Governor’s Office Provides Additional Guidance on Essential Services — Closures Effective April 4

The Governor’s Office today released additional guidance on essential services and recreational activities.

“During these unprecedented times, providing clarity for small businesses and employers is an important measure to ensure we protect our citizens, slow the spread of COVID-19, and protect this critical part of our economy,” said Gov. Doug Ducey. “As guidance from public health officials evolves, we will continue to release information and direction.”

On March 23, 2020, Gov. Ducey issued an Executive Order defining essential services. On March 30, 2020, following new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and recommendations from the Arizona Department of Public Health, Gov. Ducey issued an Executive Order directing Arizonans to Stay Home, Stay Healthy, and Stay Connected, which included increased physical distancing requirements. According to today’s release from the Governor’s office:

If not already closed, the following services shall cease operations no later than 5pm April 4, 2020, as these services cannot comply with the guidelines required in paragraph 11 of Executive Order 2020-18, directing Arizonans to Stay Home, Stay Healthy, and Stay Connected.

  • Barbers 
  • Cosmetology, Hairstyling, Nail Salons and Aesthetic Salons 
  • Tanning salons
  • Tattoo parlors
  • Spas
  • Massage parlors

In addition, the following services shall also cease operations by 5pm Saturday, April 4:

  • Amenities at public parks that do not allow for recommended physical distancing or proper hygiene such as basketball courts, splash pads, playgrounds and public restrooms but public parks shall remain open to the greatest extent possible.
  • Communal pools such as those at hotels, condominiums, apartment complexes and parks, however, these should still be maintained under environmental and public health rules and guidelines.
  • Swap meets

The Governor’s Office also provided guidance related to the following services, which they are considering essential and may continue operations:

  • Personal hygiene services including in-home services such as assistance with bathing and cleaning for vulnerable adults and those who are disabled.
  • Daycare centers providing care for individuals with children serving in any essential services category. 
  • Hotels and motels, to the extent used for lodging, including RV Parks, and hotel and motel restaurants providing delivery or carryout food services.
  • Respite and palliative care.

For continuing updates from the Governor’s office and resources for individuals, visit https://arizonatogether.org.

The Scottsdale Arts Festival Has Gone Virtual

The Scottsdale Arts Festival was scheduled to host its 50th anniversary celebration March 13–15, but the decision was made to cancel the in-person 2020 Festival out of an abundance of caution, given rising concerns around COVID-19. In light of the cancellation, the Festival is now online to view.

Festival organizers are calling on the community to help support art in the Valley and the participating artists during this time of uncertainty by considering a donation to Scottsdale Arts, through the Scottsdale Art Festival, by purchasing a voluntary virtual ticket. Virtual ticket holders will also be automatically entered to win a goodie bag.

The Scottsdale Arts Festival features artists working in all media, and residents can check out the complete Artist Catalog online now during the 2020 Virtual Scottsdale Arts Festival. A jury of local arts professionals selects the artists to exhibit and, during the Festival, awards prizes in numerous categories, including painting, sculpture, glass, ceramics, jewelry, photography, printmaking, textiles, woodworking and more.

A complete list of 2020 exhibiting artists is available online, and if visitors discover an artist they like, the Festival has provided links to websites on each category page, and in the comprehensive PDF list on the event website. The list was compiled by Scottsdale Arts in support of the participating artists who were registered and booked for the Festival in 2020 prior to cancellation in an effort to, “show our support for these wonderfully talented and amazing artists who share their talents with our community.” The Festival encourages patrons to consider showing support by visiting the artist websites or contacting them via email to inquire about commissions or pieces they currently have for sale.

Visit the Scottsdale Arts Festival website to purchase a virtual ticket and to view the artwork.


Photos courtesy Scottsdale Arts Festival

Feature photo: artwork by Ivano Stocco

Agency on Aging Responds to Increase in Calls for Assistance During Coronavirus Pandemic — Provides Tips on Staying Connected

Pictured: Regan Smith and Scott Hawthorne; photo courtesy of Area Agency on Aging

As of March 27, the Area Agency on Aging’s professional staff responded to 8,126 calls, 86 percent related to food, that have come into the 24-hour Senior Help Line, an increase of 257 percent over the previous nine days.

In response to those calls, the agency’s staff and 35 volunteers and AmeriCorps members delivered 420 food boxes provided by St. Mary’s Food Bank, 32 food bags filled by Area Agency staff and 500 sack lunches provided by CSAA Insurance Group.  In addition, 107 callers were referred to senior centers for grab-and-go meals or to Meals on Wheels for delivery.

“Our team has been working around the clock to ensure that seniors in our community have the food and nourishment they need at a time when it’s more difficult than ever for them to get to a grocery store. These numbers don’t reflect referrals that have been to other services and resources that are so important to their health and well-being,” said Area Agency on Aging president and CEO Mary Lynn Kasunic.  “It has been an effort driven by an incredible commitment to the clients we serve every day.  In fact, our staff has been bringing in extra cans of food that they purchase on their own when they go shopping for themselves.”

Kasunic said that, “St. Mary’s Food Bank has been a tremendous partner in our outreach, and supplying food pallets every day based on our needs.”

During the nine days prior to March 18, the Senior Help Line responded to 2,091 calls, 25 percent of which were related to food, Kasunic said.

The Senior Help Line (602.264.HELP (4357) or Toll Free at 888.783.7500) is a 24-hour information and assistance resource and central intake for the Area Agency, helping seniors navigate a diverse range of resources.

Among the services are information on benefits including Medicare counseling, family care giving support, legal assistance and links to a variety of other resources that help older adults.

While the help line is always available to Valley seniors, the Agency reminds residents that it is also important to check in on older family, friends and neighbors.

“Isolation at any time can be very difficult for people of all ages, particularly for older adults, but especially during this uncertain time as we try to navigate through unchartered territory,” said Kasunic. “That’s why maintaining consistent contact with older adults who may be isolated or facing isolation is critically important.”

She suggests staying connected in the following ways:

  • Call on a regular basis
  • Connect with friends and family to set up a “call tree” so they hear from several people at various times
  • Offer to deliver food or medicine
  • Use technology if possible — emails, FaceTime, Facebook
  • Encourage them to reach out and ask for assistance

Kasunic said that the Senior Help Line also can provide information about volunteer opportunities for those who may be interested. For more information, visit www.aaaphx.org.

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.

 

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.

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