By PRT Staff

The Patagonia Regional Times is aware that in this unprecedented environment our readers are looking for up-to-date and reliable information regarding the coronavirus pandemic. As part of our commitment to bring you relevant and important local news you need, the PRT will update this page daily as we receive new information. Save this link in your bookmarks: www.patagoniaregionaltimes.org/coronavirus2020

To achieve this, the PRT needs our readers’ help and input. If you see something on the page that needs correction or have updated information or new information for us please email it to prtasted@gmail.com. You can also call and leave a message at 740-206-9594.

April 3, 2020 Recommendation Regarding the Use of Cloth Face Coverings, Especially in Areas of Significant Community-Based Transmission

“It is critical to emphasize that maintaining 6-feet social distancing remains important to slowing the spread of the virus.  CDC is additionally advising the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.  Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.”

April 3, 2020: Governor Doug Ducey​ announces barbershops, hair, nail & tanning salons, tattoo parlors, spas and massage parlors must close by 5 p.m. tomorrow. In addition amenities at public parks that do not allow for recommended physical distancing or proper hygiene such as basketball courts, splash pads, playgrounds and public restrooms but public parks shall remain open to the greatest extent possible. Communal pools such as those at hotels, condominiums, apartment complexes and parks, however, these should still be maintained under environmental and public health rules and guidelines. Swap meets. Read more: https://azgovernor.gov/governor/news/2020/04/additional-guidance-essential-services

April 3, 2020 Fourth Confirmed Case in SCC County

“Santa Cruz County Health Services has received notification of a fourth (4th) confirmed case of COVID-19. After receiving notification, the Department of Health Services staff began their investigation immediately. The investigation found that the person had traveled to an area where community transmission is present. The person is recovering well at home. The case brings the total number of confirmed cases in Santa Cruz County to four (4). The previous three (3) positive cases have fully recovered.”

March 31, 2020 Third Confirmed Case in SCC County

“Santa Cruz County Health Services has received notification of a third (3rd) confirmed case of COVID-19. After receiving notification Department of Health Services staff began their investigation immediately. The investigation found that the person had traveled to an area where community transmission is present. The person is recovering well at home.”

March 31, 2020: Sonoita Races Cancelled

March 30, 2020 “Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected”

“At the recommendation of public health officials, I’m issuing an Executive Order for Arizonans to stay home while encouraging alternative ways to stay connected with friends and loved ones.” Gov Ducey

March 30, 2020 Gov. Doug Ducey announces School Closure for remainder of the school year
March 28, 2020 Tucson Closes All Non Essential Services

“Businesses that are not on te state list of ‘essential services’ must close in Tucson due to the continuing spread of coronavirus, Mayor Regina Romero ordered, further advising residents to remain at home and that nail salons and barber shops should shut down. The closure order affects businesses as varied as general retail shops, many service businesses and various call centers. Take-out and delivery service from restaurants will still be allowed. The order takes effect at 8 a.m. Saturday and will last through at least April 17.”

March 28, 2020 Recycling Closed in Patagonia
Recycling Trailers in Patagonia. Photo by Robert Gay

Citing the risk of spreading the coronavirus, Santa Cruz County’s Landfill Director, Jerry Montoya, announced to Patagonia Town Manager Ron Robinson that the town’s recycling trailers would be removed from behind the post office on Friday, March 27 and moved to the town’s chipper yard where they will be unavailable for recycling until further notice.

March 27, 2020 COVID-19 in Arizona: Coronavirus now ‘widespread,’ could peak in late April. From Cronkite News Phoenix.

The spread of COVID-19 in Arizona communities rose from “moderate” to “widespread” on Thursday, meaning there were confirmed cases in 13 of the state’s 15 counties, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services. Gila and Greenlee were the two counties without confirmed cases. Maricopa County leads the state with 299 confirmed cases. COVID-19 cases are expected to peak by the end of April, with peak hospitalization occurring in May, state health officials said Wednesday. “Arizona is still in the opening stages of its COVID-19 outbreak, and the number of cases within the state will increase significantly,” Dr. Cara Christ, director of ADHS, said in the briefing.

March 26, 2020: Jeff Terrell, Director of Environmental Health Services said that there are three locations in the county with test kits available. Mariposa Community Health Center, Holy Cross Hospital and Nextcare Urgent Care. The county is looking for more tests and there is a nationwide shortage. They are planning to set up a drive through testing site, as has been done in other cities around the country, but there is no timeline for when it will be ready. In the meantime, he said, everyone should be practicing the recommendations of washing hands, wiping areas more frequently and social distancing.

