Coronavirus updates in Gilbert for March 27-29

coronavirus
Here is what Gilbert residents need to know right now about the coronavirus outbreak. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Here is what Gilbert residents need to know right now about the coronavirus outbreak. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Updated March 29 12:49 p.m.

The coronavirus is affecting the entire world, including the town of Gilbert. Here are the Gilbert, Maricopa County and statewide updates that residents need to know.

This story will be frequently updated with outbreak-related news and links to other in-depth coverage.


The number of COVID-19 cases reported March 29 in Maricopa County is 546, up 94 from the 452 the previous day and up 147 from 399 on Friday. The number of deaths held steady at five.

State budget passed


Gov. Doug Ducey signed a bipartisan state budget agreement March 28. It adds $50 million to the budget for COVID-19 response.

Updated March 27 9:40 p.m.

Spence stops canvassing


Newly appointed Town Council Member Bill Spence announced the night of March 27 that he has suspended signature-gathering for the Aug. 4 election because of the coronavirus situation.

“As your Councilmember, I took an oath to act in the best interest of the residents of our town,” Spence wrote on a Facebook post where he announced the move. “Due to the risk of spreading COVID-19, I feel that the practice of having a buffer presents an unacceptable risk to the residents of Gilbert.”

Spence said he has the required 1,000 signatures but is not sure how much of a buffer over 1,000 he has to qualify for the ballot. Once he collects the nominating petitions he has in the field, he will submit them. Petitions are due 5 p.m. April 6.

He said he will not challenge any opponent’s signatures.

“I want to support our mayor, and the election just isn’t the priority for me right now,” Spence said in a text message March 27. “My friends and neighbors need me to do my job.”

Spence was appointed March 17 to the seat Eddie Cook vacated when he became Maricopa County assessor. He was sworn in March 24. The appointment lasts through the end of the year.

The remaining two years of Cook’s term will be filled in the August election. Spence filed a Statement of Interest in that election Feb. 24 and began collecting the required 1,000 signatures.

The mayoral position and two four-year council seats also will be up for election in August.

Updated March 27 7 p.m.

Park amenities closing


Gilbert has announced it is closing its public park amenities and all of Gilbert Regional Park. More information is available here.

No supply shortage


In her video message for March 27, Mayor Jenn Daniels said there is no supply shortage in the community.

“We are hearing that of the supplies are still being transported and how important that is,” she said. “But it does take time to restock shelves.”

GPS teachers available in remote learning

When remote learning begins March 30, Gilbert Public Schools teachers at all grade levels will be available for remote contact with students during regular school hours to clarify content and answer questions, according to the district.

Teachers have been instructed to plan short, manageable lessons that include independent and collaborative learning opportunities, the district said.

Content will be delivered through a variety of platforms, including Google Classroom. Teachers, including Special Education and ELL specialists, will identify accommodations and modifications to support student learning within a remote environment.

Aid legislation signed

Gov. Doug Ducey signed legislation to expand access to unemployment benefits and legislation to support schools, teachers and families.Details on the legislation can be found at
https://azgovernor.gov.

Updated March 27 11:10 a.m.

Housing department eviction program


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 whose primary residence is a rental unit in Arizona.

To qualify, a household must have seen a reduction in income due to COVID-19 that, when annualized, does not exceed 100% of the area median income adjusted for family size for the their county of residence.

The program will begin March 30 through an online application at www.azhousing.gov. Those who do not have computer access can call Maricopa County Human Services at 602-506-5911 to start an application by phone.

The Arizona State Housing Trust Fund provided $5 million in initial program funding.

Case count

The number of COVID-19 cases in Maricopa County is now 399, up 100 from 299 the previous day.


Earlier updates

Information from March 24-26 can be found here.

Information from March 20-23 can be found here.

Information from March 16-20 can be found here.

Community Impact Newspaper Editor Alexa D'Angelo contributed to this report.
By Tom Blodgett
Raised in Arizona, Tom Blodgett has spent 30 years in journalism in Arizona and is the editor of the Gilbert edition of Community Impact Newspaper. He is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he now serves as an instructional professional in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and editorial adviser to The State Press, the university's independent student media outlet.


MOST RECENT

The Chandler USD administration reported 54 active COVID-19 cases across the district as of Jan. 25, according to the CUSD data dashboard. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
See which Chandler USD schools are reporting COVID-19 cases

The Chandler USD administration reported 54 active COVID-19 cases across the district as of Jan. 25, according to the CUSD data dashboard.

Gov. Doug Ducey expanded funding to support restaurants seeking to expand to outdoor dining. The Brickyard in downtown Chandler did so in late 2020 with funds from the city. (Alexa D'Angelo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Governor adds funds to bolster outdoor dining across Arizona

Gov. Doug Ducey announced additional funding to support outdoor dining during COVID-19.

Top Cup Coffee
Top Cup Coffee has opened in Gilbert

The coffee shop offers gourmet coffee in a relaxed setting.

Lindsay Road interchange groundbreaking, Brigette Peterson, Scott Anderson
Restrictions, ramp closures on Loop 202-Santan Freeway start night of Jan. 25 for Lindsay Road interchange

Overnight lane restrictions on the Loop 202-Santan Freeway and closures of the interchange ramps at Gilbert Road and Val Vista Drive will begin at 9 p.m. Jan. 25.

Here's a list of local businesses that have been approved by ADHS to sell recreational marijuana. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Here are locations selling recreational marijuana in Chandler, Gilbert

Here's a list of local businesses that have been approved by ADHS to sell recreational marijuana

Here is what you need to know today about coronavirus in Gilbert. (Community Impact Newspaper)
Maricopa County reports 10,903 new cases in the last three days

Here is what you need to know about COVID-19 case counts in Gilbert and the state.

Here are the coronavirus hospitalization data updates to know across Arizona. (Community Impact staff)
Number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 down slightly

Here are the coronavirus hospitalization data updates to know across Arizona.

Three days after passing 300,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses administered, Arizona surpassed 400,000 Jan. 23, according to a news release from the Arizona Department of Health Services. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
State surpasses 400K vaccines given; see how many Maricopa County has distributed

Three days after passing 300,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses administered, Arizona surpassed 400,000 Jan. 23, according to a news release from the Arizona Department of Health Services.

4 business changes to know in Gilbert

Here are four business changes coming to Gilbert.

The Porch: A Neighborhood Joint
The Porch: A Neighborhood Joint has opened in Gilbert's Heritage District

The restaurant and bar serves appetizers, tacos, bowls, burgers, salads, sweets and drinks.

Medical marijuana facilities across the state can now apply for recreational marijuana licenses, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Arizona Department of Health Services begins approving licenses for recreational marijuana

Medical marijuana facilities across the state can now apply for recreational marijuana licenses, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Brigette Peterson conducts her first full meeting as Gilbert mayor Jan. 19. (Screen shot from GilbertLive)
Gilbert changes code to address pot; 4 new businesses open in Chandler and more top local news

Read the most popular business and community news stories from Gilbert and Chandler from the past week.