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 April 19 in the six ZIP codes that serve Gilbert is 141, up six from the previous day and eight in the past two days. The ZIP code 85298 went up six in the April 19 report.
Maricopa County reports 2,591 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 75 deaths, according to data from Maricopa County Public Health. Statewide, there are 4,929 cases reported with 184 known deaths, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.
Updated April 17 5:50 p.m.
Meal service changes
The Gilbert Public Schools and Higley USD meal pickup services have made slight changes for meals being served beginning April 20.
GPS will move its Augusta Ranch Elementary School drive-thru site to Desert Ridge Junior High School. Only one pickup per day for two meals will be required. The new hours will be 8-10:30 a.m.
Higley USD has added an afternoon pickup spot at Higley High School from 1-3 p.m.
Updated April 17 11:30 a.m.
The number of COVID-19 cases reported April 17 in the six ZIP codes that serve Gilbert is 133, up two from the previous day.
Maricopa County now reports 2,385 COVID-19 cases, according to Maricopa County Public Health. The county also reports 69 known COVID-19-related deaths. Statewide, there are now 4,507 cases across all Arizona counties, with 169 deaths reported.
Updated April 16 5:55 p.m.
Mayor says efforts are working
Gilbert Mayor Jenn Daniels said in her video message April 16 the efforts residents are making by staying home to flatten the COVID-19 spread’s curve are working.
“We are united together in this effort, and the things you are doing are working,” she said. “So thank you so much for paying attention to those CDC guidelines and teaching children how to properly wash hands and to keep hands away from faces.”
Daniels also urged residents to take a few moments going into the weekend to do some self-care.
“Make sure you are doing something for yourself every day to keep your mind firm,” she said.
State insurance departments makes plea for consumers
The Arizona Department of Insurance is urging insurers across the state to work with Arizonans to ensure their coverage continues, providing much-need support to the individuals, families and businesses facing financial challenges because of COVID-19.
The request applies to all insurers providing coverage including life, health, motor vehicle, property, casualty and any type of insurance for individuals, groups and businesses.
In a letter to companies, the Department urges insurers to provide customers relief, including:
- Refraining from cancelling policies due to non-payment during this time of hardship;
- Working with consumers on premium payment plans for late premium payments;
- Waiving late fees, interest, and penalties;
- Delaying premium increases;
- Suspending the use of credit reports for rating;
- Refraining from cancelling auto policies due to deferred expiration of driver's license;
- And extending time frames to undergo medical examinations.
Updated April 16
The number of COVID-19 cases reported April 16 in the six ZIP codes that serve Gilbert is 131, up two from the previous day.
Maricopa County health officials reported 2,257 COVID-19 cases April 16, with 64 known deaths. Statewide, the case count is now at 4,234 with the number of known deaths at 150.
Updated April 15
Mayor thanks town staff
Mayor Jenn Daniels thanked the town’s staff in an April 15 video message for their work during the coronavirus pandemic.
“I know that there’s been a lot of changes,” Daniels said. “But I’ve seen you all rise to the occasion, and I couldn’t be more proud to be part of this organization during this time.”
Daniels said she was especially proud of the work in to maintain or increase levels of service to residents.
“I love seeing the innovation that is coming forward and some of the new ways to work that maybe we haven’t tried but are willing to in this difficult time,” she said.
Water Tower, Capitol lit blue for health care workers
The Gilbert Water Tower and Arizona State Capitol building will be among structures lit blue starting April 15 at sundown to honor health care workers during the coronavirus pandemic.
Food trucks at rest areas
Food trucks will be allowed to operate at eight Arizona Department of Transportation rest areas under an executive order issued April 15 from Gov. Doug Ducey. The order is meant to help long-haul truckers as they keep Arizonans supplied with food and essentials. Commercial activity is ordinarily prohibited at federally funded rest areas, but the Federal Highway Administration recently permitted states to allow food trucks at rest areas while the national emergency declaration remains in effect.
