This is your up-to-date resource page for all things related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Tucson, Arizona. We will do our best to update this content as often as possible to ensure accurate and timely information. As always, please consult a doctor or medical care professional with any concerns related to the Coronavirus or other illnesses.
Covid-19 is a respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in China. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, COVID-19 has now been detected in more than 100 locations internationally, including in the United States.
The virus is “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes is “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”).
On January 30, 2020, the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a “public health emergency of international concern.” On March 11, 2020 the World Heath Organization (WHO) publicly declared COVID-19 “a pandemic.”
According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, there have been 217 reported cases of Coronavirus in the Tucson area (link).
The first death related to COVID-19 in Tucson occurred on March 23, 2020. The individual was a woman in her 50s with underlying health conditions. (link)
- Total Cases in the USA: 186,101
- Total Deaths in the USA: 3,603
New York currently has the most cases (74,427), followed by New Jersey (18,696), California (8,131), Michigan (7,615), Massachusetts (6,620), Florida (6,490), and Illinois (5,994).
There are currently 1,413 reported cases in Arizona. The top three counties are: Maricopa County (871), Pima County (217), and Coconino County (85) (link). The Arizona Department of Health Services began testing for the COVID-19 on March 2. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey issued a Declaration of Emergency and Executive Order to Combat the Continued Spread of COVID-19 on March 11, 2020 (link). “Arizonans should not panic — our approach will be calm and steady.”
- Requires insurance companies and health plans to cover out of network providers, including out of plan laboratories and telemedicine providers.
- Waives all copays, coinsurance, and deductibles for consumers related to COVID-19 diagnostic testing and decreases co-pays for telemedicine visits.
- Implements consumer protections, including prohibiting price-gouging on COVID-19 of diagnosis and treatment-related services.
- Require symptom checks of healthcare workers and visitors at skilled nursing facilities, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities.
*As reported by the CDC. (link)
Twenty-nine people in Arizona have died due to COVID-19. The first individual, who died in Maricopa County on March 20, was a male in his 50s with underlying health conditions. (link) The second individual, who died in Maricopa County on March 22, was a male in his 70s with underlying health conditions. (link)
The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.
- Shortness of breath
The below simple steps may help prevent illness.
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water as often as possible – especially before and after being in public places.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Get enough sleep.
- Eat a well-balanced diet of high-nutrition foods such as fruit, vegetables, eggs, and meat. Limit sugar intake and heavily processed foods.
- Avoid too much consumption of television and social media.
- Cough or sneeze into a tissue or into your elbow. (Throw the tissue in the trash and then wash your hands!).
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces – including computers, phones, doorknobs, etc.
- Think about how you can help others in your community.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), although a clinical trial of an investigational vaccine for COVID-19 has begun in the Seattle area. (link)
There are currently no state or national guidelines related to individual preparations. Common sense, calmness, and compassion are urged in all circumstances.
If you or a loved one suspect Coronavirus, the CDC currently recommends that you “stay home, except to get medical care.”
- Stay home: People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to isolate at home during their illness. You should restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care.
- Avoid public areas: Do not go to work, school, or public areas.
Rebecca Ruiz Hudman, Media Manager for Banner Health, had this to say, “Above all, we urge anyone who is ill with a fever, cough, or having trouble breathing to contact their health care provider to discuss your symptoms and determine if an in-person evaluation or testing is necessary. Ultimately, if you are sick, stay home– do not go out in public. Ill or not ill, we recommend everyone implement personal hygiene habits including washing your hands with soap and water frequently, coughing into a tissue or your elbow, and avoiding touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.”
Where can I get tested for Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Tucson?
- If you are concerned about COVID-19 symptoms or exposure, you can call Banner Health at 1-844-549-1851 to speak with a clinical team member to determine if testing is appropriate. If an individual meets CDC criteria for testing, they will be scheduled for an appointment at Banner’s new drive-through site. During a drive-through appointment, you will be asked to remain inside your vehicle. You will receive paperwork to complete. This includes a confirmation stating they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, that you agree to be tested, and that you will self-isolate until Banner contacts you with your test results. After completing the paperwork, a Banner team member will swab inside your nose to collect a sample. This process takes 5-20 minutes. Once completed, you will be instructed to return home and isolate until you are contacted with you test results. Samples will be sent to Sonora Quest Laboratories for processing. Results will take roughly 3-5 days to return. IMPORTANT NOTE: Banner’s drive-through sites will not accept walk-ins. Everyone must be phone screened in advance and scheduled for an appointment. Those who arrive without an appointment will be asked to leave and call 1-844-549-1851 to complete the above phone screening process. (link)
- Statement from Carondelet hospitals (including St. Joseph’s and St. Mary’s): “We follow CDC guidelines for identification and treatment of patients with suspected or confirmed cases of the coronavirus.”
