A University of Arizona senior hosted a house party over the weekend despite the City of Tucson's call to avoid nonessential gatherings. The party caused a response from the Tucson Police Department, which later released a statement saying they are "ready to enforce social distancing using state statutes, the red tag ordinance or possibly new ordinances with the help of the city attorney and the mayor and council."
Mayor Regina Romero issued an order on Friday, March 27 to shutter all non-essential businesses that are not protected from mandatory closure by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey. She asked Tucsonans to stay home and avoid necessary trips and urged Ducey to issue a statewide “stay-at-home” order, which he did yesterday afternoon.
Romero's order is effective through Friday, April 17.
Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus warned of consequences for those who disregard the order. He noted that house parties are not included in Ducey's list of "essential activity," and attendees at such gatherings could be charged with a class 1 misdemeanor.
"The worst consequence would be if you pass this virus on to someone who has a serious illness or dies as a result," Magnus said in a press release. "That could be a family member, a friend, or someone you've never met. Although it's especially dangerous for older people and people with certain underlying conditions, this coronavirus can have serious consequences for anyone, regardless of age or health. No matter who you are, you are not immune."
The statement said the usual police response to those who violate emergency orders is to provide them with a warning and education, but "scofflaws who clearly should know better will not receive the same consideration."
The coronavirus has now killed 24 people statewide, including six in Pima County, as of Tuesday, March 31, according to the morning report from the Arizona Department of Health Services.
A total of 1,289 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Arizona. There are now 202 confirmed cases in Pima County, where six people have died after contracting the virus.
In Maricopa County, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has risen to 788.
COVID-19 symptoms typically occur two to 14 days after exposure, and include headache, fever, cough, and shortness of breath, according to the CDC. However, some cases of the virus are entirely asymptomatic. Practices to avoid infection include social distancing (of at least six feet), washing your hands, avoiding unnecessary trips and not touching your face. COVID-19 can survive on cardboard for up to 24 hours, and on stainless steel and plastic surfaces up to three days.
If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, speak with a healthcare provider for medical advice. According to the CDC, people who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to recover at home. Stay at home and avoid public transportation, but stay in touch with your doctor. If you do leave your home, wear a facemask and clean your hands often. If you develop more severe symptoms (persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion, bluish lips) get medical attention immediately. Your local health authorities will give instructions on checking your symptoms and reporting information.
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