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As the spread of the Coronavirus continues, here are the latest updates from Southern Arizona.
Friday, March 20:
3:00 p.m.: Oro Valley announced the lobbies of all Town buildings will be closed to the general public starting Monday, March 23. Oro Valley staff will still be providing service to residents by phone, email and online. The move comes after Gov. Doug Ducey activated the National Guard to restock grocery store shelves, halted all elective surgeries and closed all bars, gyms and movie theaters in any county with confirmed cases of COVID-19.
The closure does not apply to the Oro Valley Police Department nor the Oro Valley Magistrate Court, which will remain open for public access, with some limitations. Find details on the court limitations here.
Other Town of Oro Valley cancellations include:
• All Town of Oro Valley board and commission meetings (through April 30)
• OVPD’s Annual Drug Awareness Day at Riverfront Park (March 27)
• Oro Valley Police Citizen Academy (Feb. 4 – April 21)
• Veterans and First Responders 5 Miler (May 16)
For more information on closures, visit www.orovalleyaz.gov/covid19.
12:00 p.m.: Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation is canceling most of its department-organized events and activities. The department's natural resources, urban and river parks are expected to stay open, though some facilities may have varying hours. Click here for more information.
10:25 a.m.: Old Tucson has temporarily closed to the public.
10:00 a.m.: Arizona now has 63 confirmed coronavirus cases, with eight in Pima County.
8:55 a.m.: The visitor center and lower parking lot in Sabino Canyon have been closed indefinitely.
8:10 a.m.: Visitors will no longer be allowed in any Banner Health locations, which include hospitals, clinics, surgery centers and urgent cares. Exceptions at hospitals include pediatric patients who can have one adult visitor and laboring mothers who can have one support person. Exceptions at other locations include pediatric patients and people with physical or cognitive limitations or disabilities and require support.
See updated visitor policies at other hospitals here.
8:00 a.m.:Fox Tucson Theatre has postponed all events that were originally scheduled through May. Organizers are working on new dates for many of the events. "If you are a ticket holder for April or May events, our box office will be connecting with you soon (if they have not already) to let you know the specifics for your show," the theatre said.
6:00 a.m.: Gov. Ducey on Thursday evening instituted a statewide closure on bars, called on the National Guard to help restock store shelves, put the brakes on non-essential surgeries and ordered restaurant to have take-out only in counties with a COVID-19 case. Here's our growing list of local restaurants that are open for business.
There are now 44 confirmed coronavirus cases across five counties in the state, according to the Arizona Department of Health services. Early Friday there were 7 known cases in Pima County.
Here's a roundup of local news related to the pandemic:
• The YMCA here is offering emergency child care to first responders and healthcare workers in the medical field.
• Tucson Premium Outlets, the big outdoor shopping center along Interstate-10 in Marana, closed at least through March 29. Here's information about small business loans and here's a growing list of resources for workers who suddenly are unemployed.
• Arizona lawmakers are getting to adopting a no-growth budget to keep Arizona government operating during the pandemic.
• This is Tucson has a guide to social distancing, staying home, saying sane and support local business. And there's a list for finding free meals for kids.
• Editor Jill Jorden Spitz explains how journalists at the Arizona Daily Star are working hard to report and inform readers about effects the coronavirus is having on the community without without trying to scare people or sensationalize the news.
Thursday, March 19:
4:42 p.m.: The Pascua Yaqui Tribal Council has declared a tribal emergency and is limiting and suspending some programs and services until further notice. The Liogue Senior Center, Ili U’usim Mahtawa’po Headstart and the Dr. Fernando Escalante Library at the Itom Mahtawa’po Education Center, will all be closed. Dental services are limited to emergencies and extractions only. The Wellness Center will be closed starting March 23. The tribe is temporarily suspending weekly health transportation services from Guadalupe to Pascua. The Dia de los Ninos celebration and tribal-sponsored meetings will be postponed.
4:19 p.m.: Coronado National Forest is closing availability to rent seven cabins: Palisades Cabin – Santa Catalina Ranger District, Pima County; Kent Springs Cabin and Kentucky Camp – Nogales Ranger District, Santa Cruz County; Half Moon Ranch, Portal Bunkhouse, Portal CCC House and Shaw House – Douglas Ranger District, Cochise County. Coronado National Forest will notify renters and provide refunds. Rental cabin visitors are encouraged to contact their ranger district office with additional questions. In Tucson, those phone numbers are 520-749-8700 for the Santa Catalina Ranger District and 520-388-8300 for the Coronado National Forest Supervisor's Office.
3:58 p.m.: Sahuarita’s Anamax Recreation Center will be temporarily closed starting at 5 p.m Friday as part of the town's effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. The town will also not be taking park reservations, and the Sahuarita Unified School District has canceled reservations for fields.
3:22 p.m.: Southern Arizona Goodwill locations will remain open for now but with temporary hours. Goodwill is also enhancing its cleaning measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Donation centers will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Store hours will be 10 a.m .to 6 p.m. starting Friday at Casa Grande and starting Sunday at all other locations. Goodwill's outlet location on East Irvington Road and South Campbell Avenue will limit occupancy and adhere to social distancing guidelines.
2:35 p.m.: Beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday, visitors will no longer be allowed at Santa Cruz Valley Regional Hospital in Green Valley. Hospitals in the Tucson area also temporarily stopped allowing visitors in recent days.
1:45 p.m.: Marana Mayor Ed Honea said his northwest side town of 44,000 will follow the city and county’s lead, ordering all bars closed and restaurants to serve takeout only.
Honea’s emergency declaration goes a step further than the county and city, however: he also is ordering all beauty salons, barbershops and nail salons closed until March 31 — the same date set by the city and county — at which time they will reassess based on the health situation.
