Community Info

Friday, March 27, 2020

Your Southern Arizona Coronavirus PM Roundup: Friday, March 27

Posted By on Fri, Mar 27, 2020 at 5:00 PM

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Here are the coronavirus news stories we've been following today:

  • A total of 665 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Arizona on Friday, March 27, according to the morning report from the Arizona Department of Health Services.

  • With the Arizona Department of Health Services announcing the state’s COVID-19 transmission level to be “widespread,” sectors from private businesses to the state government are implementing new plans to combat the steadily growing pandemic.

  • Internal Emails from the CDC show how chaos slowed the early response to coronavirus.

  • The #SceneFromASocialDistance for today came from early morning grocery shopping experience, or more specifically, the line to get in.

  • In an interview with ProPublica, Dr. Fineberg talks about how our goal should be to flatten the curve.

  • As with many businesses, dispensaries continue to adapt to daily societal change in the face of the COVID-19 virus. While non-essential businesses remain closed for the foreseeable future, dispensaries continue to maintain recommended measures to keep patients and staff safe.

  • As basic necessities and rest-stop options become limited across the nation during the coronavirus pandemic, the Triple T Truckstop is stepping up to make sure truck drivers on Interstate 10 have what they need and a safe, clean place to lay their head.

  • As the question of whether Arizona’s public schools will reopen before the scheduled date of summer break hangs in the air, administrators now know they will not have to extend the academic year.

  • A group of researchers from the University of Arizona's College of Engineering and College of Medicine are 3D printing medical masks for health care workers at Banner Medical Center.

  • As the coronavirus pandemic spreads, so have confrontations between detainees and guards at Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention facilities across the country.

  • We continue to update our list of restaurants still serving Tucsonans.

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

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

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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Southern Arizona Restaurants Offering Takeout and Delivery

Posted By on Fri, Mar 27, 2020 at 3:04 PM

COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo

As fear of the spreading COVID-19 virus pushes local governments to restrict service to take-out and delivery and more people limit their travel, local restaurants are getting hammered. Tucson Weekly has compiled a list of local restaurants that are still open, and how you can enjoy their food.

For information on where to park in Downtown for pickup, please scroll to the bottom to find a map provided by Park Tucson.

If you are a restaurant owner, please let us know if you want to be included on this list at tucsoneditor@tucsonlocalmedia.com.

If you know of any changes to this list, please let us know so we can update it accordingly. We're all in this together!

4th Avenue Deli (520-624-3354): Mon - Sat 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Delivery with Uber Eats, take out also available

Angelo's Pizza & Gyros (520-292-9868): Take out and delivery

Baggin’s Gourmet Sandwiches (520-792-1344): Take out and delivery

Barrio Bread (520-327-1292): Take out, and pay at the door with six-foot distancing insisted for waiting in line

Barrio Brewing (520-791-2739): Take out. 100 percent of sales from growler fills and Barrio Blonde cans go to support hourly staff

Batch (520-203-7370): Take out and GrubHub

Berry Greens Açaí & Juice Bar (520-367-5913): Take out, DoorDash and PostMates

BK Tacos ( North location: 520-207-2245 / South location: 520-295-0105): Take out, drive through, and delivery within a two-mile radius of each location

Blanco Tacos + Tequila (520-232-1007): $0 delivery fee on all orders of $15 or more with Door Dash. 50% off Beer and Wine with the purchase of any food-to-go order. 35% off all to-go orders. Call or use code FRC35 online orders. Take out, curbside pick-up and delivery. Online ordering.

Bisbee Breakfast Club (Multiple Locations): Take out and delivery 8 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Boca Tacos (520-777-8134): Take out and deliveries through 3rd parties

Brooklyn Pizza (520-622-6868): Take out and delivery

Bruegger’s Bagels (520-206-0002): Take out, delivery and GrubHub

Bubb's Grub (520-825-6510): Take out and delivery

Caffe Luce Coffee Roasting Co. (520-623-4477): Take out

Caffé Milano (520-628-1601): Take out

Catalina Craft Pizza (520-825-0140): Take out and delivery

Cartel Coffee Lab (480-621-6381): Take out and DoorDash

Carlotta's Kitchen (520-903-1922): Take out and delivery

Ceres Pasta + Bread (520-365-3500): Take out

Charred Pie Wood Fired Pizza (520-395-2232): Take out and delivery

Charro Steak (520-485-1922): Take out and delivery with alcohol for both

Cheba Hut (520-495-4719): Take out and delivery

Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen (520-327-0187): Take out only, menu available online

