This story will be frequently updated with outbreak-related news and links to other in-depth coverage.
9:50 a.m. March 29: The number of COVID-19 cases in Maricopa County is now 546, up from 452 the day prior. Gov. Doug Ducey signed a bipartisan state budget agreement March 28. It adds $50 million to the budget for COVID-19 response.
10:43 a.m. March 28: The number of COVID-19 cases in Maricopa County is now 452, up from 399 the day prior.
4:51 p.m. March 27: Gov. Doug Ducey signed legislation to expand access to unemployment benefits, legislation to support schools, teachers and families and he announced $5 million in new funding for rental assistance. Details on the legislation can be found at https://azgovernor.gov/.
2:53 p.m. March 27: The city of Chandler announced that beginning March 27, household hazardous waste collection operations would be temporarily suspended due to health concerns related to COVID-19.
10:31 a.m. March 27: The Arizona Department of Housing will launch a $5 million program to help individuals facing eviction because of COVID-19, Gov. Doug Ducey announced March 27.
The Rental Eviction Prevention Assistance Program will give monthly rental assistance to families and individuals who have lost income due to COVID-19.
The assistance is available to those who primary residence is a rental unit in Arizona.
To qualify, the household must have seen a reduction in income due to COVID-19 that, when annualized, does meet 100 percent of the area median income adjusted for family sizes for the their county of residence.
The program begins March 30 through an online application at www.azhousing.gov. For those who do not have computer access, they can call Maricopa County Human Services at 602-506-5911 to start an application by phone.
The State Housing Trust Fund provided the $5 million for initial program funding.
9:09 a.m. March 27: The number of COVID-19 cases in Maricopa County is now 399, up from 299 the previous day. The county's fifth death was also reported March 27.
7:20 p.m. March 26: Gov. Doug Ducey announced an agreement March 26 with the state’s electrical utilities to continue to provide power to Arizona’s homes, hospitals and businesses while they face financial difficulties from the coronavirus fallout.
Under the agreement, Gilbert’s providers, Arizona Public Service and Salt River Project, along with Tucson Electric Power and six electric cooperatives hae agreed not to shut off power to anyone for lack of payment and to waive penalties, late fees and interest at this time.
The utility companies will work with their customers to provide flexible options for payment, as well as guidance and choice of rate and payment plans.
Customer service representatives will work with customers desiring to switch plans during this time.
Customer service representatives are available for individualized service to the hospitals and health care providers.
The utilities have agreed to work with one another across the state to provide resources and coverage for one another to ensure continued reliable service. Resources will be available for rural cooperatives should their crews need supplementing.
3:07 p.m. March 26: Gov. Doug Ducey issued an executive order on March 26 that defers certain requirements for licensed professionals for six months.
Under the executive order, state agencies and boards will defer requirements to renew licenses that have an expiration date between March 1, 2020 and Sept. 1, 2020 by six months from the expiration date, unless those requirements can be completed online.
Additionally, they will defer requirements to complete continuing education by six months, unless those requirements can be completed online.
State agencies and boards also will suspend any rules that prevent or limit the amount of online or alternative learning hours permitted to issue or renew a license and will attempt to implement electronic or remote format examinations for licensure.
Additionally, state agencies and boards will issue provisional licenses to applicants who have met all other requirements of Arizona statute and administrative code but cannot take the exam because it isn’t provided via electronic or remote format.
2:20 p.m. March 26: Gov. Doug Ducey announced Arizona will waive emissions testing for up to one year for those 65 and older to reduce COVID-19 risk.
"This latest action is informed by guidance from public health experts," Ducey said in a news release. "People over age 65 are at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19, and this is another way Arizona can help encourage social distancing and protect the health of our seniors."
The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality is currently accepting waiver applications for vehicle registration renewals due in March, April or May of 2020. Vehicle owners can apply at azdeq.gov/65waiver or by calling 620-771-3950 and pressing “0” to reach customer service.
The governor separately announced that the College Board is developing a new, at-home Advanced Placement, or AP, test. Students will be able to test on a computer or mobile device. More information is available at collegeboard.org.
10:58 a.m. March 26: Gov. Doug Ducey ordered Arizona’s hospitals to increase capacity in preparation for a possible influx of patients from COVID-19.
From the executive order, hospitals must activate their facility emergency plans that were developed with funding from the Arizona Department of Health Services in case of a public health emergency. The order requires hospitals to increase capacity by 25% by April 10 and 50% by April 24.