Beginning on March 15 and for the next 8 weeks, CDC recommends cancelling all events of 50 or more people. (link) President Donald Trump is urging Americans to “avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10.”(link)
List of upcoming CANCELLED Tucson events amid concerns over the Coronavirus (COVID-19):
- All performances of Tucson Symphony Orchestra will be suspended from March 13, 2020 through March 31, 2020. (link)
- Arizona Region Volleyball Tournaments and Pre-USAV HP Tryouts in Arizona – CANCELLED thru April 30. (link)
- All events, which were originally scheduled through May at Fox Tucson Theatre have been postponed. (link)
- The Gauntlet (April 4) has been postponed. (link)
- The Rialto Theatre has suspended all shows and events until “at least the beginning of April.” (link)
- All performances, exhibitions, and college and community events at PCC’s Center for the Arts will be cancelled through April 30. (link)
- The Gaslight Theatre “will be temporarily suspending productions until April 16.” (link)
- Lowe’s Workshops – including Kids DIY Workshops. (link)
- Pima County Fair has been cancelled for 2020. (link)
*At this point, there are too many cancellations to include on this page. Please check our citywide calendar for the most recent updates.
CHURCH SERVICES DURING COVID-19 CLOSURES
The CDC has recommended that all group gatherings of more than 50 people be cancelled or postponed for eight weeks, beginning on March 15 2020. (link) President Donald Trump is urging Americans to “avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10.”(link) As a result, many Tucson churches are suspending services and/or offering virtual services.
Here are the responses from some of the biggest churches in Tucson.
- Casas Church: The campus will be closed and services will be held online through May. (link)
- Christ Community Church: Sunday services have been suspended through the end of March. A virtual worship experience will be posted on their website for viewing each Sunday during the suspension. (link)
- Pantano Christian Church: Services will be held online thru April 12. (link)
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey issued a “Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected” order on March 31, 2020. (link)
Under the Executive Order, Arizonans shall limit their time away from their place of residence or property, except:
- To conduct or participate in essential activities, and/or;
- For employment, to volunteer, or participate in essential functions; or
- To utilize any services or products provided by essential business services;
- And for employment if as a sole proprietor or family owned business, work is conducted in a separate office space from your home and the business is not open to serve the public.
Under this policy, essential activities include:
- Obtaining necessary supplies and services for family, household members and pets, such as groceries, food, and supplies for household consumption and use, supplies, and equipment needed to work from home, assignments for completion of distance learning, and products necessary to maintain safety, sanitation, and essential maintenance of the home, residence.
- Engaging in activities essential for health and safety, including things such as seeking medical, behavioral health or emergency services and obtaining medical supplies or medication.
- Caring for a family member, friend, or pet in another household or residence, which includes but is not limited to transportation for essential health and safety activities and to obtain necessary supplies and services for the other household.
- Engaging in outdoor exercise activities, such as walking, hiking, running, biking, or golfing, but only if appropriate physical distancing practices are used.
- Attending work in or conducting essential services which includes but is not limited to transporting children to child care services for attending work in an essential service.
- Engaging in constitutionally protected activities such as speech and religion, the democratic process to include voting, any legal or court process, provided that such is conducted in a manner that provides appropriate physical distancing to the extent feasible.
Below you will find a list of highly searched Tucson Businesses that are currently closed due to Coronavirus (COVID-19).
- The University of Arizona announced that they will move online through the end of the semester. (link)
- All Pac-12 competitions, starting March 12, will be conducted with only essential staff, TV network partners, credentialed media, and limited family and friends in attendance. (link)
- Children’s Museum Tucson and Children’s Museum Oro Valley are closed until further notice. (link)
- Bookmans is currently closed. (link)
- Saguaro National Park is “closing visitor centers and cancelling programs. Trailheads and trails remain open.” (link)
- Reid Park Zoo has made the decision to temporarily close. (link)
- Tumamoc Hill is closed to foot traffic. (link)
- The Sabino Canyon Visitor Center, Cactus Picnic Area, and Lower Parking Lot are all closed. (link)
- Saguaro National Park (both East and West) is closing all restrooms and comfort stations (vault toilets) around both districts of the park. This is in additition to the continued closure of both visitor centers, and the suspension of fee collection and all public programs until further notice. Trails remain open. (link)
- Tucson Parks and Recreation will temporarily close all ramadas, gazebos, playgrounds, outdoor fitness equipment, basketball, bocce and volleyball courts, horseshoe pits, and splash pads, effective March 31 and will remain in effect through April 30th. (link)
“All Pima County Public Libraries and library book drops will close until further notice, effective at the end of the day on March 17. Library material due dates have all been extended to May 1, 2020. Hang onto your books and DVDs until libraries reopen. There is no need to renew them.” (link)
AT HOME WITH THE KIDS? IDEAS FOR FUN THINGS TO DO DURING COVID-19 SELF-ISOLATION!