The China Bistro Restaurant (520-325-5185): Take out and delivery, Mon - Fri 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. / Sat - Sun 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Chuy's Mesquite Broiler (Multiple locations): Take out and delivery

Claire's Cafe (520-825-2525): Take out, curbside, and delivery

The Coronet (520-222-9889): Take out and delivery via DoorDash, plus new special menus

Crooked Tooth (520-444-5305): Offering to-go beers (credit card payment only) Mon - Wed closed / Thurs - Fri 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. / Sat - Sun Noon to 5 p.m.

Culinary Dropout (520-203-0934): $0 delivery fee on all orders of $15 or more with Door Dash. 50% off Beer and Wine with the purchase of any food-to-go order. 35% off all to-go orders. Call or use code FRC35 online orders. Take out, curbside pick-up and delivery. Online ordering.

Cup Cafe at Hotel Congress (520-798-1618): Take out only

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UA Scientists 3D-Printing Medical Masks to Fight COVID-19

Posted By on Fri, Mar 27, 2020 at 2:50 PM

Professor of medicine Sairam Parthasarathy and professor of materials science and engineering Douglas Loy are part of University of Arizona's team 3D-printing medical masks to help combat coronavirus - COURTESY UA
  • Courtesy UA
  • Professor of medicine Sairam Parthasarathy and professor of materials science and engineering Douglas Loy are part of University of Arizona's team 3D-printing medical masks to help combat coronavirus
A group of researchers from the University of Arizona's College of Engineering and College of Medicine are 3D printing medical masks for health care workers at Banner Medical Center. 

The project involves multiple scientific fields; researchers in materials science and engineering will print the masks, then a chemical engineering researcher and a medical professor will test the masks to make sure they meet standards set by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

The materials science researchers are currently testing multiple mask designs on their available 3D printers, but have ordered 10 new 3D printers and hope to increase production to 200 masks and 2,000 disposable filters per week. Some of the current mask designs were created by UA's engineering students, and the researchers hope to finalize a mask design soon.

This increase in medical masks is aimed at helping health care workers in need of medical equipment to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Earlier this week, Pima County Health Director Bob England stated that the county could not keep up the demand from local hospitals for medical equipment. While Pima County received a shipment of the state's portion of the federal National Strategic Stockpile, it's not enough.

England said when the County tried to respond to the requests of local hospitals, they could only deliver 9 percent of the surgical masks, 3 percent of the goggles and face shields, and 2 percent of the gloves that were requested.

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Gov. Ducey signs legislation providing education guidelines

Posted By on Fri, Mar 27, 2020 at 2:49 PM

TUCSON LOCAL MEDIA FILE PHOTO
  • Tucson Local Media File Photo
As the question of whether Arizona’s public schools will reopen before the scheduled date of summer break hangs in the air, administrators now know they will not have to extend the academic year.

Gov. Doug Ducey signed legislation Friday that ensures school will not have to make up for days lost due to statewide closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“During this unprecedented time, parents and educators need certainty so they can plan and make decisions—and this bill provides it,” said Ducey in a statement. “It protects our teachers and prioritizes our students, ensuring kids continue to receive instruction even with schools closed.”
House Bill 2910, introduced by State Rep. Michelle Udall (R-Mesa), also requires public schools to begin offering education via “alternative formats” while the schools are closed. Ducey has ordered them shuttered at least through April 10.

If the closure lasts through the end of the academic year, the new law requires schools to provide instruction until summer break is scheduled to begin. If the closure ends before that time, schools have the option to either resume physical operations or stick with technology-based distance learning.

The bill also moves the testing window for statewide assessments back to May 31.
School transportation fleets, including school buses, may be used to perform school operations “that are deemed to support students and their families during the statewide closure as determined by the public school.”

Teachers are expected to continue providing education during the closure, with both salaried and hourly employees now guaranteed their pay.

HB 2910 also allows for schools to reassign employees whose work cannot be done remotely, and eases statutory requirements for the delivery of special education as long as a school can ensure “to the greatest extent possible” that students covered under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act receive special education services and access to alternative modes of teaching.

“This is what coming together to support our kids and families looks like, and Arizona is again leading the way,” Ducey said.