Hospitals also must implement processes to re-route non-critical patients to other providers and plans to optimize their staffing levels.
Pediatric hospitals must accept patients up to 21 years of age.
The governor also ordered Medicaid insurance plans to cover services provided through the expanded capacity and reimburse hospitals at rates equal to what would be provided without the expanded capacity.
In a release, ADHS Director Dr. Cara Christ said the state has a responsibility to prepare for the worst-case scenario with the pandemic.
“In Arizona, we are fortunate to have time to prepare, and we have a responsibility to bring additional hospital beds online, find needed supplies and identify critical equipment, including ventilators,” she said.
10:10 a.m. March 26: Salt River Project's Board of Directors approved more than $1 million in contributions to help SRP's residential and small business customers who are having difficulty paying their electric bills as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
SRP will provide $500,000 to Wildfire–formerly the Arizona Community Action Agency–which has been providing critical services to Arizona families since 1967. That is in addition to an annual $500,000 contribution SRP makes.
Wildfire is immediately able to distribute to those in need.
The SRP Board also approved an additional $500,000 in community contributions to several local non-profit organizations, including the Valley of the Sun United Way, Mesa United Way and the Arizona Community Foundation. The funds will help these agencies and several others to provide basic needs services and emergency assistance related to COVID-19.
SRP's Board also approved $250,000 in contributions to support small businesses in its Valley service territory that are being directly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. SRP is still evaluating the appropriate agencies and the most effective way to administer and distribute the funds, according to the company release.
SRP temporarily suspended disconnections of all customers March 15 and waived late fees during the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision to halt disconnections applies to both residential and commercial customers.
SRP's Here to Help website, www.srpnet.com/heretohelp, provides information on a wide variety of assistance available should a customer have difficulty paying their energy bill. Although SRP is temporarily halting power shutoffs for non-payment, customers will continue to accumulate charges for electric service from SRP during this time.
SRP is a community-based, not-for-profit public power utility and the largest provider of electricity in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, serving more than 1 million customers. The SRP board is publicly elected.
9:19 a.m. March 26: A fourth death due to COVID-19 has been reported in Maricopa County. The number of county cases March 26 was 299, up from 251 the day prior. The Arizona Department of Health Services updated the state's transmission level of COVID-19 to widespread. The state reports 508 cases in Arizona across 13 counties.
4:24 March 25: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded Arizona a $5.3 million grant to provide meals for older adults, Gov. Doug Ducey announced.
The money supports meal delivery programs and programs serving senior centers.
10:40 a.m. March 25: Gov. Ducey issued an executive order requiring health care insurance companies to expand telemedicine coverage for all services that would normally be covered for an in-person visit.
The order helps ensure that Arizonans who may be sick or under quarantine can access care from their homes and avoid potentially risky trips to a health care provider, according to a news release from the governor's office. It remains in effect until the termination of the declared public health emergency.
“Access to health care is crucial at a time like this,” Ducey said in the release. “This order will ensure that Arizonans can access care without having to leave home while freeing up much needed capacity for our health care providers and hospitals. It’s commonsense and helps ensure our most vulnerable continue to have access to care in a way that protects them and public health.”
9:07 a.m. March 25: Maricopa County announced the number of COVID-19 cases in Maricopa County is now 251, up from 199 the previous day.
2:54 p.m. March 24: Gov. Doug Ducey issued an executive order March 24 delaying the enforcement of eviction orders for renters impacted by COVID-19.
The order applies to renters who are quarantining from COVID-19 or are facing economic hardship from the outbreak. It is in effect for 120 days.
The order follows similar federal action for Department of Housing and Urban Development-financed properties. The Federal Housing Finance Authority also directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to suspend foreclosures and evictions for at least 60 days.
The Arizona Department of Housing offers assistance for Arizonans to make mortgage payments through Save Our Home AZ.
10:10 a.m. March 24: Gov. Doug Ducey and Superintendent Kathy Hoffman announced a partnership to launch Arizona Enrichment Centers beginning next week to offer childcare for the children of first responders, critical healthcare workers, and essential public sector workers, including child safety workers, according to a news release.
“This initiative will offer critical support for the women and men working on the front lines to respond to COVID-19,” said Ducey in the release. “We will continue to work with our outstanding school leaders all across Arizona to provide more capacity to serve these families.”