Since Tucson schools are not meeting until at least Friday, March 27, we have compiled a list of fun activities you can do with your kids (or give to your kids to use while you work remotely!). Whenever possible, we have included activities that can be done with one to five people. We have also included activities that take a long time (think: legos) to help fill your days with fun. Finally, we have added as many educational products and ideas as we can to maximize the learning while you are at home over the next few weeks.
If you venture out, please keep these tips in mind:
– Stay six feet away from people not in your family group.
– Bring your own hand sanitizer, water, and snacks.
– Do not expect bathroom facilities or visitors’ centers to be open.
– Enjoy the sun on your shoulders and the absolutely perfect weather.
- Go on a hike! Sabino Canyon, Pima Canyon, and Ventana Canyon are great places to consider. ***Note that the Sabino Canyon Visitor Center, Cactus Picnic Area, and Lower Parking Lot are all closed. (link)
- Play in the rain. When rain is in the forecast, run outside and splash in the puddles.
- Let’s go…fly a kite! A butterfly, a bald eagle, whatever strikes your fancy.
- Bike (or scooter!) around the block.
- Picnic in your backyard.
- Jump on a trampoline.
- Pogo stick like it’s the 1990s. Don’t forget to wear your helmet!
- Plant a garden. A raised garden could be an easy way to get started!
- Take a Dice Walk. Bring two dice to roll at each intersection/block: If the dice roll adds up odd, turn left; if the dice roll is even, turn right. It is a fun way to exercise and keep kids engaged.
- Bananagrams: This is a super fun scrabble-like game for ages 7+. Can be played with 1-8 players. Race each other to build crossword grids!
- Retro Edition Games like Candyland, Chutes & Ladders, and UNO: These games are especially wonderful for early readers or non-readers!
ACTIVITY KITS, BUILDING SETS, AND CRAFTS
- Magna-Tiles: Magnetic tiles keep kids entertained for hours! Build houses, towers, train tracks, or castles.
- Wikki Stix: These colorful, bendable stix provide hours of imaginative play and can be used over & over again. Bonus: They don’t make a mess like play-dough, glitter, and other more common craft items!
- LEGOs: Get your kid(s) a really big LEGO kit and watch the hours melt away. Here are some super fun ones we came across: Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle (6,020 pieces), Disney Castle (4,080 pieces), Tree House (3,036 pieces), Statue of Liberty (1,685 pieces), and Adventure Camp Tree House (726 pieces).
- Do A Dot Art: These markers are excellent for toddlers and preschoolers! Non-messy, vibrant colors! You can even buy corresponding activity books.
READING, WRITING, AND ‘RITHMATIC
- Read aloud a fun chapter book to your children every evening.
- Practice math facts – addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. The Kumon workbooks are great for this.
- Listen to audiobooks…free from your local library.
There are numerous ways to make a difference for good in Tucson.
- Remain calm and refuse to give in to panic.
- Use common sense and check facts before believing misinformation.
- Check in with neighbors – especially the elderly or ill – to see if you can run errands or grocery shop for them.
- Do a random act of kindness for a stranger. Buy coffee for the overwhelmed mom at the coffee shop. Bring a meal to a housebound or struggling friend. Write a note to give a sincere compliment to a coworker or acquaintance.
- Support small businesses. Order take-out from local restaurants. Purchase gift cards to use later. Make an online order if that option is available.
- Show gratitude to doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel. Bring flowers, chocolates, or a coffeeshop gift card. Smile and say, “thank you.”
Questions about COVID-19? Call the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center at 1-800-222-1222 (they have been contracted to handle phone calls on COVID-19 on behalf of the Arizona Department of Health Services).
You may also want to call the Pima County Health Department for updates: 520-626-6016.
*Last updated on April 1, 2020.