Paul's Note - March 13, 2020

Below is the statement that Mayor Romero released last night about the precautions that the City is taking to prevent the spread of COVID-19. For the latest updates, you can check the Pima County Health Department's Twitter feed or Facebook page.

I want to take a moment to share with you the actions that I am taking to address the serious public health risk that COVID-19 presents to our community.

First, I want to thank our first responders, medical providers, and everyone that is on the frontlines in making sure our community is safe and healthy.

I also want to thank our City staff, all 4,500 strong, who continue to demonstrate the highest degree of professionalism in delivering the services that our residents rely on.

We are actively working with local, state, and federal partners to monitor the presence of COVID-19 in our region and our efforts will supplement actions being taken by other local jurisdictions to prevent the spread of the virus.

I want to stress that COVID-19 presents a serious public health risk to Tucson and our surrounding communities.

As more testing becomes available, we should fully expect more cases to be confirmed. While most cases are mild, we need to be taking extra precaution around the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions.

The sooner that we take decisive action, the better off our community will be. That is why I am taking the following steps to protect employees and the public. These changes are immediate and will last through the end of March, at which point we will re-examine our policies:

  • Tucson Water will suspend shutoffs and late fees for customers who are delinquent
  • All public meetings and City-sponsored gatherings where the public is invited are suspended.
  • Out of an abundance of precaution, I am recommending that events with an expected attendance of at least 50 individuals be postponed.
  • The City will not issue special event permits with an expected attendance of 50 persons or more.
  • All out-of-city travel for employees on business is suspended.
  • All meetings of Boards, Committees, and Commissions are suspended.
  • All city employees who handle in-person payments will be issued gloves for their protection and protection of the public. Electronic payments are encouraged for all City transactions, as cash payments may need to be suspended in the future.
  • We are looking at telecommuting options across the City.
  • If an employee is sick and does not have vacation or comp time, they will be allowed up to 13 days of paid leave.
  • Family Medical Leave may be used to care for family members.

As with any other illness, sticking to the basics can go a long way; washing your hands, covering your cough, and staying home if you’re not feeling well will help keep yourself and those around you healthy.

We will continue to keep you updated as things change.

I’m speaking to you not only as the Mayor of Tucson, but as the mother of two children.

Tucson is my home and my top priority will always be to maintain our community’s public health and ensure that everyone in this community has the information and resources to keep them and their loved ones healthy.