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  • PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORY - Actions Necessary to Slow the Spread of COVID-19

    Dec 07, 2020 | Read More News
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    Updated December 3, 2020 

    This is a rapidly evolving situation. Recommendations will be updated and shared as new information becomes available. 

    This guidance outlines updated infection control recommendations for all of Pima County including incorporated and unincorporated cities and towns to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The Health Officer will continue to monitor data as well as evolving scientific understanding of the risks posed by COVID-19 and may modify this Order based on analysis of that data and knowledge. What we know COVID-19 is highly contagious and is spread primarily through person-to-person contact. 

    Over the last months, the Pima County Health Department has identified an accelerated transmission of COVID-19 throughout Pima County. This trend has proven to be highly impactful on the availability of hospital bed capacity and that impact is expected to surpass critical levels should the high rate of community-wide spread occurring in Pima County not be addressed. As the impacts of the travel and gatherings characteristic of this time of year are still yet to be seen, it can only be expected to further stretch the need for public health and healthcare resources in Pima County. 

    It is for this reason the Health Department recommends the following actions be taken by the residents of Pima County.

    Voluntary Curfew and Shelter-in-Place 

    Voluntary Curfew from 10PM to 5AM – We recommend all residents limit travel during these hours to essential activities previously defined in the voluntary curfew announcement. Our previous shelter in place recommendations have been successful and we hope for similar compliance with this voluntary curfew. 

    Voluntary Shelter in Place – All residents are asked to stay home as much as possible as the best way to prevent the risk of COVID-19, and therefore trips and activities outside the home should be minimized. All activities that involve contact with people outside of one’s household (defined by those who have not lived in your home for the last 14 days) increase the risk of getting COVID-19. Exceptions for this stay at home recommendation involve the following activities: seeking medical care, purchasing food/supplies, outdoor exercise, pet care, connecting with homeless or domestic violence shelters, and attending work or school. Leisure, non-essential and holiday travel are strongly discouraged. 

    Voluntary Shelter in Place for Older Adults and Individuals with Serious Underlying Medical Conditions – Older adults (those age 65 or older) and individuals with serious underlying medical conditions (including immunocompromised state, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, obesity, serious heart conditions, sickle cell disease, and diabetes) are strongly urged to stay in their places of residence except to access critical necessities such as food and medicine. 

    Physical Distancing Requirements – When outside their place of residence, all individuals must strictly comply with the following requirements to the maximum extent possible: 
    • Maintain at least six feet of distance from individuals who are not part of their household; 
    • Wear a face covering in and out of doors; 
    • Frequently wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or using hand sanitizer; 
    • Covering their coughs and sneezes with a tissue or fabric or, if not possible, into their sleeve or elbow (but not into hands); and 
    • Avoiding all contact with anyone outside their household when sick with a fever, cough, or other COVID19 symptoms. 

    Face Covering Requirements

    Face coverings must be worn at all times: 
    • When indoors and not in one’s own residence or if indoors but unable to maintain 6 feet distance from individuals who are not members of the household. 
    • Whenever outdoors and within six feet of anyone outside one’s own household. 

    Limitations on Gatherings

    Public and private gatherings of individuals from separate households remains strongly discouraged because it carries significant risk of getting COVID-19. Indoor gatherings are particularly risky, and gatherings should be held outdoors wherever possible. Limit gatherings to ten or less people. Requirements Applicable to All Businesses 

    Activities that Can Occur Outdoors – Wherever possible, businesses are strongly urged to move as many operations as possible outdoors, where there is generally less risk of getting COVID-19. Businesses that cannot meet Physical Distancing or Face Covering Requirements should consider telecommuting options. 

    Mandatory Reporting Regarding Personnel Contracting COVID-19 – Businesses and governmental entities should have all personnel immediately alert the business or governmental entity if they test positive for COVID-19 and were present in the workplace within the 48 hours prior to onset of symptoms or within 48 hours of the date on which they were tested.

    Businesses and governmental entities must report these cases to the Pima County Health Department, and comply with all case investigation, contact tracing, and outbreak investigation measures by the County, including promptly providing any information requested. Businesses should instruct employees to follow isolation and quarantine protocols specified by the County, and exclude positive cases and close contacts from the workplace during the isolation or quarantine periods.