Friday, March 27, 2020

Oro Valley extends business restrictions, shuts down parks and rec amenities

Posted By on Fri, Mar 27, 2020 at 4:43 PM

click to enlarge LOGAN BURTCH-BUUS
  • Logan Burtch-Buus
Oro Valley’s proclamation shuttering businesses and restricting restaurants to carry-out and delivery services were extended through the end of the state-wide emergency after a third amendment to its proclamation on Friday.

Mayor Joe Winfield issued his original proclamation on March 17, but at the time did not require establishments to close. In his original message, Winfield delivered a “strong advisory” that restaurants and similar businesses enact measures to implement social distancing and rely on the use of delivery and take-out service.

Two days later, Winfield amended his proclamation by including stricter guidelines for businesses. That change included a restriction for restaurants and an order to close businesses and gathering places.

In addition to extending that mandate, Winfield’s latest amendment also suspended regulation on temporary signs to aid businesses, closed playgrounds, basketball courts, fenced dog parks and other amenities in the town and strongly urged personal hygiene businesses to close.

“The Town Council understands that this unprecedented situation is significantly impacting many of our local businesses,” said Winfield, in a statement. “Suspending enforcement of the temporary sign code in our commercial corridors is one meaningful way we can try to help businesses that have modified operations to let our residents know they are open for business. I hope the community will continue to patronize these places, as appropriate, during this emergency.”

Oro Valley’s decision comes one day after the Pima County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 to extend its own emergency. Democratic Supervisors Richard Elías, Sharon Bronson and Ramón Valadez voted in favor, while Republican Supervisors Ally Miller and Steve Christy voted against the measure.

The Town of Marana’s proclamation is already in effect through April 10.

On Friday, March 20, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman also announced a two-week extension on public school closures, to last until April 10.

In the face of the spreading virus, Ducey also halted to evictions for 120 days; ordered bars, gyms and theaters to be closed in any county with confirmed COVID-19 cases; halted all elective surgery to keep hospital beds available for COVID-19 patients; loosened regulations to make telemedicine more available and increase eligibility for AHCCCS, the state's Medicaid program; and activated the National Guard to assist in grocery stores as Arizonans clear the shelves.

A total of 665 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Arizona as of Friday, March 27, according to the morning report from the Arizona Department of Health Services. That's a jump of 157 from the previous day’s 508. There are now 102 confirmed cases in Pima County.

The virus has killed 13 people in Arizona, including four in Pima County— two being a woman in her 50s and a man in his 70s who both had underlying health conditions.

In Maricopa County, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has risen to 399, with 100 more cases being reported than yesterday.

Health and government officials have urged the public to avoid unnecessary trips and gatherings of more than 10 people. They warn that the extremely contagious virus is rapidly spreading in the community. Symptoms can take up to 14 days to appear, so people can pass COVID-19 without realizing they have been infected with it. Some people remain entirely asymptotic but are carriers.

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