By Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane
|As mayor of Scottsdale, I am keenly aware of the growing concern about coronavirus (COVID-19) in Arizona. I want you to know that your city government is focused on keeping the public and our employees safe while continuing to serve the community.
The city’s emergency response and continuity of operations plans account for public health situations like this. Scottsdale’s All Hazards Incident Management Team has been meeting regularly for nearly three weeks to share information and ensure city operations continue despite any interruptions that could occur. That team will remain on the job until the coronavirus concerns are over.
Scottsdale is in regular contact with partners at Maricopa County Public Health and the Arizona Department of Health Services, and we will continue to heed the guidance of the state’s medical experts. The city, county and state are also coordinating with federal agencies including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the White House.
As of this writing, the Arizona Department of Health Services considers the spread of the COVID-19 virus “minimal,” and rates the current level of community risk “low.”
See the latest updated statewide COVID-19 statistics on their website.
I understand the reasons behind Major League Baseball’s decision to cancel the remaining Cactus League schedule and Scottsdale Arts’ decision to cancel this weekend’s Scottsdale Arts Festival. While certainly disappointing, I respect the decisions of those organizations given the magnitude of public concern about coronavirus.
According to Maricopa County Public Health, cancellation of mass gatherings and events due to COVID-19 concerns is not generally encouraged but is a consideration event coordinators could take.
The city of Scottsdale is monitoring the situation continuously. We are evaluating city-produced recreational events, leagues and programs in light of current guidance. Some programs are being cancelled in response to concerns expressed by participants.
Some events and programs are continuing – like those at WestWorld this weekend. The city will continue to support the decisions of local event producers, and encourages the public to understand the risks, practice common sense and good hygiene.
People who are sick should stay home, as should those with compromised immune systems or other conditions that place them at higher risk.
Situations like this breed lots of stories and rumors – it’s important to get information from credible sources. I recommend:
This is a difficult time, and we will get through it as a community. I am already working with local business leaders to plan for the days when the public health crisis is over, and attention needs to shift to getting Scottsdale’s economy back on track.
W.J. “Jim” Lane