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March 12: Coronavirus update: city cancels many events, meetings

Post Date:03/12/2020 9:15 PM

Tempe, AZ – The City of Tempe will cancel public special events and project-specific public input meetings through the end of April, in compliance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance about large gatherings and the benefits of social distancing in minimizing community spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

The city cares about the health of residents, city employees, visitors and those who work in Tempe. Like other organizations locally and nationally, Tempe hopes that a temporary pause in public gatherings could have a positive impact on minimizing community spread of the virus and keeping people healthier.

With the recent World Health Organization declaration that coronavirus is a pandemic, Governor Doug Ducey’s declaration of a statewide emergency, as well as the cancellation of many national and local events and programs, the City of Tempe decided to make proactive choices to assist in limiting virus exposure opportunities.

Impacted events include city-sponsored gatherings such as Geeks Night Out, Human Services Day, Tour de Tempe and the State of the Neighborhoods & Awards. They also include events by external organizers, such as the Aloha Festival, Tempe Festival of the Arts and more. Events of any size are impacted. Some events may be rescheduled and some may not be.

In-person public input meetings about a variety of city issues, programs and projects also are impacted and will not occur through April. Impacted meetings include a paratransit/ride choice meeting on March 14, a March 21 Country Club Way Improvement Project meeting, a March 24 Rio Salado and Beach Park Master Plan meeting, as well as several other meetings. In addition, city staff members will temporarily not be able to attend neighborhood association and homeowners association meetings.

In the afternoon on March 13, a comprehensive list of affected events and meetings will be available at

According to the CDC, older individuals are at higher risk for severe complications from contracting coronavirus. For this reason, programs and classes for older adults at the Tempe Public Library, senior centers and community centers also are being cancelled until the end of April. This includes the Memory Café program of Dementia Friendly Tempe and others. In addition, the AARP Experience Corps program is being suspended until further notice. At the community centers, drop-in visits and meal programs for seniors are expected to be able to continue.

Programs and performances at the Tempe Center for the Arts will be cancelled through April and may be rescheduled in the future. The Gallery @ TCA and the facility itself will remain open.

City Council meetings and city Boards and Commissions meetings are being evaluated and decisions will be announced soon. Tempe also will be announcing its approach on programs and classes that are not seniors-focused and occur at the library and community centers.

Planning, collaboration ongoing

In recent weeks, the city has been planning, talking and collaborating internally and externally, in case the virus spreads more widely in our area. City leaders are determining the critical services and staffing levels that will be necessary to keep in place in the event that coronavirus begins to affect a significant number of city employees. Tempe is committed to continue providing critical city services to residents and businesses.

Tempe is also talking to external partners like the Maricopa County Department of Public Health, Tempe schools, Valley Metro, Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital, ASU and more.

Arm yourself with knowledge

The Tempe Fire Medical Rescue Department webpage ( has links to the Maricopa County Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It is important to stay calm and informed, while taking precautions to prevent the spread of infection:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly or use an alcohol-based (at least 60 percent alcohol) hand sanitizer often. If you cannot find hand sanitizer, there are easy recipes online.
  • Do not touch your hands to your face, nose or eyes with unwashed hands.
  • Try to distance yourself from other individuals; consider not shaking hands with people
  • Wipe off hard surfaces at work and home with bleach wipes, alcohol wipes or other commercially available household cleaning solutions suitable for killing germs.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with tissues or in the elbow.
  • Get a flu shot if you missed one earlier in the season. Many locations and doctors are still offering the flu vaccine.

If you are sick, do not go to public spaces. Follow your doctor’s guidance and adhere to CDC directions.


Contact: Tempe 311 at 480-350-4311

Media contact: Nikki Ripley, Communication and Media Relations Manager, 480-350-8846

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