11:45 a.m.: The Pima County Board of Supervisors voted Thursday to join the city of Tucson in forcing the closure of some businesses in unincorporated areas, limiting restaurants to drive-through and take-out starting at 8 p.m. Thursday.
8:30 a.m.: TUSD governing board approved a plan at an emergency board meeting Wednesday to deliver food to kids at 113 locations, starting March 23; continue to employee all regular employees despite the closures; and to launch a virtual learning program, hopefully by April 1.
7:30 a.m.: League of Women Voters of Greater Tucson has closed its Tucson office, though calls are still being answered. Meetings, events and programs have been canceled.
6:00 a.m.: Today's roundup
Temporary shut downs Wednesday marked another day of Tucsonans trying to cope with the spread of coronavirus. Workers across the city are fretting about suddenly losing their jobs and a Tucson man tested positive for COVID-19 after playing in a big bridge tournament here. Here's a rundown of local virus-related news:
• Doug Coachman shares his experience of contracting COVID-19 and the difficulty he had in getting tested.
• Pima County's Board of Supervisors today will decide today whether to mandate bar closures and restaurant restrictions that mirror those in the Tucson city limits. Here's a growing guide to ordering takeout.
• Hospitals across the city ban, or limit, visits.
• Students returned to the University of Arizona as classes resumed online, but many were there to move out.
• You can still go to the Fourth Avenue Spring Street Fair — virtually.
• Star columnist Greg Hansen says it's time to suspend the Olympics.
• Adele Barker, a former UA professor of of Russian and Slavic studies, shares what it was like to shop during the scarcity of food in the Soviet Union during the 1970s and 1980s.
Wednesday, March 18:
7:06 p.m.: The Tucson Convention Center donated perishable food and drinks valued at around $700 to the Gospel Rescue Mission after they had to postpone events due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The donation included two cases of potatoes, three cases of liquid eggs and one case of shelled eggs, seven pounds of provolone cheese, three pounds of Swiss cheese, and four cases of orange juice.
6:42 p.m.: To prepare for a potential adverse financial impact from COVID-19, Pima County administrator Chuck Huckelberry announced Wednesday that all employee hiring within the county is suspended.
"For departments who have scheduled or completed interviews and made employment offers, these should continue. All pending new job requisitions will be placed on hold," the memo said.
6:29 p.m.: Starting Thursday, Cardenas will reserve its first hour of shopping for Seniors and first responders, joining a handful of grocery stores that have changed their policy to support the shopping needs of older adults. Seniors and first responders can shop between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. every day. The store, with a Tucson location at West Irvington Road and South 16th Avenue, will be open to the general public from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
5:52 p.m.: The Pastoral Center of the Diocese of Tucson is closed while employees and volunteers spend 14 days working from home. An employee at the center was experiencing some symptoms of coronavirus, though the employee has not been deemed "presumptive" or "confirmed" to have the virus.
5:48 p.m.: Desert Diamond Casinos are closed temporarily to fight the COVID-19 spread, officials said. The closure, which started late Wednesday, affects casino locations in Tucson, Sahuarita, Why/Ajo and the tribe's West Valley casino in Glendale.
5:18 p.m.: Pima County Superior Court has closed its law library and resource center and is offering online services starting Thursday.
4:40 p.m.: Hospitals in the Tucson area are temporarily changing their visitor policies. In most situations, several of the hospitals will no longer allow visitors.
2:23 p.m.: Color Me Mine, a pottery and craft studio at the Tucson Mall, has closed citing concerns about spreading COVID-19.
One Tucson attendee who got sick after the tournament was able to get tested because his brother is a doctor. The test came back positive for Covid-19 Monday night.
11:30 a.m.: The Fourth Avenue Merchants Association on Wednesday announced that it's taking the popular event online through Facebook (tucne.ws/virtualstreetfair) beginning Friday, March 20.
11 a.m.: Pima County has a fifth new coronavirus patient, said the website for the Arizona Department of Health Services. No details about the patient have been released by the county health department.
Meanwhile, Pinal County said Wednesday that there are three new cases there.
9:00 a.m.: Sun Tran is operating normal bus schedules, but the Special Services Office and Transit Center Information Booths will be closed until March 31.
7:38 a.m.: Banner Health will no longer allow visitors at its hospitals in an effort to protect patients and health care workers.
6:25 a.m.: This Is Tucson is keeping a list of places to find free food for kids during school closures.
6:05 a.m.: On Tuesday afternoon, as bars across Tucson were getting ready for a night of St. Patrick's Day revelry, Mayor Regina Romero ordered them shut by 8 p.m., instituting the most sweeping restrictions on restaurants and many other businesses here that attract crowds. It was the most visible local effort to fight the spread of the the coronavirus on another day marked by multiple closures across the city. Here's a roundup of new coronavirus news in Tucson:
• Drive-up testing is coming soon, state officials say.
• Casino del Sol and other casinos operated by the Yaqui Pascua Nation closed through mid April.
• Without state direction, school districts here are scrambling to find ways to feed children during mandated school closures.
• Federal courts here is has closed or limited operations, leading to an expected big backup in immigration cases.
• Star columnist talks about why banding together during this time of isolation is important in fighting and coping with the outbreak.
• A Tucson mom shares why closures and social distancing could be a life-or-death issue for her daughter.
• The Arizona Inn closes up for the first time since 1971.
• Airlines are cutting back on service to Tucson.
Tuesday, March 17:
4:43 p.m.: All local Social Security offices will be closed to the public for in-person service. the Social Security Administration is encouraging people to access services online.