Key things to know about the Student Enrichment Centers:
- Children and staff/volunteers will have their temperatures taken upon entering the enrichment center - anyone with a fever will not be admitted.
- Volunteers/staff at the enrichment centers will wipe down surfaces frequently with disinfectant.
- Each room will not exceed a safe maximum of students, supported by at least one adult; this will both allow for personalized attention and will meet social distancing needs.
- Children will be offered a site based on their home address and their parent or caregiver’s eligibility.
- Districts are working to select schools in close proximity to hospitals to add convenience for health care workers.
- Centers will be open Monday through Friday. Hours may vary by location.
- The environment will be safe and supportive, and staff will be prepared to respond to children’s social and emotional needs. All staff will complete background checks.
- Children will be allowed to bring remote devices so they can work on schoolwork while at the centers.
9:14 a.m. March 24: Maricopa County health officials announced a third death from COVID-19, the previous two were reported over the weekend. The case count is 199, up 61 from March 23.
9:06 a.m. March 24: The state of Arizona has secured a million N-95 masks and other medical supplies through a public-private partnership, Gov. Doug Ducey announced.
The partnership is among the state, the BSTRONG Initiative with the Global Empowerment Mission, and the Verstandig Foundation.
The Verstandig Foundation of Grant Verstandig, chief digital officer of UnitedHealth Group, is donating the first 250,000 masks anticipated to be delivered within 10 days.
The BSTRONG Initiative from former reality television star Bethenny Frankel works with suppliers and charities to raise money and aid for victims of disaster.
The latest acquisition is on top of the protective equipment the state is getting from the Stratetgic National Stockpile.
8:07 a.m. March 24: Gov. Doug Ducey announced a new website that brings together resources for individuals, businesses and volunteer opportunities called Arizona Together. He also launched the AZ Coronavirus Relief Fund that supports organizations combating COVID-19, which is housed on the Arizona Together website.
4:13 p.m. March 23: Gov. Doug Ducey issued an executive order March 23 requiring commercial laboratories to provide lab specimens and data to the state for in-depth analysis as it navigates the spread of the coronavirus.
The governor also issued an executive order to detail what constitutes “essential services” in the state so that the state has one consistent, overarching policy. Essential services include: health care and public health operations; human services operations; infrastructure operations; government functions; business operations; organizations that provide charitable and social services; media organizations; gas stations and other transportation-related businesses; financial institutions, including banks and credit unions; hardware and supply stores; critical trades; mail, post shipping and logistics; education institutions; laundry services; restaurants for consumption off-premises; supplies distributors that enable telework and work from home and those that supply essential business; transportation including airlines, taxis and ride-sharing; home-based care services; residential facilities and shelters; professional services; day care center for employees exempted through the order; manufacturers, distribution and producers of supply chain-critical products; hotels and motels; and funeral services.
The governor said as the state works to increase testing capacity, it expects more confirmed positive cases.
9:55 a.m. March 23: The number of COVID-19 cases in Maricopa County is now 139, up from 81 the previous day, according to public health officials. In addition, Gov. Doug Ducey announced Arizona's income tax filing deadline is now July 15, allowing residents an extra 90 days.
8 a.m. March 23: Banner Health announced it has opened COVID-19 specimen collection sites. The drive-through locations in Arizona will see patients by appointment only, according to Banner Health. Those with concerns about COVID-19 symptoms or exposure can now call Banner Health at 1-844-549-18-51 to speak with a clinical team member to determine if testing is appropriate. The line will be staffed from 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Friday.
If an individual meets CDC criteria for testing, they will be scheduled for an appointment at one of Banner’s new drive-through sites, according to Banner. There are three sites located in the Phoenix metropolitan area and one in Tucson. Several more are slated to open at a later date.
During a patient’s drive-through appointment, they will be asked to remain inside their vehicle. The patient will receive paperwork to complete. This includes a confirmation stating they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, they agree to be tested and will self-isolate until Banner contacts them with their test results. After completing the paperwork, a Banner team member will swab inside their nose to collect a sample. This process takes 5-20 minutes, according to Banner. Once completed, the patient will be instructed to return home and isolate until they are contacted with their test results. Samples will be sent to Sonora Quest Laboratories for processing. Results will take roughly 3-5 days to return.