Charitable donations deadline
April 15 is the last day Arizonans can make charitable donations to support those in need, while earning dollar-for-dollar state tax credits on 2019 state income taxes. Arizonans should reach out to their charity of choice to confirm that donations will be received and recorded today in order to qualify.
The Arizona Office of Tourism has partnered with employers and organizations to create the AZ Hospitality Workforce Connection, a website of resources promoting employment in the tourism and hospitality industries.
Updated April 15 9:51 a.m.
The number of COVID-19 cases reported April 15 in the six ZIP codes that serve Gilbert is 129, up one from the previous day. The newest confirmed case comes from ZIP code 85296.
Updated April 15 3:45 p.m.
There are 2,145 cases of COVID-19 reported in Maricopa County, up 89 new cases from the previous day. The total number of virus-related deaths in the county is now at 60.
Statewide, there are 3,962 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 142 deaths reported. Updated April 14 5 p.m.
Mayor Jenn Daniels, in her first video address since the Arizona Department of Health Services started releasing the number of COVID-19 cases by ZIP code, noted that Gilbert’s 128 cases is 6% of Maricopa County’s cases.
“From what we’re seeing and the data we’re getting back, physical distancing is working,” Daniels said in the April 14 video. “It’s making a difference. It’s flattening the curve, and it’s not overwhelming our health care system. Continue to do what you’re doing.
“We know it’s not our favorite, especially this time of year when we have some of the most beautiful weather that we will ever experience. Please do get outside for your mental health, but please remember to keep that physical distance because it is working.”
Daniels said mental health will be an emphasis for the town of Gilbert.
“Move your body for 30 minutes even day,” Daniels said. “Drink as much water as you can, and put some sun screen on, but then go outside and make sure you soak in a little bit of sun. It’ll do wonders for you and for your family if you can go out and go for a walk, ride a bike. Just do something to physically get your body moving.”
Daniels is no longer giving video updates daily but moving to Tuesday and Thursday updates unless events otherwise warrant.
Maricopa County Department of Public Health is warning the public about scams related to COVID-19 testing. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not authorized any home testing kits, cures or treatments for COVID-19. The department is asking people to report any attempted scam or fraud to the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated April 14 12:30 p.m.
The number of COVID-19 cases reported April 13 in the six ZIP codes that serve Gilbert is 128, up two from the previous day.
There are now 2,056 cases across Maricopa County, with 54 confirmed virus-related deaths. Statewide, there are 3,806 cases and 131 deaths reported.
Updated April 13 4:40 p.m.
Governor wants economy moving again
Gov. Doug Ducey announced in a series of tweets that he wants to "get the economy moving and people back to work as soon as possible—when it is safe and healthy for people to do so."
Arizona's stay-at-home order is in effect through April 30. Ducey said in a tweet that he and his team will be working with business leaders and representatives from sectors such as restaurants, retail and tourism on plans for an economic recovery.
Protecting inmates in county jails
Maricopa County announced the efforts to protect inmates in county jails from COVID-19. As of April 10, 28 patients have been tested, 21 tests have been returned as negative for COVID-19 and seven patients are in medical observation while results are pending in county jails.
Updated April 13 12:17 p.m.
The number of COVID-19 cases reported April 13 in the six ZIP codes that serve Gilbert is 126, up one from the previous day. The newest confirmed case comes from ZIP code 85233.
The number of COVID-19 cases in Maricopa County is now 2,019, according to data from the Maricopa County Department of Public Health.
The county also reports 52 deaths, an increase from 48 virus-related deaths the day prior. Statewide, the number of coronavirus cases is now 3,702 with 122 deaths reported across Arizona. Earlier updates
Information from April 6-12 can be found here.
Information from March 30-April 5 can be found here.
Information from March 27-29 can be found here.
Information from March 24-26 can be found here.
Information from March 20-23 can be found here.
Information from March 12-20 can be found here.
Community Impact Newspaper Editor Alexa D'Angelo contributed to this report.