Friday, April 3, 2020

Your Southern AZ COVID-19 PM Update for Friday, April 4: Nearly 1,800 Confirmed Cases in AZ; Ducey Orders Barbershops, Playgrounds, Pools & More Closed by Tomorrow; County Closes Most Public Shooting Ranges; & More

Posted By on Fri, Apr 3, 2020 at 5:00 PM

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Here's a roundup of stories we've been following today:

• Pima County has 280 of the state's confirmed 1,769 COVID-19 cases as of this morning's report from the Arizona Department of Health Services. A total of 41 people had died statewide, including 11 in Pima County. Details here.

• Gov. Doug Ducey expanded his stay-at-home order by telling a new set of businesses they had to close by 5 p.m. tomorrow: barbershops; cosmetology, hairstyling, nail salons, and aesthetic salons; tanning salons; tattoo parlors; spa, massage parlors, and swap meets. In the parks, Ducey called for the closing of basketball courts, splash pads, playgrounds, and public restrooms. He also said communal pools at hotels, condominiums, apartment complexes, and parks should be closed by maintained by management. The expanded list of shuttered businesses and amenities comes after Ducey faced criticism by Tucson Mayor Regina Romero and others that he had allowed too many businesses to remain open under a list of "essential services."

• Pima County closed most of its county-run shooting ranges—Southeast Regional Park Shooting Range, Southeast Archery Range, Southeast Clay Target Center, and Tucson Mountain Park Rifle and Pistol Range—because it could no longer provide qualified staffers to keep on eye on things. The county has left open the Tucson Mountain Park Archery Range, along with the Virgil Ellis Rifle and Pistol Range in Ajo, because both are unstaffed.

• The Weekly has an expanded online list of restaurants doing takeout and delivery. Consider supporting your local eateries by picking up little dinner this weekend.

• If you've lost your job lately and need some financial help with young children in the home, the Pima County Health Department may be able to help.

• The labor union for Arizona's prison guards is demanding that all correctional officers be allowed to wear personal protective equipment.

• The UA Cooperative Extension has teamed up with a 4-H program to create face shields and other personal protective equipment, which remains in short supply across the nation.

• Pima County suggests you put together an emergency plan for pet care during the outbreak.

• The Tucson tourism sector is taking a big hit.


With schools now closed through the end of the academic year, teachers have transitioned to online learning and districts across the region are delivering lunch and breakfast meals to kids via school buses or setting up central locations.

In the face of the spreading virus, Ducey has also halted to evictions for 120 days; 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.

While most parks and outdoor recreation areas remain open, many local jurisdictions have closed playgrounds and ramadas to prevent kids and adults from mingling and Ducey's order will likely close the rest by tomorrow. Parking lots for some federal recreation areas—such as Sabino Canyon—have been closed.

Courts have rescheduled most hearings to avoid spreading the virus.

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.

Have you caught COVID-19? Are you feeling ill? Is your small business struggling to make it? Have you lost your job as a result of the outbreak? Are you struggling to manage your kids while schools are closed? Tell us your COVID-19 stories. Send an email or photo to tucsoneditor@tucsonlocalmedia.com.

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