. In the last four years OneAZ has given over $397,000 to nonprofits statewide that make a difference in the quality of life for those who live and work in Arizona.

“We recognize that COVID-19 is impacting us all in unprecedented ways, and we’re eager to help nonprofit organizations sustain their operations during these uncertain times,” said Kim Reedy, CEO for OneAZ Credit Union.

The goal is to provide emergency funding for nonprofit organizations that serve one or more of OneAZ’s five key community focus areas, including (1) children’s health, (2) food banks, (3) financial literacy, (4) military, veterans’ and first responders’ interests, and (5) local youth programs. Applications by nonprofits with operations outside these five pillars will also be considered.

Nonprofits are encouraged to apply online, include a summary of how COVID-19 has impacted their operations and how the emergency grant funds will be used. Grants will be awarded in $2,000 increments with applications reviewed on a weekly basis until all $200,000 is awarded or May 1, 2020, whichever comes first. Prior grant recipients are eligible to apply for an emergency COVID-19 Community Impact Grant.

For full details and to apply for an emergency COVID-19 Community Impact Grant, visit https://www.oneazcu.com/about/foundation/covid-19-arizona-grant.

Phoenix Mayor Gallego Declares State of Emergency in Response to COVID-19 — Bars to close by 8pm March 17, restaurants to shift to take-out/delivery/drive-thru only

Below is the statement issued from the Mayor’s office this afternoon:

“After extensive discussions with medical professionals, business leaders, and community members I am working with my fellow councilmembers and city leadership to implement a State of Emergency in the City of Phoenix in response to COVID-19. Tomorrow’s City Council meeting includes a scheduled vote on this State of Emergency Declaration. The parameters and further details on the proposed declaration will be available following tomorrow’s vote.

The most immediate effect of this declaration is that Phoenix bars have been asked to close by 8pm tonight and all restaurants (or bars that serve food) are asked to shift to a take-out/delivery/drive-thru only model. We have not assigned an official end date to these closures. We’re reviewing needs on an hourly basis based on medical input. The other largest cities in the nation have already made the difficult to move bar and restaurant service to take-out/delivery/drive-thru only models.

This was not a decision made lightly–we understand we are talking about people’s livelihoods and lives. Servers, bartenders, wait staff, and others will need our support during this time. It is imperative that all levels of government partner to put forward innovative solutions to support our businesses and residents.

I’ve spoken with medical professionals who continue to reiterate that our system is not prepared for a deluge of COVID-19 patients. They’ve asked that community leaders do anything possible to help stem the spread of this virus. We have learned from the mistakes made in other nations in their efforts to combat this virus and we do not want to repeat them. The priority is the health and safety of our residents. This decision will save lives.

What our community is experiencing right now is unprecedented. The steps we take will define the future of our city and our residents. Every Phoenician can be part of the solution. Stay home and save lives. The city has set up an inbox and phone number for residents with questions around city service changes related to COVID-19. Email contactus@phoenix.gov or call at (602)262-3111.”

In addition, the scheduled March 18 Formal City Council meeting will be conducted audience-free. Residents can submit comments on any item on the March 18, 2020 Formal City Council meeting at councilmeeting@phoenix.gov or call with comments before 2pm Wednesday, March 18, at 602.262.6001. The agenda is posted at phoenix.gov; click the button in the middle of the home page that says “City Council Meetings.” Resident comments will be read into the record.

For additional information on how to watch the March 18 meeting, visit https://www.phoenix.gov/newsroom/article/1047.

Keep up-to-date on information in Phoenix at https://www.phoenix.gov/newsroom.

 

Early Giving for Arizona Gives Day Begins March 17 — Registration Re-Opened for Nonprofits That Needed to Cancel Fundraisers

Early giving begins this week for donors participating in the eighth annual Arizona Gives Day, a 24-hour statewide online fundraising event scheduled for Tuesday, April 7.  In addition, registration for this year’s event has been re-opened for nonprofit organizations that had to cancel fundraisers because of concerns about the coronavirus. Registration deadline is Friday, March 27.

Donors also will have the option to increase donations to support an Emergency Relief Fund to assist nonprofits having to cancel critical fundraising events amid COVID-19 health concerns.

Starting Tuesday, March 17, donors can make early donations by visiting the Arizona Gives Day website at www.azgives.org and donate immediately by selecting the “Today” button at checkout. If donors prefer to donate during a specific block of time on Arizona Gives Day to help a nonprofit win a Power Hour an earn additional funds from the prize pool, they will need to donate on April 7 during the appropriate time.

There are two ways to donate to the Emergency Relief Fund: as an add-on at checkout or by visiting www.azgivesaz.org/aznonprofits to make a direct donation to the relief fund.

“Our local nonprofit community is already reporting significant losses, decreases in staff and volunteer capacity and will likely see an increase in demand for services,” said Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits CEO Kristen Merrifield. “All Emergency Relief Fund donations will be distributed evenly among all Arizona Gives participating organization.”