March 25, 2020: Mayors ‘flabbergasted’ at list of services Ducey order would protect From Cronkite News Phoenix.
March 25, 2020: Jobless claims jump 3 million in a week, Arizona mirrors national trend. From Cronkite News Phoenix.

March 25, 2020: Local Mariposa Clinic Response to Covid-19

AZ Public Health Lab Testing Matrix

The strict criteria to receive a test at Mariposa Community Health Center is largely based on Center of Disease Control’s (CDC) recommendations. If a person has a fever, cough, shortness of breath in combination with a known significant exposure to someone who has a documented case of covid-19; someone who has symptoms and works in a high-risk profession such as medical worker, grocery store cashier, jail guard and someone who is living in a nursing home and/or jail they will be tested. 

Akido Labs logo COVIDASSESSMENT
When should I get care for COVID-19? Take our CDC based assessment to find out.
COVID-19 Self Assessment

Do you think you or a family member may have been exposed? Based on CDC recommendations, the University of Southern California’s Gehr Center and Akido Labs has developed an online assessment tool, which will help determine what to do if you think you have symptoms of COVID-19 or may have been exposed.

Take the assessment on covidassessment.org >

According to Dr. Anderson, who works at the Patagonia clinic, as of March 25 there has been one person tested from the Patagonia site and the test results are pending. At the Nogales offices approximately a dozen people have been tested and so far all those have come back negative. Read more

March 25,2020 Second confirmed case in SC County

Santa Cruz County Health Services has received notification of a second (2nd) confirmed case of COVID-19. Santa Cruz County Health Services is currently investigating to identify any close contacts that may have been exposed while the person was infectious. Any individuals who may have been identified as having been exposed will be contacted directly. These individuals will receive recommendation to self-isolate and self-monitor for any fever and respiratory symptoms per CDC guidelines. The case brings the total number of confirmed cases in Santa Cruz County to two (2).

March 24, 2020: Gov. Doug Ducey Issues a Proclamation Prohibiting the Closure of Essential Services during the COVID-19 Response. Read the Proclamation here.
 March 23, 2020 AZ 2-1-1 Funded as Hotline for COVID-19 Response

The funding provided allows the 2-1-1 system to be up and running for a year.  They will be focusing on the COVID-19 response with live individuals available to answer calls in these first few weeks, but they are working to train additional staff to begin to handle other inquiries.  

March 21, 2020 Santa Cruz County Declares State of Emergency

March 20, 2020 County website for Coronavirus

https://www.santacruzcountyaz.gov/732/COVID-19-Novel-Coronavirus

March 20, 2020 COVID-19 Hotline

A COVID-19 hotline has been set up to answer any questions from the public and healthcare providers about testing, symptoms, and any other questions you have about the virus.

Call 1-844-542-8201 to reach a health care professional.

March 20, 2020 5:36 P.M

  • Governer Ducey announces public school closures extended until April 10

March 20, 2020 Updates from the County

By Marion Vendituoli

Results from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to confirm the one presumptive positive case of coronavirus in Santa Cruz County should be available by the next meeting of the Santa Cruz County (SCC) Board of Supervisors on Monday, March 23, according to District 3 Supervisor Bruce Bracker. If, as suspected, the case is confirmed, the Board will likely vote to declare a countywide state of emergency, which could mandate the closing of restaurants and bars, except for take-out orders, as well as the closing of movie theatres and gyms.

Bracker also pointed out that small business disaster loans are now available in all counties in the state. Previously, he said, this was only available to the northern counties of Arizona. Bracker recommended that residents visit www.santacruzcountyaz.gov for information related to the county’s response to the coronavirus crisis.

Executive actions taken by Gov. Doug Ducey, as of March 19, also include the halting of all elective surgeries in order to free up medical resources, and the delaying of expiration dates on AZ driver licenses for all residents over the age of 65, so that this more vulnerable population will not need to visit the DMV during this crisis.

Ducey has also called up the National Guard to help in the distribution of food from warehouses to food stores and to food banks. “Across the board, the food chain supply has been challenged,” said Ray Sayre, Director of Emergency Management for Santa Cruz County. He pointed out that there is no shortage of food items in the warehouse, but that empty shelves at local stores are due to people buying more than they need. “There’s no reason to buy 1000 roles of toilet paper,” he said. “Buy what you need.”