4:01 p.m.: The Tohono O’odham Nation Cultural Center and Museum will be closed until further notice due to coronavirus.
3:45 p.m.: The DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun is temporarily closed. "In an effort to be proactive in the face of the spread of COVID-19 and in keeping with ADHS and CDC guidelines, we are temporarily closing until April 1, 2020," the museum said in a statement.
3:40 p.m.: The 89-year-old Arizona Inn is closed for the first time since 1971 — with a tentative reopening date of May 1 — in "a wrenching thing to have to do," says its president Will Conroy.
3:35 p.m.: Oro Valley Parks and Recreation facilities will close and programs will be canceled starting Wednesday, the city announced Tuesday.
3:30 p.m.: Pima County libraries are closed until further notice, county officials announced.
2:00 p.m.: Four airlines are suspending or reducing flights or ending seasonal flights early at Tucson International Airport due to declining reservations and coronavirus concerns, the Tucson Airport Authority said Tuesday.
Allegiant Air is suspending all of its Tucson service from mid-April to early June, and American, Delta and Frontier are also cutting flights, TIA said.
1:07 p.m.: Tucson Mayor Regina Romero announced Tuesday on Twitter that the city's bars, food courts, gyms and "other venues where groups of people congregate" are facing big changes related to the spread of the new coronavirus.
The decision was announced in a mid-day tweet that says it will be effective at 8 p.m. Tuesday, according the message. Under the mandate, large dining areas will close, but drive-through and takeout services will be unaffected. The restrictions are expected to last until the end of the month.
12:59 p.m.: Pima County Consolidated Justice Court is asking anyone who is ill, has recently traveled, is 65 or older, or whose health is compromised not to go to court. Those scheduled for a hearing can request a continuance by filing a motion on the court website at jp.pima.gov, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or calling 520-724-3171.
Night Court on March 25th has been canceled. Most court hearings will be reset and the court will mail people to notify them of a new hearing date.
The court is asking people to make payments online at www.jp.pima.gov or contact the court to make a payment telephone.
Already scheduled courthouse weddings will proceed through the end of this week. Starting Monday, March 23, wedding ceremonies will be discontinued for at least two weeks. Contact the court at 520-724-3505 to schedule a private wedding.
12:37 p.m.: Marana police will start taking reports over the phone when a call is not high priority to limit one-on-one interaction and slow the spread of COVID-19, the department said Tuesday.
The changes will not impact emergency incidents where a crime is in progress or there is a danger to someone’s safety, the Marana Police Department said. When responding to high priority situations, officers may be wearing protective masks and gloves.
The department is also asking residents to call their non-emergency number 520-382-2000 rather than visiting the department if they need assistance in a non-urgent matter. For emergencies, they are asking residents to continue calling 911.
10:35 a.m.: The Pima County Sheriff’s Department Auxiliary Volunteers, a nonprofit that provides support services to the department, has suspended non-critical operations amid coronavirus concerns, including the dispose-a-med program and fingerprinting services for the public. The program will continue to respond to “call-outs to support deputies and detectives during major incidents and at crime scenes.”
9:55 a.m.: To support the shopping needs of older adults, all Bashas', Food City and AJ's grocery stores will open from 5 to 6 a.m. on Wednesdays for anyone 65 years or older. The special shopping hours start this week on Wednesday, March 18. Shoppers can be accompanied by one caretaker if needed, but caretakers cannot shop for themselves. Shoppers will be required to show a valid I.D. at the door and all purchase limitations will remain in effect. Bashas’ reservation stores will be open from 6 to 7 a.m. for those 65-and-up.
8:55 a.m.: Casino Del Sol has postponed all April concerts.
8:15 a.m.: School districts begin to feed kids during school closures
Flowing Wells School District: Anyone 18 or younger can grab a to-go breakfast and lunch at all schools in the Flowing Wells School District today and at limited schools the rest of the week, with schools to be announced this afternoon. Both breakfast and lunch can be picked up in one trip, from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. and between noon and 1 p.m..
• Centennial Elementary School, 2200 W. Wetmore Road
• Homer Davis Elementary, 4250 N. Romero Road
• J. Robert Hendricks Elementary, 3400 W. Orange Grove Road
• Richardson Elementary, 6901 N. Camino de la Tierra
• Flowing Wells Junior High, 4545 N. La Cholla Blvd.
• Flowing Wells High School, 3725 N. Flowing Wells Road
• Sentinel Peak High School, 4125 N. Aerie Drive
Go here for more information.
Marana Unified School District: The Marana Cares Mobile will be serving up meals in two locations each day through the rest of the week. All children can pick up a free meal through March 20.
• 11 a.m. to noon, southeast corner of North Sandario Road and West Anthony Drive
• 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., 16560 W. El Tiro Road
Go here for more information.
Altar Valley School District: Breakfast and lunch will be served for kids ages 18 and under through March 27. Breakfast will be served from 7:30-9 a.m. and lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Robles Elementary School, 9875 S. Sasabe Road.
Sunnyside Unified School District: Schools are offering a grab-and-go breakfast and lunch to all children ages 1 to 18, starting March 23. Pick up is from 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Meals must be picked up and eaten at home. Both breakfast and lunch can be picked up in one trip.
• Craycroft Elementary School, 5455 E. Littletown Road
• Drexel Elementary School, 801 E. Drexel Road
• Elvira Elementary School, 250 W. Elvira Road
• Los Amigos Technology Academy, 2200 E. Drexel Road
• Mission Manor Elementary School, 600 W. Santa Rosa Street
Amphitheater Public Schools: All children ages 0 to 18 can pick up free grab-and-go meals at Amphitheater Public Schools locations, from March 23 through Friday, March 27 (or until the end of school closures). Pick up is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Drive through service and a walk up option will be available. Kids must be present when meals are being picked up. There are no income requirements and no registration is required.