The public also can support and champion their favorite nonprofit by creating their own fundraising page. Simply to go the specific organization’s profile page at www.azgives.org and click on “Create A Fundraiser” to get started.

Bashas’ Family of Stores to Offer Special Shopping Hours for Residents 65 and Over Beginning March 18

To support the shopping needs of older adults during this critical time, starting this Wednesday, March 18, all Bashas’, Food City and AJ’s grocery stores in the state of Arizona will open from 5am to 6am on Wednesdays for anyone age 65+.

Bashas’ reservation stores will be open from 6-7am for those 65+.

Shoppers will be required to show a valid I.D. at the door.

If there is a need for a caretaker, one caretaker is welcome, but will not be allowed to shop for themselves.

All purchase limitations will remain in effect.

For additional information, visit www.bashas.com.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources to Know & Updates From North Valley Municipalities

TOWN OF CAREFREE

With the recent cancellation of sporting events, concerts and other community events the concerns regarding the coronavirus is at the forefront of everyone’s mind.  There are a number of resources which can give you up to date information on the evolving circumstances related to the virus and what to do to protect you and your family.  Please share these resources with your family, friends and neighbors. 

For important information, including travel advisories:
www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html

For specific questions, see the CDC’s FAQ section:
www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html

For Arizona:
https://www.azdhs.gov/preparedness/epidemiology-disease-control/infectious-disease-epidemiology/index.php#novel-coronavirus-home

For information about COVID-19 in each state, search each state’s health department, which works with the CDC to monitor and implement all recommendations:
www.cdc.gov/publichealthgateway/healthdirectories/healthdepartments.html

For up-to-date developments, research, and guidance from government health authorities and the World Health Organization (WHO), go to:
www.idsociety.org/public-health/Novel-Coronavirus


TOWN OF CAVE CREEK

The Town of Cave Creek has issued a statement about the situation and will keep the community informed with updates as we receive them from federal, state and county officials. Read the full statement on our website at https://tinyurl.com/vtphfy8.


CITY OF PHOENIX

Mayor Gallego Statement on Phoenix Response to COVID-19

March 12, 2020 PHOENIX- The City of Phoenix is in regular communication with all appropriate emergency response agencies to ensure we are working together to limit exposure to COVID-19 in Arizona. This collaboration allows the city to implement safety protocols that are based on facts and to pass along updates, so that employees and residents can make informed decisions.

The city has two main goals–to keep the public safe and accurately informed and ensure flexibility to monitor this fast-moving situation. Phoenix will be providing regular updates to both city residents and employees through our social media channels and Phoenix.Gov.

“Phoenix is working closely with the appropriate emergency response agencies to provide accurate and up-to-date information to our residents. Our goal is to alleviate fear and give residents the needed tools to best protect themselves and others,” said Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego.

City Plans

  • As of March 12, the City of Phoenix Water Department has halted all water shut-offs for non-payment to ensure residents have access to water for COVID-19 sanitation purposes. Those currently disconnected will be re-connected and receive low-flow water service adequate for sanitation and cooking.
  • We are coordinating closely with our Fire and Police Departments to ensure they have the resources they need.
  • The city is reviewing possible alternative options for upcoming public meetings and gatherings.
  • We are working with each of our city departments to determine possible telecommuting needs for city staff should the need arise. Work travel for city business has been greatly restricted for the time being. All staff who feel ill are asked to stay home.
  • City staff and custodial vendors have increased cleaning efforts in all city facilities, targeting surfaces like elevator buttons, handrails, bathroom handles, fixtures and doors.

Prevention Strategies

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds (or use hand sanitizer).
  • Stay home when you are sick. Consider using telemedicine if healthcare is needed.
  • Cover your cough/sneeze with elbow or tissue.
  • If you are sick and have traveled to impacted areas in the last 14 days, please call your healthcare provider.

To learn more, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2019 Novel Coronavirus, Frequently Asked Questions page at cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

[Additional resources: https://www.phoenix.gov/newsroom/em-and-hs/866]


CITY OF SCOTTSDALE

Coronaviris update

The city continues to serve the public throughout situations like the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Scottsdale’s All Hazards Incident Management Team is a cross-functional group staffed by employees from throughout the organization who are meeting regularly to share current information and ensure that city staff and the public are protected, and that city operations continue despite any interruptions that could occur. This team is in regular contact with partners at Maricopa County Public Health and the Arizona Department of Health Services, who are providing updated guidance as needed. Learn more: https://www.scottsdaleaz.gov/news/coronavirus-update.

Brandon Drummond Announced as Director of Operations at Compass Lounge and Restaurant

Hyatt Regency Phoenix downtown offers a new look and feel following a multi-million-dollar makeover, and patrons of Arizona’s only revolving rooftop restaurant, Compass, will find a fresh face at the helm.

Brandon Drummond, a member of the Hyatt Regency family for over 15 years, is taking the reins as the new director of Operations at Compass. Drummond, who worked at Hyatt Regency hotels in Washington, D.C., San Antonio, New Orleans and Bonita Springs, Florida, before making his way further west, comes to Hyatt Regency Phoenix most recently from Hyatt Regency in Greenwich, Connecticut. There, he was responsible for overseeing the culinary efforts of the $13.5 million operation and will draw upon the culinary and management skills he honed there in his new role in Arizona.