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As Coronavirus Infections Spread, So Have Clashes Between ICE Detainees and Guards

Posted By on Fri, Mar 27, 2020 at 12:00 PM

ICE officers in Hawthorne, California, on March 1. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters) - PROPUBLICA
  • ProPublica
  • ICE officers in Hawthorne, California, on March 1. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)
ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Click here to read their biggest stories as soon as they’re published.

This article is co-published with The Texas Tribune, as part of an investigative partnership.

As the coronavirus pandemic spreads, so have confrontations between detainees and guards at Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention facilities across the country, the latest in Louisiana and Texas.

The battles come as four people — two correctional officers and two detainees — tested positive for COVID-19 at New Jersey detention facilities.

On Monday, migrants clashed with guards over a lack of safe conditions and demanded to be released from the South Texas Processing Center in Pearsall, attorneys and family members said. The melee led to a standoff and the guards shot pepper spray at the detainees, which ended with nine of the migrants now held for disciplinary charges. The migrants had raised concerns about the lack of screening measures for new arrivals to the complex, operated by the Florida-based GEO Group under a contract with ICE.


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Waiting in Vain? Tucsonans Line Up Early to Buy Groceries

Posted By on Fri, Mar 27, 2020 at 11:30 AM

AUSTIN COUNTS
  • Austin Counts
Dozens of Tucsonans waited outside Fry's Grocery Store at Grant Road and Swan Road at 6 A.M. to be the first to procure necessity items like eggs, milk, bread and toilet paper once the doors open at 7 A.M.

Recently the grocery store changed their hours to open for seniors at 6 A.M. Monday through Thursday, and then to the general public at 7 A.M. On Fridays, however, the store opens to everyone at 7 A.M. Young and old line up about a shopping cart's distance to wait the hour before the doors open to see which items have been restocked.

70-year-old Don Reister said this is his second time coming the grocery store this week. He came to Fry's early yesterday morning and waited, but they were out of what he needed once. He hopes today they'll have cheese, yogurt and blueberries in stock.

"I'm a little annoyed because I think people are getting out of hand with this," Reister said while waiting in the bitterly crisp morning air. "I just went yesterday and they didn't have anything."

At the front of the line is an employee of the store named Kevin (declined to give his last name). He is here on his day off to buy groceries for the week - and find out if he can pick up a few more shifts. Kevin has a hunch that out of stock items like toilet paper, bleach and paper towels were restocked the night before and will be on the shelves this morning.

"On these days, I'm just like any other customer," Kevin said waiting for his fellow employees to unlock the doors. "I like to start on (the toilet paper) aisle and work my way across. I hope a shipment came because I don't have much toilet paper at home."

Even though Kevin works at the store, he said he still has trouble getting his necessities like frozen dinners, cat litter, toothpaste and basic groceries. He believes the shortages are directly related to people hoarding during the coronavirus pandemic. 

"People are hoarding and over-buying stuff," Kevin said. "You don't know how long this is going to last before the virus is curtailed. People are just being crazy."

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Local Hospitals Update Strategies to Handle Coronavirus

Posted By on Fri, Mar 27, 2020 at 11:06 AM

LOGAN BURTCH-BUUS
  • Logan Burtch-Buus
With the Arizona Department of Health Services announcing the state’s COVID-19 transmission level to be “widespread,” sectors from private businesses to the state government are implementing new plans to combat the steadily growing pandemic.

These plans all focus on preventing an eventual hospital overload with more patients than beds, as has happened in other countries where the pandemic has quickly spread.

Dr. Cara Christ, ADHS director, said in a press briefing yesterday that Arizona’s COVID-19 outbreak could peak in April, with the greatest pressure on hospitals in May. But given the lack of data (the state lab has only run a few hundred tests; private labs have run more, but the number is unknown) means it’s impossible to say how many Arizonans are already infected with the virus.

COVID Act Now, a team of data scientists, engineers, and epidemiologists working to estimate the growth of infections across the country, projected that a potential overload could happen in Arizona as soon as late April if the state took little action to limit the spread of the virus. By contrast, three months of social distancing could still lead to an overload in mid-May.

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Staff Pick

Canceled: Sahba Home and Patio Show

Featuring more than 300 exhibitors come and see what is new in home improvement trends, remodeling and… More

@ Tucson Convention Center March 6-April 5, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 260 S. Church Ave.

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