He also said that, due to the shutting the border, which will go into effect Saturday morning, many residents of Sonora have been flooding stores in Nogales to stock up.

Sayer emphasized that rumors that the National Guard was being deployed to establish martial law are false rumors being spread on social media.  “We’re getting swamped by rumors and fake sites,” he said. He urged readers to only visit trusted sites for coronavirus information, as fake websites are popping up that contain computer viruses. He recommended the Arizona Emergency Information Network, which can be found at www.ein.az.gov, and to follow the CDC website, www.cdc.gov.


March 20, 2020: Santa Cruz County Health Services Director Jeff Terrell confirmed that there is one presumptive positive case of coronavirus in Santa Cruz County. On the advice of the County Attorney, they are not releasing information about the location or residence of the patient, but he did confirm that the patient is a resident of Santa Cruz County. There are no other presumptive or confirmed cases in the county at this time.
Note: “According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), a presumptive positive result is when a patient has tested positive by a local public health laboratory, but results are still pending confirmation at a CDC lab.”

First Case of Coronavirus in Santa Cruz County – Read more

The Arizona Poison Control System is available to answer questions about COVID-19 from Arizona providers (for testing, patient guidance) and the general public (for testing, isolation, quarantine): 1-844-542-8201

Patagonia, Sonoita & Elgin

  • The Town of Patagonia declares a local emergency. Click here to read the proclamation
  • Patagonia Public Library has closed. Read the letter here
    • Library Hop Service during library closure
    • Library Hop service is for patrons who wish to borrow materials while the library is closed to the public.
    • Call at 520-394-2010 with questions and requests or email info@patagoniapubliclibrary.org
    • Library staff will sanitize, package, and checkout up to six (6) items to your library account and will walk them to your vehicle to be placed in your trunk, hatchback, or back seat.
    • Please do not leave your vehicle, or in any way try to physically interact with library staff while receiving items.
    • Need something printed, faxed, or scanned? Email your request and document(s) to info@patagoniapubliclibrary.org and we’ll do all that for you.
    • Patrons requesting this service must have been fever free for at least 24 hours and have no symptoms of illness.
    • Patrons may designate a healthy person to pick up their items for them with library staff
    • In accordance with social distancing practices, library staff will place materials into patron’s unlocked trunk, hatchback, or back seat. Please do not get out of your vehicle.
    • At this time, please do not return your materials. Overdue notices will be waived, and if you receive an overdue notice, just ignore it. All overdues will be forgiven during this period of uncertainty.
  • Patagonia Community Church will be broadcasting a church service this Sunday, March 22, and the next two Sundays, on KPUP radio at 10:00a.m. If listeners are out of range of 100.5 FM at that time, they can livestream the broadcast at www.KPUP.ROCKS. Pastor Tom Jelinek will lead the service with others participating and there will be music. This new form of offering church on the air has been created in response to a directive from the Desert Southwest governance of the United Methodist Church to suspend all church worship, gatherings, and activities until April 6, at which time the situation will be re-evaluated. At this time, the popular Thrift Shop is also closed until further notice, and requests that donations not be dropped off.

Nogales

  • Safeway, March 18: There are still plenty of fresh fruits and veggies, meat, chicken, fish, eggs, and milk. The chicken section had a sign limiting people to two; The shelf-stable milks (almond, soy, rice) were almost gone. Limited cold/flu meds available. No toilet paper and not expected anytime soon. There was NO pasta or bottled water, almost no ready-made soup or “instant” dinners like mac & cheese, and few canned veggies. There were also huge numbers of shoppers; there was a line just to get a cart to get into the store. The new store hours are 6 am to 9 pm to re-stock shelves. 
  • Walmart Super Center has instituted a new policy – only allowing 10 people at a time. They have restricted items per person. The PRT is following this story. IF you have shopped at Walmart since they started this please contact us at prtasted@gmail.com or call us 740-206-9594
  • Mariposa Clinics as stated above have put in screening tables at all their buildings to review before people go in to see a provider or to the pharmacy.
  • Mariposa Dental Clinics are only open for emergencies and will not do any consults or procedures until April 13.

Tucson

  • All bars and other public venues will be shut down in Tucson through the end of the month, with restaurants limited to only take-out service, Mayor Regina Romero announced March 17.
  • All Public Libraries are closed in Pima County
  • Costco in Tucson has limited entry of shoppers and number of items to buy.