• Amphitheater High School, 125 W. Yavapai Road
• Amphitheater Middle School/LM Prince Elementary School, 315 E. Prince Road
• Canyon Del Oro High School, 25 W. Calle Concordia
• Coronado K-8 School, 3401 E. Wilds Road
• Donaldson Elementary School, 2040 W. Omar Drive
• F.O. Holaway Elementary School, 3500 N. Cherry Ave.
• Helen Keeling Elementary School, 2837 N. Los Altos
• La Cima Middle School, 5600 N. La Canada Drive
• Mesa Verde Elementary School, 1661 W. Sage Street
• E.C. Nash Elementary School, 515 W. Kelso Street
• Rio Vista Elementary School, 1351 E. Limberlost Drive
• Lulu Walker Elementary School, 1750 W. Roller Coaster Road
Go here for more info.
Tucson Unified School District: Starting on Monday, March 23, TUSD plans to offer grab-and-go meals at 32 locations. All children ages 0 to 18 will be able to pick up a hot lunch meal and a breakfast for the following day Monday through Friday. The meals will be distributed via drive through service and all children must be present at pick up. The district says it will release more details today, March 17 and the plan will be voted on at the next governing board meeting on Wednesday, March 18.
8 a.m.: "Health Protection Condition Bravo" has commenced at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. "The health of our Airmen, families and community partners remains our top priority, and this is a prudent measure taken to help minimize the potential spread of the virus at Davis-Monthan and within the county," a news release said.
"Health Protection Condition Bravo" includes guidelines such as strict hygiene, covering mouths and noses with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing, staying home when sick, practicing social distancing and the cancellation of large events.
7:10 a.m.: Arizona Lotus Corp., which owns several Tucson radio stations, has canceled or postponed planned public events over fear of spreading the new coronavirus.
• Arizona Lotus’ Tucson’s Biggest Yard Sale – March 21 at Desert Diamond Casino. Canceled
• 94.9 MIXfm’s Women’s Showcase & Fitness Expo – April 4 at La Encantada. Postponed
• Rock 102.1KFMA’s Battle for KFMADay local band contest– March 27 at The Rock. Canceled
• Rock 102.1’ s KFMADay Music Festival – April 18 at Kino Stadium, Canceled.
• 94.9 MIXfm’s Meet The Chefs – May 17 at Casino del Sol. Postponed
• 94.9 MIXfm’s Iron Chef Tucson – June 20 at Casino del Sol. Postponed.
6:40 a.m.: Lee Lambert, the chancellor of Pima Community College, cited worries about a virus exposure in deciding to temporarily close up shop, limiting services to online. The school will be closed through March 27.
6:36 a.m.: The mayor in Flagstaff limited restaurants to offering to-go service, and bars, theaters, fitness centers and indoor recreation facilities will be closed over concerns about the spread of the new coronavirus. Making restaurants switch to take-out has been floated in Tucson.
6:00 a.m.: On Monday a veteran who lives in Tucson was identified as the fourth confirmed case of COVID-19, and amid a new flurry of closures and postponements of public events across the community due to the coronavirus pandemic. Here's a quick recap of local news related to the virus outbreak:
• Some business leaders have warmed up to the idea of making local restaurants switch to take-out only.
• With a big drop in travel, airlines a parking their jets at an airpark in Marana.
• The Tucson VA says its treating a patient with COVID-19, one of four Pima County residents to be diagnosed with coronavirus.
• State lawmakers are looking for a quick end to the legislative session amid outbreak concerns.
• Gov. Ducey suggested it's better to have a subdued St. Patrick's Day celebration, but he said it was too soon to ban big public gatherings.
• A UA professor talks about the rush to get 23 students back home from Paris after the travel ban was announced.
• Tucsonan Mike Lude, 98, a WWII veteran and longtime leader in college sports, knows about getting through uncertain times.
Monday, March 16:
7:15 p.m.: Students moving out of the University of Arizona campus will receive some money back for what they would have paid for housing and meal plans, school officials said Monday.
6:50 p.m.: Oro Valley has canceled the March 18 Town Council meeting.
6:45 p.m.: Jury service for all courts in Pima County has been suspended until March 31. Prospective jurors should call 724-4222 for further information. Arizona’s courts remain open.
5:30 p.m.: Tucson City Court is allowing people to postpone their court appearances.
5:10 p.m.: Saguaro National Park will close both visitor centers and all scheduled programming starting Tuesday, March 17, and for at least the next 15 days, in both its east and west units.
5:06 p.m.: U.S. Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., will host a telephone town hall Tuesday, March 17, at 11:30 a.m., "to provide an update on the novel coronavirus outbreak, provide best practices, and answer questions."
Arizonans can join the town hall by calling 855-531-1067 at the time of the event or by texting “SenMcSally” (one word) to 828282 to get registered for the event.
4:55 p.m.: Tucson's Reid Park Zoo is staying open but has closed certain exhibits, activities.
4:45 p.m.: All Episcopal services are canceled until at least April 20 in the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona, Bishop Jennifer Reddall announced.
4:35 p.m.: Sierra Vista is canceling or postponing community events and closing some public facilities. See www.SierraVistaAZ.gov and follow the link to “Combating coronavirus” for details.
4:30 p.m.: Pima Community College has suspended face-to-face student and public services through March 27.
4:15 p.m.: Bishop Edward J. Weisenburger announced that there will no longer be public masses at Tucson Roman Catholic Diocese churches, including Sunday mass, after today and through at least April 6. Also, he said weddings and funeral Masses should be restricted to 10 people, and no public church events or gatherings should be held.