If test results are negative, the patient will be informed they can return to their normal daily routine if they are asymptomatic. It is recommended that they remain at home if they are still sick. While they may have tested negative for COVID-19, it is possible they have another illness that could spread to others. These patients are advised to manage symptoms at home and contact their primary care provider if they have any questions or concerns.
If the results are positive, Banner will notify the county and state health departments and provide the patient with next steps, which could include an additional quarantine period. Abiding by the quarantine period is extremely important to ensure the patient does not spread the virus to others.
9:07 a.m. March 22: The Arizona Department of Health Services and Maricopa County Department of Public Health confirmed the second death due to COVID-19 in Arizona. The individual was a man in his 70s with underlying health conditions, according to a news release. On March 22, according to Maricopa County, the number of COVID-19 cases was 81, up from 49 the day prior.
11:13 a.m. March 21: The number of positive COVID-19 cases in Maricopa County is 49, up from 34 March 20, according to Maricopa County.
7:44 p.m. March 20: The Arizona Department of Health Services and Maricopa County Department of Public Health confirmed the first death due to COVID-19 in Arizona. The individual was a male in his 50s with underlying health conditions, according to a news release.
“We express our deepest sympathy to the family and friends grieving their loved one during this difficult time,” said Dr. Cara Christ, ADHS Director in a news release. “COVID-19 is a serious disease that can be fatal in anyone, especially our elderly population and people with underlying health conditions. We expect to see more cases of COVID-19 in Arizona, and there could be more deaths. It is imperative that everyone takes precautions to protect you and your family from this disease.”
5:18 p.m. March 20: The city of Chandler announced changes to some public services and the closure of several city facilities due to risks associated with the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Chandler Center for the Arts – Closed through April 30. Box Office hours modified to Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed Saturday.
- Chandler Museum – Closed through March 31.
- Chandler Public Libraries – Closed through March 31.
- Chandler Recreation Centers – Closed through March 31. Community Center, Environmental Education Center, Snedigar Recreation Center and Tumbleweed Recreation Center.
- Chandler Parks are open. However, all park restrooms are closed until further notice so that cleaning supplies and staff resources can be directed to other areas.
- Chandler Pools and Aquatic Centers – Closed through March 31st. The availability of Lap Swimming at select facilities will be re-evaluated as needed.
- Chandler Senior Center – Closed through March 31. The Senior Center will continue to provide carry out or delivery of hot meals to senior residents who depend on this service.
- Chandler Vision Gallery – Closed through March 31.
- Chandler Municipal Court is open, however, it is limiting court hearings to required in-person proceedings. Those hearings will be attended by parties, attorneys, victims, witnesses, jurors, court personnel and other necessary persons. This is necessary to maintain the recommended social distancing within the court facility. In an effort to reduce the number of court visitors, the Chandler Municipal Court is offering several methods to handle your case. You can do so by phone at 480-782-4700 or you may request an extension, continuance or payment plan online.
- The development services customer service counter for plan reviews and walk-in consultations will be by appointment only starting March 23. Appointments can be scheduled by calling 480-782-3000. If you need to drop off plans, a self-service area will be available within the lobby. Phone and online services, including as-builts and public records requests, are available.
- Fingerprinting service at the police department is unavailable at this time, pending daily review.
- Passports services are unavailable until March 27, pending daily review.
- The tax & license service counter is temporarily closed. Online, phone and email services as well as the payment drop box are available.
- The utility bill payment counter is temporarily closed. Online, phone and email services as well as the payment drop box are available.
In addition, Chandler City Council meetings will be closed to in-person attendance until further notice, according to the city. Residents are encouraged to watch live city council meetings on Cox Cable 11, CenturyLink Channel 8502, or streamed through the city’s website at chandleraz.gov/video or youtube.com/cityofchandler.
Residents may submit a public comment related to agenda items or unscheduled public appearances at chandleraz.gov/PublicComment. They must be submitted one hour before the meeting starts to be entered into the official record, according to the city.
All other Chandler facilities remain open, but residents are encouraged to use the city’s online services. The public is encouraged to not enter a city facility if they are feeling ill, experiencing a cough, fever or shortness of breath, according to the city.
5:10 p.m. March 20: In a series of tweets, Gov. Doug Ducey announced he is issuing an executive order to give people who are facing economic hardship from COVID-19 access to unemployment benefits. Ducey also said the Arizona Department of Revenue is extending the income tax deadline to July 15 to mirror the newly extended federal deadline.
