By PRT Reporters

The Town of Patagonia has established a coronavirus communication plan to help assure the most up to date information on the coronavirus is available to emergency responders, health providers, and citizens. It is led by the Fire Chief and Town Marshall and is connected to information sources at CDC, the State Health Department, the University of Arizona, the County Health Department, and the Mariposa Community Health Center. Information for the public is available on the Town website.

The Tinshed theatre has announced it will stop all activities starting March 14, including Club Theatre performances scheduled for March 30.  

The Patagonia Public Schools and Patagonia Montessori Elementary are on spring break and intend to reopen unless directed otherwise by state or county authorities. Kenny Hayes, the Assistant Superintendent and Principal of Patagonia Schools sent a letter to all parents that states that the school is prepared to move to online learning and needs to know which students do not have access to computers or internet, and also who will need breakfast and lunch if there is a school shutdown. Jessie Beebe, the principal of the Montessori School, said, “We are monitoring the situation closely. We are disinfecting daily and continue practicing proper hand washing. We are following the County Superintendent’s office. Right now, Santa Cruz has no plans to close schools.”

**IMPORTANT update on Sunday March 15 Governor Doug Ducey announced that all public schools will remain closed at least until March 27 and then the state officials will reassess.

School closures have been touted by many public health officials as an effective measure to curb the spread of the disease. Seven states including New Mexico and Utah, as well as Washington D.C., have temporarily closed schools in response to the coronavirus.

Patagonia Youth Enrichment Center is also closed during spring break and will stay closed if the schools close. They are planning to make large batches of food for youth to take home, said Director Anna Coleman.

Events in Patagonia and Sonoita are being canceled as recommendations for social distancing and avoiding public gatherings are seen as effective measures to curb the spread of the virus. The Art of Asylum project has cancelled its concert in Patagonia on March 21 but the artwork will be on display at Cady Hall on March 19, 20 and 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Patagonia Public Library will remain open but has cancelled all events until further notice.

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The PRT staff will continue monitoring trusted news sources and cover the state and local response to coronavirus in our April issue. 

What do we know?

There are currently 125,048 confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the world. 4613 people have died (World Health Organization, 3/13/20).  The US has reported 1629 cases of the coronavirus cases with 41 deaths (Centers for Disease Control, 3/13/20). According to the Arizona Department of Health, as of March 14, there have been 12 cases of COVID -19 in Arizona, four in Maricopa County, five in Pinal County and most recently two in Pima county. According to the Nogales International there are no confirmed cases in Santa Cruz County but there also have been no tests sent from SC county to Phoenix as of March 12. 

On March 11, Governor Ducey declared a statewide emergency which releases $500,000 of emergency spending authority and relaxes some regulations, primarily related to expanding hospital capacity. The federal government also recently authorized emergency coronavirus funding. Arizona will receive $12.4 M, which the State Health Department has prioritized for surveillance and investigation, testing, supplies, and risk communication.

The national and state capacity to test and report results remains uncertain and therefore estimating the outbreak in communities is limited by lack of testing. As of March 12, the US has tested a total of 1629 people for COVID-19 (as compared to 20,000 per day in South Korea). Arizona has tested 183 people.

Stay up to date with Arizona’s response to COVID-19

Read more here about the Coronavirus and Recommendations on What to do