Coronavirus – COVID19 updates and resources

BREAKING NEWS

As of Friday, July 31 the Arizona Department of Health Services is reporting:

  • 174,010 people in Arizona have tested positive for coronavirus (3,212 new cases today)
  • 117,293 of those cases are in Maricopa County
  • 3,694 Arizonans have died from COVID-19 (68 new deaths today)

Thursday, July 23: Gov. Doug Ducey and Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman announce a data-driven school-reopening plan (to be conveyed Aug. 7) will emphasize local flexibility.

Wednesday, July 22: Nearly 70 percent of parents responding to a Raising Arizona Kids Pandemic Parenting Poll favor delaying the start of in-person instruction until October or later.

Thursday, July 16: The current moratorium on residential evictions will be extended through Oct. 31. Gov. Doug Ducey says additional clarity on the school opening date will come next week.

Thursday, July 9: Gov. Doug Ducey issued an executive order limiting dine-in restaurant capacity to 50 percent or less. And while stopping short of mandating it, he urged all Arizonans to stay at home as much as possible as we weather the recent alarming spike in COVID-19 cases.

Dozens of Arizona school board members are asking Ducey to delay the opening of school buildings until October. 

Wednesday, July 8: An Arizona Education Association survey of 7,651 educators, conducted during the week of June 30, found eight in 10 respondents agree that schools should reopen only after public health experts determine it is safe to return and with adequate planning and equipment to protect school employees, students, and families from COVID-19.

Monday, June 29: Governor Doug Ducey announced that in-person school instruction will be delayed until at least Aug. 17. Schools can offer distance learning before that, based on their regular academic calendars. The Arizona Department of Education will provide updated guidance to our districts and charter schools in the coming days and weeks.

Thursday, June 25: Though he did not mandate it, Governor Doug Ducey urged Arizonans to limit time away from home, practice physical distancing, wear masks and follow Arizona Department of Health Services Guidance. “Right now [as COVID-19 cases continue to skyrocket in Arizona], Arizonans are safer at home,” he said.

Friday, June 19: Maricopa County implemented mandatory masks for the residents of all city, town and unincorporated areas. Phoenix, Glendale and Scottsdale already had implemented similar policies. Everyone age 6 and older must wear a face covering while inside a “place of public accommodation.”

Wednesday, June 17: Governor Doug Ducey will allow individual cities to impose mandatory mask policies.

Tuesday, June 16: A Raising Arizona Kids “Pandemic Parenting Poll” reveals tremendous anxiety about kids returning to school. Only 19.5 percent of respondents are “very confident” about the prospect.

Thursday, June 11: The Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona is concerned that the coronavirus creates a “perfect storm” for drowning risk.

Monday, June 1: The Arizona Department of Education released its Roadmap for Reopening Schools

Effective Thursday, May 28: Governor Doug Ducey announced that schools will resume at the start of the school year. On Monday, June 1, State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Hoffman will announce school-reopening guidelines created in collaboration with school leaders, teachers, parents and public health experts at the Arizona Department of Health Safety. AZDHS Director Dr. Cara Christ outlined guidelines that will be enforced as the “new normal,” including continued virtual learning for at-risk children, enhanced disinfecting and other safety protocols, increased hand washing and use of hand sanitizers, and physical distancing practices including no mixing of classes at lunch and no big assemblies.

Also: Organized youth activities — including summer leagues, summer schools and summer day camps — can resume immediately. For sporting events, Dr. Christ outlined guidelines that will be enforced including limiting the number of parents and spectators attending events, physical distancing procedures before and after games, not sharing drinks or snacks, disinfecting equipment and more.

And: School-based childcare programs will be allowed increased capacity while working to ensure the health and safety of children around the state.

Effective Friday, May 15: Arizona’s stay-at-home order expires. Major league sports team can resume public play, though without fans in the audience.

Tuesday, May 12: In an afternoon press conference, Governor Doug Ducey confirmed that shelter-at-home orders will end Friday, May 15. Beginning Wednesday, May 13, gyms, pools and spas can reopen with appropriate safety protocols, as can professional sporting events.

  • Effective Monday, May 11: Restaurants and coffee shops may resume dine-in services, provided they enact physical distancing policies and limit the number of diners.
  • Effective Friday, May 8: Business involved in the sale of goods may open, operate and offer goods for sale to customers in their stores provided they establish and implement safety protocols. Barbers and cosmetologists may resume services, provided that they implement best practices in addressing COVID-19, including the use of cloth face coverings, and offer only appointment-based services.
  • Effective Monday, May 4: Business involved in the sale of goods may operate delivery services, window service, walk-up service, drive-through service, drive-up service, curbside delivery or appointment provided they establish and implement safety protocols.
  • From the CDC: Guidance for Where You Live, Work, Learn, Pray, and Play

EXTENSIONS

DISASTER RELIEF

  • The USDA Food and Nutrition Service has authorized DES to provide Pandemic School Meal Replacement Benefits to Arizona households with children who are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals. Benefits are retroactive to March 16, and are calculated based on the number of school days for which a child would have received assistance from school meal programs. Eligible families will receive $69 for March, $126 in April, and $120 in May, for each child. Families that have been accessing meals from schools during the closure are still eligible for these benefits.
  • The City of Mesa Office of Economic Development has launched a new program designed to help Mesa’s small businesses navigate economic challenges. The Mesa CARES Business Assistance Center will act as Mesa’s key source of information and assistance for businesses needing access to financial support programs and resources during the COVID-19 pademic. 480-644-6958 or 480-644-3964, EconomicDevelopmentInfo@mesaaz.gov, or SelectMesa.com/MesaCARESbusiness.
  • Arizonans currently receiving food assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will be able to use benefits for online food purchases with currently-authorized SNAP online retailers, Walmart and Amazon.

EDUCATION

PARENTING


Resources

For up-to-date information about the coronavirus, please rely on reputable sources:


at home learning, online learning, coronavirus, COVID-19, Arizona, school closures