4:10 p.m.: Beginning Tuesday, March 17, all 17 city of Tucson recreation centers and aquatics facilities, including four year-round pools, will be closed through March. Aquatics, youth programs (SchoolzOut Camps, InBetweeners Club and KIDCO) and senior programming will also be canceled during this time.
4:05 p.m.: All Catholic schools in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson will have spring break March 16-27. Independently operated Catholic schools, such as Salpointe and San Miguel high schools, have instituted their own schedules. Please check their websites. Principals will communicate with their school communities on specifics of each campus.
3:45 p.m.: Effective Tuesday, the Tucson Museum of Art will be temporarily closed to the public. The closure includes the cancelations or postponements of events, tours, lectures and other programs.
10:30 a.m.: A patient at the Tucson VA is one of four Pima County residents to be diagnosed with coronavirus, according to the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System.
10:00 a.m.: Looking for ways to help local restaurants without sitting in a crowded dining room? Here are some helpful tips from This is Tucson.
9:37 a.m.: The Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center is now taking COVID-19-related calls from health providers and the general public: 1-844-542-8201
7:30 a.m.: Tucson Mall has updated their hours to noon to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 12 to 6 p.m. Sunday. Park Place Mall's hours have been updated to noon to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Store and restaurant hours may vary.
7:30 a.m.: The Loft Cinema is temporarily closing until at least March 31 "out of caution and concern for our staff, patrons, and volunteers," according to a statement.
"It is becoming increasingly clear that COVID-19 (coronavirus) poses a real risk to our community’s health, and we cannot in good conscience continue to stay open," the statement reads, adding that the company had recently implemented reduced seating and showtimes, in addition to other precautionary measures. The Loft Cinema's staff will be "fully paid during this time and maintain current health benefits."
7:00 a.m.: The city's SchoolzOut Camps will open this morning as planned at 13 sites across Tucson, officials say. However, officials say they will keep evaluating whether to keep it open depending on developments in the virus pandemic.
Also, parents should expect changes to how the camps run, like those with more than 50 children being broken up into small groups. Parents who feel uncomfortable sending their enrolled kids to SchoolzOut can call 520-791-4877 for refund information.
6:25 a.m.: The Pinal County Fair decided over the weekend to cancel. The fair was scheduled to begin next week.
6:20 a.m.: State election officials say voting Tuesday will be safe for voters worries about coronavirus spread. However, emergency voting is available in Pima County now.
6:00 a.m.: Here's a quick way to catch up on news from Tucson and around the state to get ready for this week's fight against the spread of coronavirus:
• On Sunday the state mandated the closure of public schools for at least the next two weeks;
• There's a third confirmed case of COVID-19 in Pima County;
• Mayor Regina Romero is hand-picking business and community leaders to invite to a brainstorming meeting today on how the city can help them with the financial hit from the pandemic. The mayor said she'd share what was said after the closed-door meeting;
• State lawmakers will meet today to decide if this year's session should be suspended;
• Tucson Electric Power postpones public meetings about a big power line project;
• Season ticket holders to spring sports at the University of Arizona can expect credit, not refunds;
• The earworm risk is high, but singing these songs could make sure you're washing your hands long enough.
Sunday, March 15:
8:15 p.m.: The Gaslight Theatre temporarily suspended its productions after Sunday night's show.
In a statement to supporters the theater noted it's the first time in its 42 years of business that it has canceled shows.
The theater says it hopes to open for the April 16 opening of its next production, "Buccaneers of the Caribbean."
4:24 p.m.: Arizona public schools will be closed for at least the next two weeks, Gov. Doug Ducey ordered Sunday.
3 p.m.: Tanque Verde to begin spring break immediately
Tanque Verde governing board, whose spring break was scheduled to begin March 23, voted to begin the break immediately at a March 15 special board meeting, following guidance from the Center for Disease Control to align their break with other community groups.
3 p.m.: Khalsa Montessori extends spring break by two weeks
Charter school Khalsa Montessori, which was set to return from spring break on March 16, decided during an emergency board meeting on Sunday to extend the spring break by two weeks due to uncertainty related to the potential spread of COVID-19.
2:50 p.m.: Salpointe moves to online classes
Salpointe Catholic High School has suspended on-campus classes and extracurricular activities after coronavirus concerns.
There will be no classes this week. Mandatory online classes will begin Monday, March 23 and run through April 10, when Easter break begins, the school said in a notice to parent and students Sunday.
"After consulting with many health officials, we feel this difficult decision is in the best interest and well being of our students, families, faculty and staff," the school said in a written statement.
The school said it hopes to resume traditional classes April 20, following Easter break.
2:40 p.m.: Old Pueblo Gymnastics Academy, 7670 East Wrightstown Road, notified members it was suspending classes. The school said it would reassess March 23.
11:15 a.m.: Testing for COVID-19 in Arizona as of Sunday: tested, 183; positive, 12; pending, 50; ruled-out, 121, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services. The state figures early Sunday did not apparently account for a third case that has been confirmed in Pima County.
8:45 a.m.: 2 Tucson City Council members to take call-in coronavirus questions
Two members of the Tucson City Council plan to take phone calls Monday to answer local questions about coronavirus and how it's affecting daily life here.
Councilmembers Steve Kozachik and Nikki Lee was be joined by a representative from the Pima County health department, Kozachik says.
"I don't know the questions people have - that's a part of the point of doing this," Kozachik said in a written statement Saturday night announcing the plans. "(Questions from callers) will help to inform how the City needs to respond to this situation."
The call in number is 520-222-1500. The phone bank will run from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday, March 16, Kozachik says.