3:15 p.m. March 20: Gov. Doug Ducey and Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman announced March 20 that Arizona schools will remain closed through April 10. Hoffman said in the announcement that requirements will be waived for state standardized testing and that the state is finalizing details with the federal government regarding the waiver. Hoffman also said the Department of Education is working with education leaders to provide guidance about graduation in the near future. Ducey said he is ready to sign a bill that would assure teacher and staff pay will not be interrupted. He also said the state is teaming with nonprofit, faith-based and business communities to make childcare available for those in need, but noted that the best place for them is at home. A list of providers is available on azed.gov. Ducey also said children should not be cared for by elderly adults or those with underlying conditions.
2:08 p.m. March 20: Chandler Municipal Court is limiting court hearings to required in-person proceedings. Those hearings will be attended by parties, attorneys, victims, witnesses, jurors, court personnel, and other necessary persons, according to the city website. In an effort to reduce the number of court visitors, the Chandler Municipal Court is offering several methods to handle your case. You can do so by phone at 480-782-4700 or you may request an extension, continuance or payment plan online.
2 p.m. March 20: Chandler USD announced March 20 it will expand to offering curbside meals for students at five school sites—Andersen Junior High, Willis Junior High, Perry High, Chandler High and Hamilton High schools. Meals are available from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
1:51 p.m. March 20: Waymo has suspended all Waymo One rider services in Arizona until April 7, the company announced, including service with trained drivers and the company's fully driverless operations within the early rider program. All driving operations in other locations also remain suspended for now, along with local delivery and truck testing, according to the company.
12:39 p.m. March 20: Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke announced in a video posted on social media that the Chandler Museum and Vision Gallery will close March 21 through the end of the month.
9:44 a.m. March 20: There are now 34 cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Maricopa County, according to the county website. That number is up from 22 March 19.
5:54 p.m. March 19: PayPal confirmed a presumptive positive case of COVID-19 out of its Chandler office March 19.
"We are treating the employee situation at our Chandler office as presumed positive case of COVID-19," a PayPal spokesperson said in an email. "To protect employee health and well-being, we’ve sent staff home and closed the office location. During this closure, the potentially affected office premises will be sanitized and disinfected in accordance with health guidelines. PayPal will also conduct contact tracing to minimize potential impact. We will continue to follow the guidance provided by local health departments and regulators in prioritizing the health and safety of our employees and the community."
The Chandler PayPal office is located at 3000 One Payment Way. According to the city of Chandler economic development webpage, PayPal's Chandler office has more than 1,600 employees.
5:13 p.m. March 19: Gov. Doug Ducey announced in a series of tweets that he is activating the National Guard to assist grocery stores and food banks, in addition to issuing an executive order halting elective surgeries in the state to free up medical resources. Gov. Ducey also issued an executive order that requires restaurants in counties with confirmed cases of COVID-19 to provide dine-out options only and closes bars, movie theaters and gyms—restaurants will be allowed to deliver alcoholic beverages with a food purchase. The order takes effect close of business March 20. This will affect Maricopa County, as the county has 22 confirmed cases. He also issued an executive order to delay expiration dates on Arizona driver licenses, "ensuring residents over the age of 65 do not need to visit Motor Vehicle Division offices to renew their driver licenses during the public health emergency," according to the governor's website.
4:20 p.m. March 19: Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke signed an emergency declaration proclaiming a local emergency in response to COVID-19 March 19, according to the city.
This declaration follows the state of emergencies that have been declared by the president, governor and Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. According to a news release from the city, this declaration gives the mayor and council the authority to "impose necessary regulations to further preserve the order and safety of the city, its residents and customers."
As part of this declaration, all Chandler residents are ordered to adhere to the CDC guidelines to further prevent the spread of the virus. This includes:
- Practice social distancing in public gathering places and businesses where groups are in excess of 10 people;
- Wash your hands frequently, practice good hygiene and frequently disinfect;
- Avoid contact with those with elevated risks associated with COVID-19.
- Stay home and contact a medical provider if you or others in your household are sick or start to experience symptoms of COVID-19.
"As a community, we need to protect our most vulnerable and at-risk population, and following these guidelines will help do our part," read the news release from the city.
