Here are some ways you can look for help in these troubling times.
• ARIZONA@WORK, a statewide workforce development network that helps employers of all sizes and types recruit, develop and retain the best employees for their needs, is posting a regularly updated list of employers who are hiring in Arizona. Find it here.
.• If your small business has been impacted by the outbreak, you may be eligible for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan to pay fixed debts, accounts payable, payroll and other bills. Find more information at sba.gov.
• The Community Action Agency Pima County works with partners who provide programs for low-income families and the larger community. They may be able to provide rent help (including mortgage assistance and eviction prevention), financial assistance, health care support or food assistance. Call 724-2667 or visit needhelppayingbills.com.
• The Restaurant Workers Community Fund has compiled a list of resources to help restaurants and workers who have been negatively impacted by the virus, including a relief fund the organization is developing itself. Also, news about unemployment, other relief funds, financial assistance and health care. Visit restaurantworkerscf.org.
• The Community Foundation for Southern Arizona is creating two relief funds for nonprofit organizations impacted by COVID-19. The COVID-19 Event Relief Fund will support nonprofits who have had to cancel fundraising events in response to the virus, and the COVID-19 Community Support Fund will support nonprofits experiencing increased service demands. Visit cfsaz.org/covid19 or call 770-0800 for more information.
• The Community Investment Corporation (CIC) is supporting local small businesses via specialized loan products and partnerships. CIC’s immediate offerings will help bridge current and impending gaps in cash flow for small businesses as the details for a government stimulus package and qualifications for assistance are finalized. CIC can offer business microloans of up to $10,000 and is making any small biz affected by COVID-19 eligible for its nonprofit partnership and enhanced community benefit rates of 3%. Loan terms can also be extended out to 5 years as needed. Additional loans with interest-only payments for up to six months may also be available, along with other loan alternatives. For details, visit CICTucson.org.
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As of today’s official count from the Arizona Department of Health Services, 326 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Arizona. There are 42 confirmed cases in Pima County.
One person in Pima County, a woman in her 50s with underlying health conditions, has died from the illnesses, which has killed a total five people statewide.
In Maricopa County, the number on confirmed COVID-19 cases has risen to 199.
The rise in cases corresponds with increased testing for COVID-19 but health officials warn that far more people have likely been exposed to the virus. Symptoms can take up to 14 days to appear, so people can pass the virus without realizing they have been infected with it. Some people remain entirely asymptotic but are carriers.
Yesterday, Banner Health officials warned against self-medicating to prevent or treat COVID-19 after a couple in their 60s ingested chloroquine phosphate, a chemical used to clean fish tanks. The man died and the woman remains in critical condition.
President Donald Trump has hailed chloroquine, which is sometimes used to treat malaria, as a treatment for COVID-19.
“Given the uncertainty around COVID-19, we understand that people are trying to find new ways to prevent or treat this virus, but self-medicating is not the way to do so,” said Dr. Daniel Brooks, Banner Poison and Drug Information Center medical director, in a prepared statement. “The last thing that we want right now is to inundate our emergency departments with patients who believe they found a vague and risky solution that could potentially jeopardize their health.”
As COVID-19 has spread, local and state officials limited restaurants to take-out and delivery services in counties where cases of the virus have been confirmed. Here’s a parital list of restaurants that are offering take-out and delivery services.
In the face of the spreading virus, Gov. Doug Ducey has ordered schools closed through April 10. He has also 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 and activated the National Guard to assist in grocery stores as Arizonans clear the shelves.
According to the CDC, COVID-19 symptoms typically occur two to 14 days after exposure, and include fever, cough and shortness of breath. 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 to firstname.lastname@example.org.