Safe Event Application Process

Pima County COVID-19 Safe Event Permitting Process

To ensure the health of all area residents and visitors, Pima County has developed protocols that, when adhered to, will allow people to safely participate in community events and activities. These standards and the process by which an event may be allowed to operate have been established by the Health Department, which relies on the latest scientific data to inform the permitting process.  It is the Pima County Health Department and the Consumer Health and Food Safety (CHFS) Division that is ultimately responsible for the approval or denial of an event and/or for the delineation of conditions by which an event will be approved.  The goal at each step of the review process is to minimize COVID-19 transmission risk during events. Guidelines for the permitting process are delineated below.

Background and Authority 

Arizona Governor’s Executive Order 2020-43 states in part, “Effective June 29, 2020, organized public events of more than 50 people are prohibited unless the city, town or county in unincorporated areas has approved the event, and only if adequate safety precautions are implemented, including physical distancing measures.” It is this action by Governor Ducey that establishes the authority under which Pima County governs the event permitting process. Executive Order 2020-59 further amends these requirements. Please note that the Health Department will update the permitting process when health conditions related to COVID-19 change. A variety of key elements are reviewed daily to ensure the best standards are used as guidelines in Pima County.

Do you need a COVID-19 Safe permit?

Any member of the public who wishes to hold an event with 50 or more people in unincorporated Pima County will complete the COVID-19 Safe Event Request Form. The Health Department will monitor the submissions and send the initial event request to the appropriate department. These Departments will conduct the initial review of those applications.  A summary of the application will be provided by the delegated department following their initial review to the health department (CHFS and HD Leadership) for a secondary review that includes a recommendation for approval, denial or delineating potential conditions to be addressed in a secondary submittal. CHFS will coordinate any conditions that require clarification and/or adjustment. CHFS will send the approval or disapproval letter to the responsible department who will forward that decision to the event coordinator. 

What does the Health Department look for?

The Health Department will review the COVID-19 Safe Event Application to determine the adequacy of COVID-19 safety precautions including event capacity (number of participants compared to space available), space layout and human traffic flows (i.e. 12 foot aisles, one-way flow, etc.), mask wearing, etc.  During this review process, the Health Department may contact event organizers to discuss and coordinate any modification of precautions or conditions, and will send an approval or disapproval letter to the applicant. Health Department reviews are typically completed within 10 days of submittal.

Is your event to be held an incorporated jurisdiction within Pima County? 

While the Health Department works closely with each incorporated jurisdiction to ensure consistency of protocols, if your event is to be held in Marana, Oro Valley, Sahuarita, South Tucson or Tucson, you should contact those jurisdictions to learn what might be required.  Note: A review of the Pima County COVID-19 Safe Event Request Form may help you meet the standards of the community.  Some jurisdictions may refer you to this form for guidance.

Is your event to be held on Pima County owned, operated and managed properties?

For events occurring on Pima County owned, operated or managed properties, Health Department approval of a COVID-19 Safe Event Application is in addition to any use permits or agreements required to be obtained from the County department with management responsibility for the property.  Examples of managing departments include: Attractions & Tourism, Natural Resources Parks and Recreation, Kino Sports Complex, Department of Transportation, etc.

Organizers of events of more than 50 people on County properties are required to make contact with the appropriate managing department before submitting the Health Department COVID-19 Safe Event Request Form. The purpose of this contact is to confirm availability of the property or facility on the proposed date(s), determine whether a permit or use agreement is required and what managing department conditions or procedures will apply to the event. The managing department will provide a written summary of their requirements to the event organizer, which can be included with the Health Department Special Event Application submittal, and inform the organizer of the need to obtain Health Department approval.

Events of less than 50 people do not require Health Department approval; however, consultation with the managing department is still required to determine operational requirements and to confirm inclusion of standard COVID-19 safety precautions (physical distancing, disinfection, mask wearing, etc.) consistent with current local, state and federal health guidelines.   

After receiving the managing department’s requirements for hosting an event of more than 50 people on a County property, the event organizer shall submit the COVID-19 Safe Event Application to

The Health Department will provide the managing County department a copy of the approval or disapproval letter. The managing department will add a condition to any issued use permit or agreement requiring adherence to the Health Department approval.

For a County property or facility, such as the Kino Sports Complex, having a Health Department approved operating plan with adequate COVID-19 safety precautions and conditions for the property or facility, and for which there is onsite County personnel to ensure adherence to the approved plan including attendance/occupancy limits during events, that plan will serve as the required Health Department approval for sports-related practices, games, leagues and tournament activities conducted under a managing department issued use permit or agreement. All other events (shows, concerts, fairs, festivals, races, parties, etc.) on County property with more than 50 people are required to adhere to the above mentioned process for consultation with the County managing department and Health Department approval of a Special Event Application.

This process applies to all newly scheduled events on Pima County owned, operated or managed properties after the effective date noted above.

We recognize that community events are important to the social and financial well-being of Pima County.  Our goal is to assist with the conduct of safe and healthy events that allow us all to connect.  

If you have questions or need assistance, please contact:
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Tucson, AZ 85701

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