Businesses are "urged to operate responsibly by following the CDC guidelines," according to the release. Restaurants, food courts, cafes, coffeehouses, retail food facilities and other similar businesses or establishments are strongly encouraged to take measures to increase the use of delivery service, window service, drive-through service, or drive-up service, and to use precautions in doing so to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
When applicable, businesses also are urged to set limits on the purchase of essential items per household, according to the release. In addition, businesses and residents with gatherings of 10 people or more are implored to implement social distancing and follow CDC recommendations. This includes public places such as gyms, bars and clubs.
Residents are also asked to support local businesses and utilize delivery or take-out services when possible.
As of March 19, Chandler has temporarily closed four libraries, four recreation centers, senior center and six aquatic centers and pools to the public through March 31. All special events on city property through April 30 have been postponed or canceled to help stop the spread of the virus.
"City officials will continue to monitor the impact of these closures and the need for further restrictions to keep our residents, businesses and employees safe," read the release.
2:02 p.m. March 19: The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Maricopa County is 22 as of March 19, according to Maricopa County officials. On March 18, the reported number of confirmed cases was 11.
12:41 p.m. March 19: The U.S. Small Business Administration approved an Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration for Arizona to help small businesses in the state impacted by COVID-19. Individual businesses can be eligible for up to $2 million through the program.
Gov. Doug Ducey requested the economic assistance, which is made available through the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act signed by President Trump on March 6.
The loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of COVID-19’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75 percent for small businesses without credit available elsewhere. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75 percent. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis.
Arizona businesses impacted by COVID-19 may apply for the loan through a portal on the SBA website.
5:36 p.m. March 18: Chandler officials announced March 18 libraries and recreation centers in the city will close through March 31. Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke and the City Council authorized changes to public services and the closure of several city facilities due to the risks associated with coronavirus.
- All Chandler public libraries will close to the public beginning March 19 and will remain closed through March 31
- The following recreation facilities will close to the public beginning March 21 and will remain closed through March 31:
- four recreation centers: Community Center, Environmental Education Center, Snedigar Recreation Center and Tumbleweed Recreation Center;
- Chandler pools and aquatic centers;
- the Chandler Senior Center will close but will continue to provide carryout or delivery of hot meals to senior residents who are dependent on the service; and
- city officials say the closures will be re-evaluated later this month and may be extended.
In a video message posted on social media, Hartke said the city is encouraging businesses to "run their operations responsibly."
"We implore businesses that have gatherings of 10 or more people to operate according to CDC recommendations," Hartke said in the video. "Our business community needs our support now more than ever, and I encourage residents to continue patronizing local restaurants by utilizing pickup and drive-thru options and practicing safe distancing. Let's work together to help flatten the curve."
Hartke said the city will continue to monitor the situation daily.
4 p.m. March 18: The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Clint Hickman signed a proclamation of a local emergency in Maricopa County March 18, according to a statement from the county. The proclamation of a local emergency will grant the county access to additional resources, according to the statement from the county.
During this local emergency, the chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors will have the authority to impose "all necessary regulations to preserve the peace and order of Maricopa County," according to the county.
“The County is following guidelines set by Arizona Department of Health Services and the Maricopa County Department of Public Health to protect the safety of our community and residents,” Chairman Clint Hickman said in a statement. “This proclamation helps us get funding and supplies to the responders on the front line.”
As of March 18, Maricopa County had 11 confirmed cases of COVID-19
8:27 p.m. March 17: Gila River Gaming Enterprises, Inc. announced March 17 it will temporarily close Gila River Hotels & Casinos including Wild Horse Pass, Lone Butte and Vee Quiva. The decision was announced after heightened concern surrounding the coronavirus.The closure will be begin at all three properties at 4 a.m. March 18 and will be in place for two weeks.
Guests currently staying at hotel properties will be contacted for relocation or refunds, according to a news release.
10:56 a.m. March 17: The Arizona Department of Health announced March 17 guidance for restaurants, dining establishments and bars.
"ADHS strongly recommends dining establishments in areas of known community spread discourage dine-in traffic and instead provide curbside pick up/drive through service. Restaurants should establish protocols that allow food delivered to cars," read a tweet from the Arizona Department of Health. "If dine-in options are provided, social distancing measures should be implemented, providing space for customers to be placed at least 6 feet apart, and limiting space for customers to congregate in areas of the restaurant."
Some Chandler restaurants and businesses have already taken precautions in line with this guidance, according to their social media pages.