6:25 a.m.:Saint Philip's in the Hills is offering two ways online to worship today online, at 9:00 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. Follow this link to livestream the services.
6:20 a.m.: Those long lines at warehouse stores like Costco and empty shelves at grocery stores has the state's top prosecutor saying it might be time for Arizona lawmakers to consider adopting laws to protect Arizona consumers from price gouging.
6:10 a.m.: Canceling an assortment of festivals and events over the past few days to help fight the spread of coronavirus put a damper on good times for many Tucson families, but it also hurt local causes financially. Popular downtown venues also went dark, postponing or canceling shows.
6:00 a.m.: Star columnist Tim Steller's trip to New York City started off as a wonderful adventure — biking in Central Park, tooling around the city, seeing a Broadway show. Overnight the effort to limit the spread of coronavirus hit.
Saturday, March 14:
9:00 p.m.: The spring SAHBA Home Show, set for April 3-4 at the Tucson Convention center has been "postponed indefinitely," the Southern Arizona Homebuilders Association said on the show's Facebook page.
7:08 p.m.: Classes at the University of Arizona will be solely online for the rest of the semester because of the coronavirus outbreak, the school said Saturday.
On Wednesday, the school is set to resume classes, almost entirely online, after spring break last week. The campus will reopen to students who do not have another suitable place to live and for students moving out.
6:19 p.m.: The NCAA is granting an extra year of eligibility to athletes affected by the coronavirus cancellations, and Arizona Wildcats softball coach Mike Candrea says he's "thrilled" by the news.
2:18 p.m.: The Tucson Interfaith HIV/AIDS Network (TIHAN) is asking the community to donate hygiene items for people living with HIV, including liquid hand soap, disinfecting wipes, facial tissue, and hand sanitizer, in response to concerns over COVID-19.
Donations can be dropped off at the TIHAN office, 2660 N. 1st Ave., between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday.
1 p.m.: The Pac-12 Conference today pulled the plug in all spring sports through the end of the school year. The decision Saturday put an end to the UA baseball and softball team's promising seasons. Also over: the UA women's and men's golf teams, and both men's and women's track and field programs.
12:37 p.m.: As of Saturday morning, 183 people had been tested by the state health lab: 12 were positive; 50 were pending; and 121 were negative, according to The state Department of Health Service. The state now has 12 cases of COVID-19.
12:30 p.m.: Live Theatre Workshop has canceled remaining showings of "Radiant Vermin," and postponed the special guest performance of Fin. The opening of The Old Ball Game has been postponed to May 17, Michael A. Martinez, the theatre's executive director said.
Student classes and performances have also been canceled or postponed through April 1st. For more information visit livetheatreworkshop.org.
10:22 a.m.: Mission San Xavier will close for masses and visitors starting 10 a.m. Saturday.
7 a.m.: Tucson Improv Movement is canceling all shows through March 25, according to an announcement on their Facebook page.
"We didn’t make this decision lightly, but want to be a part of the solution in slowing the spread of COVID-19. We don't know what the future of this pandemic will look like and want to do all we can to keep our community safe," the announcement said.
The improv theatre is also canceling all classes and rehearsals.
7 a.m.: San Miguel Catholic High School announced it is taking precautionary measures in light of coronavirus by transitioning all academic programs to remote teaching and learning and our Corporate Work-Study Program (CWSP) to remote tasks until April 14. The school issued a letter Friday providing a guide to students and parents for remote learning. The high school's campus will remain open for limited business operations, the letter said.
7 a.m.: University of Arizona cancels Spring Fling. The event was scheduled for April 3-5.
7 a.m.: Arizona Department of Corrections jails, prisons and reentry and rehabilitation centers statewide suspended visitation for 30 days Friday evening. Pima County jail and correctional facilities have not changed their policies as all visitation is done via video.
7 a.m.: The Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona will be closed until the end of the semester, Anne Breckenridge Barrett, the center's director said. The closure includes galleries, programs, events, and research spaces.
The decision was made in line with public heath guidelines regarding the novel coronavirus and procedures determined by the UA, the director said.
7 a.m.: Homicide Survivors, Inc. is moving some of its services online due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Friday, March 13:
6 p.m.: A second Pima County resident has been presumptively diagnosed with coronavirus, according to local and state officials.
The individual, along with their household contacts, are currently in at-home isolation. It is still unknown how the person contracted the virus and officials are working to investigate whether their exposure was travel related or due to community spread.
5:30 p.m.: Biosphere 2, a major tourism attraction near Oracle north of Tucson, closes to the public until further notice.
5:30 p.m.: Tucson Electric Power cancels two public hearings next week on a proposed transmission line.
4:20 p.m.: Storytime with Paddington events at the University of Arizona Bookstore were canceled, citing recent developments of the COVID-19 virus. The events had been scheduled for 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday.
3:45 p.m.: The monster truck show set for next weekend at the Tucson Convention Center has been postponed.
Citing worries about spreading the COVID-19 virus and travel restrictions, the city on Friday said in a news release that the three-day event is off for now. It was scheduled from March 20 through March 22 at Tucson Arena.
A new date for the Monster Jam event has not been set. Tickets for the canceled show will be honored at the rescheduled event, the city says.
Contact Ticketmaster Customer Service online at www.ticketmaster.com or 800-653-8000 for refund information.
2:20 p.m.: The Tucson Hip Hop Festival, originally scheduled for March 27-29, has been postponed to October, "in light of recent developments," according to their Facebook page. The new festival date is Saturday, October 17. All pre-sold tickets for the March event will be honored at the October event.
