Gilbert mayor questions why state adjusted ZIP code data on COVID-19

coronavirus
Here are the coronavirus updates to know this week. (Graphic by Community Impact Newspaper)

Here are the coronavirus updates to know this week. (Graphic by Community Impact Newspaper)

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.

An adjustment to the ZIP code numbers by the Arizona Department of Health Services has resulted in 14 fewer cases being reported in Gilbert on May 7 than the previous day. Health Services now reports Gilbert's six ZIP codes as having a combined 200 cases.

The change without explanation baffled the town, as Mayor Jenn Daniels explained in her biweekly video message for May 7.


"We have not been able to get clarity as to why that is the case," she said. "We have asked the governor’s office. We have awesome people on our team who are looking at data, and we are asking for clarification on that. I don’t have an answer for you, and I wish I did."

Daniels also questioned the state's reported data on the positive test rates.


"Another data point that is difficult for us to discern at the moment is the total percent positive of COVID-19 cases, which is 7.6%, a decrease from 8.3% on Tuesday. "And again, we are not clear on why, and we are asking those questions and as soon as we have those answers we will share those out."

Arizona has 9,945 cases on May 7, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services, an increase of 238 from the previous day. There have been 450 deaths, 24 more than the previous day.

Maricopa County reported 5,042 positive COVID-19 cases and 198 deaths on May 7.

Restaurant inspections

Restaurants will not need a pre-inspection from the Maricopa County Department of Environmental Services to reopen next week, Director Darcy Kober said May 7.

The department has continued to inspect restaurants during the coronavirus pandemic at a rate of about 900 per week, Kober said. That is down from 1,100 to 1,300 per week that it normally does.

The inspections have been modified to allow for 6-foot physical distancing, Kober said.

However, enforcement of the governor’s guidelines on physical distancing among employees and customers will not fall to restaurant inspectors. Kober said the department can only enforce food code and the distancing requirements, as they come from the governor’s orders, would be left to local law enforcement.



Earlier updates

Information from May 6 can be round here.

Information from May 5 can be found here.

Information from May 4 can be found here.

Information from May 1 can be found here.

Information from April 30 can be found here.

Information from April 29 can be found here.

Information from April 28 can be found here.

Information from April 27 can be found here.

Information from April 24-26 can be found here.

Information from April 23 can be found here.

Information from April 22 can be found here.

Information from April 21 can be found here.

Information from April 20 can be found here.

Information from April 13-19 can be found here.

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.
By Tom Blodgett

Editor, Gilbert

Raised in Arizona, Tom Blodgett has spent more than 30 years in journalism in Arizona and joined Community Impact Newspaper in July 2018 to launch the Gilbert edition. He is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he served as an instructional professional in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication from 2005-19 and remains editorial adviser to The State Press, the university's independent student media outlet.