Pairing his culinary talents and creativity with inspiration from the beauty of the Southwest, guests of Compass will find a revamped lounge menu spotlighting fresh seafood, handcrafted cocktails and similar elevated fare. Think Buttermilk Fried Quail with wilted greens and jalapeño honey, for starters, or a Charcuterie Board boasting the likes of local cheeses, meats, pickles and jams.

Compass says that the menu is leading guests in an exciting new direction, offering a number of notable new selections from land and sea in addition to longtime staples. Main-course highlights include Quick-Cured Duck served alongside barley mushroom risotto, bok choy and blackberry demi or indulgent Elk Chops served with a guest’s choice of béarnaise, truffle butter, steak sauce or a merlot or blackberry demi.

As far as cocktails, Compass offers a wide array of selections ranging from the Strawberry Blonde, made with Meyer lemon vodka, house-made lemonade and simple syrup, and strawberries, to the Blue Rose Bramble, featuring Maker’s Mark, blueberries and house-made rosemary simple syrup.

This month, Valley residents can get a taste of the local culinary and performance arts scenes at the same time. Drummond is among those participating in Plated and Staged…A Herberger Theater Experience, an annual fundraising event that unites more than 850 guests and 35 partners from fine restaurants across the Valley. Slated for Sunday, March 29, at the Herberger Theater, the event benefits the theater’s youth outreach programs, which seek to expose even more area youths to the culinary and performing arts.

Hyatt Regency Phoenix is located at 122 North 2nd Street in downtown Phoenix. For more information, call 602.252.1234 or visit the property online.

NVSO Presents ‘Women in Music’ March 14

NVSO Cello Section Performing Christmas Pops; Photo: Pete Schulte

Join North Valley Symphony Orchestra (NVSO) as they recognize the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage by performing music written by women. These talented composers do not receive as much recognition as their male counterparts but are equally talented.

NVSO music director Kevin Kozacek said, “We are delighted to perform three works by woman composers on this concert. The idea to showcase women in music came from the fact that this concert season coincides with the 100th anniversary of woman’s suffrage in America. In 1919 congress passed the 19th Amendment, and the states finished ratification in 1920. NVSO is excited to feature three very successful composers at our March 14 concert.”

Amy Beach’s Symphony in E Minor was written in 1894 and was the first symphony composed and published by a female American composer. The symphony employs numerous English, Irish and Scottish melodies, so Beach subtitled the work the Gaelic Symphony.

“Audience members will enjoy the folk-like feeling evoked by the piece,” said Kozacek.

Cécile Chaminade was a French composer, and NVSO will perform a suite of four movements from her ballet Callirhoë, written in 1888.

Kozacek said, “The piece is rich with playful melodies and motifs, and easy to visualize ballerinas dancing to the music.”

Last, Joan Tower is a current American composer that just this year was awarded the annual Gold Baton award from the League of American Orchestras for her contribution to the field of orchestral music. Other recipients include Bernstein, Copland and John Williams. The featured piece Sixth Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman was written in 2014, the sixth in a series of pieces that Tower has written to celebrate the risk-takers, or uncommon women of today.

“I’m proud of NVSO for dedicating this concert as a celebration of women in music and hope that many community members will attend the unique event,” concluded Kozacek.

The “Women in Music” concert is sponsored by CASCO Financial Group. The concert will be held Saturday, March 14, 7-9pm, at North Canyon High School Performing Arts Center, 1700 East Union Hills Drive in North Phoenix.

NVSO provides affordable concert experiences to the Phoenix North Valley community. Ticket prices are $5 each concert, and children 5 and under are always free. Purchase tickets at the NVSO website, www.northvalleysymphony.org, or by calling 623.980.4628.

Mayor Gallego Issues Statement on COVID-19 Precautions Ahead of DNC Debate

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego

PHOENIX- The City of Phoenix, Maricopa County, the State of Arizona, public health officials, the Democratic National Convention, Sky Harbor International Airport, CNN, Phoenix Convention Center, Arizona Federal Theatre, and other pertinent parties are in daily contact ahead of the Sunday, March 15 presidential debate in Phoenix to discuss precautions being taken against COVID-19.

We understand the responsibility that comes with hosting an event under these circumstances. We are taking strong precautions, and, most importantly, breaking down communication silos. From now until post-debate we will be convening these stakeholders daily to discuss precautions we are taking. 

We understand that the fear felt by residents is real, which is why we want to ensure transparency and efficiency in the dissemination of information on this topic. At this time, we are working with the understanding that the debate is moving forward as planned and taking proper safety precautions in the lead up to Sunday. Based on this information we will reassess daily what possible changes need to be made.

To learn more, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2019 Novel Coronavirus, Frequently Asked Questions page at cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html or Maricopa County’s page at: https://www.maricopa.gov/5460/Coronavirus-Disease-2019.

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