10:51 a.m.: Fallout from the coronavirus pandemic continues to hit local sports, with Pima College canceling several athletic events that were scheduled through next weekend.
The Rialto Theatre at 318 E. Congress St. also suspended operations. The theatre and its sister venue, 191 Toole at 191 E. Toole Ave., have canceled shows at least through the beginning of April.
7 a.m.: The spring 2020 Fourth Avenue Street Fair is canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, officials announced Thursday evening.
7 a.m.: The Tucson Kitchen Musicians Association decided to cancel the 35th annual Tucson Folk Festival, which was slated to take place from April 3-5 due to coronavirus concerns.
Other recent closures:
MOCA postpones, cancels events
Tucson's MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) is postponing or canceling all education and public programs until further notice, the museum announced in a press release Thursday. The museum said it will "keep the Museum open to our visitors as long as it is safe to do so."
Oro Valley cancels March events
The town canceled these events:
• Second Saturdays at Steam Pump Ranch, Saturday, March 14
• Public Art Tour, Tuesday, March 17
• Bike/Swap/Sell, March 28
The March 18 and April 1 Town Council meetings will proceed but in-person attendance will not be allowed. Resident participation will be limited to online video streaming of the meeting at www.orovalleyaz.gov.
TSO suspends March performances
All performances of Tucson Symphony Orchestra from March 13 through March 31 will be suspended. These include “Barber Violin Concerto” on March 13 and 15, “American Soundtrack” on March 21-22, a documentary film showing about the Young Composers Project on March 24, and “Bravo! An Admission-Free Concert” on March 27.
Arizona Theatre Co. suspends production
Arizona Theatre Co. has put the Tucson production of The Legend of Georgia McBride on hiatus starting Saturday, March 14 through the end of the month.
In addition, all ATC education programming in Tucson and Phoenix will be paused through the end of the month.
ATC hopes to make a digital recording of The Legend of Georgia McBride available to ticketed patrons at a later date. "If you hold tickets to a canceled performance we will be in touch shortly about details," ATC said in a news release Friday.
The Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance (SAACA) announced:
• Postponed, will be rescheduled: Sahuarita Creative Arts Festival in Sahuarita, March 14-15, postponed until a date yet to be rescheduled.
• Still scheduled to take place: Oro Valley Festival of the Arts, March 28-29; and Sabrosita Sahuarita, April 24.
Tucson-area coronavirus coverage: 508 cases in Arizona, health director says cases expected to peak in April
Here's a look at stories surrounding local coronavirus coverage. This collection will continue to be updated and can also be accessed at tucne.ws/coronavirus
See day-to-day brief updates, such as closures and other changes, here.
Only essential staff and limited family members will be allowed to attend the NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments — both of which are expected to include the Arizona Wildcats.
Only essential staff, media, friends and family will be allowed in T-Mobile Arena.
Schools will be able to decide themselves whether to bring bands and cheerleaders to the Pac-12 Tournament.
"I just had to tell my team that our season is over. Just like that," UA women's basketball coach Adia Barnes tweets.
A tumultuous week closed here with near hourly announcements of show cancellations and temporary venue closures.
About 30 local officials, community leaders and entertainment industry representatives met behind closed doors Monday to talk about the economic toll the virus is having.
The company cited COVID-19 and a goal of doing its part to prevent the spread of the highly contagious virus.
Tucson Mayor Regina Romero on Tuesday declared a local emergency, ordering many businesses to close, limiting restaurants to drive-thru and takeout, and warning those that do not adhere to the new regulations that they can be criminally charged.
Facing increased pressure, Gov. Doug Ducey activated the National Guard to restock grocery store shelves, halted all elective surgeries and closed all bars, gyms and movie theaters in any county with confirmed cases of COVID-19.
The diocese of Tucson has established steps that local churches can take to help prevent the spread of viruses like the flu and COVID-19.
Gov. Doug Ducey wants federal dollars and an expanded role for the Arizona National Guard, saying the citizens, economy and infrastructure of the state have been “catastrophically affected” by COVID-19.
The most immediate problem is a sudden loss of volunteers, some of whom have been told to stay away because of their age or other risk factors.
Instructors across the University of Arizona work quickly to create online lesson plans and the few students still on campus seek resources to learn and live.
The “sniffing of the flower” is a thing of the past at some of Tucson’s most popular medical marijuana shops.
Tucsonans laid off as a result of the coronavirus pandemic can seek help from the Pima County One-Stop Career Center.
If you are like many in Tucson, you have found yourself working at home instead of in an office with coworkers. Unfortunately, some are home because they are not needed at their jobs during the COVID-19 crisis.
The current expectations, a local economist says, is that it will be at least early 2021 when the economy could start growing again.
Pima County Sheriff Mark Napier warns that his detention center can’t handle a large number of quarantined inmates
Arizonans displaced from employment due to COVID-19 will be getting some financial relief.
Confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Pima County rose by five overnight to 17, the Arizona Department of Health Services reported.
This is the first part in a series that chronicles local restaurants.
As social distancing begins in earnest, we find that the need to rally together as a community grows stronger.
A man in his 50s with underlying health conditions from Maricopa County was the state's first known death from coronavirus.
Police say the man disguised himself as a delivery driver and stole the coronavirus test kits as employees were closing for the evening.
State officials reported its first known case in late January. The first confirmed virus death was made public Friday.
Dr. Cara Christ, the director of State Health Services, said Friday Arizonans should pretty much forget about getting testing to determine if they have the virus.
Arizona has received a large shipment of medical supplies for health care professionals treating patients during the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Doug Ducey said Saturday.
Minimal testing means the official figures are severely undercounting the number of cases of COVID-19 in Pima County and Arizona
Even without a stay-at-home directive, the governor and his health director say that's still their advice, albeit one without enforcement.
With closures planned through at least April 10, Tucson-area school districts share their plans for instruction during the coronavirus outbreak.
Arizona At Work is maintaining a list of employers hiring right now throughout the state.
Starting Monday, a new statewide customer service line, 602-712-2700, will be available between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to assist people who need to access MVD services remotely or need to set appointments.
Rural Metro Station 81, south of Tucson International Airport, serves about 5,000 residents.
There will be no interest or penalties for payments made after the original April 15 deadline.
A University of Arizona psychology professor offers advice for coping with anxiety and and tips for communicating with children and loved ones in times of uncertainty.
The annual fair, scheduled for April 16-26, falls within the 8-week period Arizona Governor Doug Ducey recommended all gatherings of more than 50 people be canceled, the Facebook post said.
Arizona children won't be going back to school before April 13.
Announcement comes a day after Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey imposed ban on gatherings of 50 or more in areas affected by the deadly virus.
Coronavirus cases statewide increased more than 50% from Sunday, with the state health department reporting 234 confirmed cases Monday morning.
Northwest Healthcare clinics are offering an easy-to-use screening option specific to COVID-19.
No questions asked and pay whatever you can, whether it's too little — or in some cases too much.
The offer set no limits nor proof that you are unemployed.
The death confirmed Monday evening, March 23, is Arizona's third, as health officials warn more are expected.
Jack Masterman, 89, fell at their Tucson home and developed pneumonia. He's trying to get to a skilled nursing rehabilitation center near their home, but needs to test negative for COVID-19 first.
UA researchers made 1,600 coronavirus test kits over the weekend, amid a nationwide shortage, and plan to make thousands more.
Community groups, food banks on front lines of helping less fortunate during health crisis.
"It's so that people in these situations can plan ahead. We're going to hope for the best but we're going to prepare for eventual escalation of this.''
House Republicans blocked a proposal to provide additional cash benefits to those who have been fired, laid off, furloughed or otherwise cannot go to work during the pandemic.
Attorneys in the Pima County Public Defender’s Office gave prosecutors a list of 139 inmates who they say should be released.
The court has gradually been limiting in-person services in order to limit potential exposure of the novel coronavirus.
Confirmed cases in Pima County increased to 42, up from 25 on Monday.
Tenants must notify the landlord in writing and provide supporting documentation.
Tucson-area utilities don’t want you to worry about your bills if your financial world has been upended by the coronavirus pandemic.
The state is working with school districts to identify childcare sites for children of essential public workers during the pandemic.
Outdoor spaces, like trails and campsites, will remain open, but parks officials are asking people to continue practice social distancing while outdoors, as crowding at the park was a concern over the weekend.
The child care program, set up in response to COVID-19 will serve children of first responders, critical health
care workers and essential public sector workers, including child safety workers.
In Pima County, 90% of 7,000 employees are still going to work everyday; many city of Tucson employees are working remotely.
The number of Arizonans applying for jobless benefits approached 30,000 last week — about seven times the number of claims filed the week before, providing the first clear indicators of the effect COVID-19 is having on the state's economy.
Arizona governor's order listing essential services — such as golf courses and pawnbrokers — prohibits local governments from closing them down during the coronavirus emergency without state approval.
Detectives determined a delivery man picked up the wrong package from El Rio Health Center that contained unused COVID-19 test kits, which have now been returned.
Stephen Maltzman and his wife, Donna DePesa, spent 11 days stuck in their cabin off the coast of Recife, Brazil.
On Tuesday, I included a note on the Tucson Giving page asking nonprofits what they needed in this time of crisis. The first organization I heard from was the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona.
Headliners Combs, Church, Lynch and Brown back on the lineup for Oct. 29-Nov. 1 festival.
Charles Gerba, a microbiologist at the University of Arizona and an expert in the research and eradication of germs, shares tips in fighting the spread of coronavirus.
Other things to do while home: Watch a live camera of zoo animals, stream movies from The Loft Cinema or tune in for a virtual story time.
“The 10 percent who are choosing not to uphold — that’s a slap in the face to everyone who’s upholding.”
The student, who was a resident of the University of Arizona's Arizona-Sonora dorms, has moved away from Tucson and is living out of state with family.
There have been six known coronavirus deaths in Arizona, officials said Wednesday.
Business owners can apply for a U.S. Small Business Administration loan online and can call the Pima Community College Small Business Development Center for assistance.
Arizona's biggest beer distributor to restaurants, bars and retail outlets has set up a fund to pay employees furloughed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Boca Tacos is selling a pandemic T-shirt to help its workers; Catalina Mexican restaurant says you can eat free.
The 54-year-old Tucson wife and mother worked as a receptionist at a pediatric clinic.
Peak hospitalizations are expected in May — and Arizona needs another 13,000 hospital beds and 1,500 ICU beds by then.
Stores are increasing deliveries, putting limits on high-demand items and instituting special shopping hours for seniors and others in an effort to keep shelves stocked.
The Arizona governor said he has gotten permission from the federal government to ensure that none of the nearly 37,000 children enrolled in the KidsCare program lose coverage because a parent is unable to afford monthly premiums.
Pima County has set up a hotline for people who have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The event will be drive-through and the ministry will provide food bags and other items for those in need every weekday through Good Friday, April 10.
The Arizona Department of Health Services has updated the community transmission level of coronavirus in the state to widespread.
After having to lay off 70 of her own employees due to the coronavirus, the Tucson restaurant owner is giving back with free meals three days a week.
While the closures were supposed to end by March 31, county supervisors voted to extend the timeline during an emergency meeting on Thursday.