March 13: City of Tempe’s coronavirus (COVID-19) response:
What’s open and closed? What is the city doing to plan and respond?
March 13, 2020
Tempe, AZ – The City of Tempe wants to be a source of clarity, information and resources for community members who need services and have questions during this time of national and local uncertainty around the impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Resources and information are available at tempe.gov/coronavirus. The webpage is being updated with the latest city information and links to county, state and national resources.
All critical services that Tempe provides – police and fire protection, traffic control, transit, court services, water and wastewater and solid waste pickup – will continue to be fully available as normal. Tempe is prepared to continue providing those services uninterrupted even if the virus spreads and begins to affect city employees.
Tempe understands that some families may have difficult life situations right now because of coronavirus impacts on employment. For this reason, the city will not disconnect residential water service for those with overdue accounts until further notice. Households with existing water disconnects will have their service restored as well.
Based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Maricopa County Department of Public Health and other official sources, the city has decided to temporarily stop offering the services and settings that provide opportunities for groups to gather. The experts believe that social distancing can greatly contribute to minimizing the spread of the virus.
Yesterday, Tempe announced that special events hosted by the city or outside groups have been canceled through April 30; some may be rescheduled and some may not be. (Read the release.) Also canceled through April 30 are any public input meetings where community members offer opinions about various issues and projects; most of these are likely to be rescheduled.
Today, Tempe is announcing additional decisions about facilities, programs and classes. Each of the categories below is being regularly monitored and evaluated. If facts listed here change, the city will inform you as soon as possible via various means:
Tempe Public Library
The library remains open during normal days and hours. Beginning Monday, March 16, all classes, programs, gatherings and meetings for any age group are canceled through April 30. Room reservations are canceled. Refunds will be given if you paid to register for a class or program.
Tempe History Museum
The museum remains open during normal days and hours. Beginning Monday, March 16, all classes, programs, gatherings and meetings for any age group are canceled through April 30. Room reservations are canceled. Refunds will be given if you paid to register for a class or program.
Tempe Center for the Arts
Programs and performances at the Tempe Center for the Arts will be canceled through April and may be rescheduled in the future. The Gallery at TCA and the facility itself will remain open during normal days and times.
Tempe community centers
The Westside Multi-Generational Center, Kiwanis Recreation Center, North Tempe Multi-Generational Center, Escalante Multi-Generational Center, Pyle Adult Recreation Center and Edna Vihel Arts Center remain open during normal days and hours. Beginning Monday, March 16, nearly all classes, programs, gatherings and meetings for any age group are canceled through April 30 – see below for exceptions. Room reservations are canceled. Refunds will be given if you paid to register for a class or program.
The ability for people to “drop-in” to participate in activities at these facilities still will be available.
Drop-in visits and meal programs for seniors will continue.
Programs for children
Since Tempe schools have announced closures, there are implications for several city programs that serve children. The city’s Kid Zone before- and after-school program and the Kid Zone preschool at Getz School will not be open while Tempe schools are closed, nor will the Tempe PRE preschool program.
The Head Start programs at Westside Multi-Generational Center and North Tempe Multi-Generational Center will remain open and serving children. The city’s preschool and drop-in youth programs at Escalante Multi-Generational Center will remain open.
The Boys & Girls Club programs at Westside Multi-Generational Center and North Tempe Multi-Generational Center are canceled through March 20. Visit the Boys & Girls Club website for open locations.
City classes and programs
Beginning Monday, March 16, all city classes and programs for any age group are canceled until April 30. This includes outdoor sports leagues and classes. Refunds will be given if you paid to register for a class or program.
City Council meetings
According to an informal opinion issued today by the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, “public bodies may conduct public meetings remotely through technological means” and still comply with the Arizona Open Meeting Law.
The Tempe City Council’s Special Meeting scheduled for March 19 will continue; Councilmembers may participate by phone or in person. The city is not permitting in-person attendance, but will provide online and phone options for public participation. As always, Tempe streams and broadcasts its City Council meetings.
The scheduled March 23 Special Meeting has been canceled. Beyond these dates, the city is evaluating how to conduct Council meetings moving forward and facilitate remote public participation in them.
City Boards and Commissions meetings
All city Boards and Commissions meetings are being canceled through April with three exceptions, the Development Review Commission, Board of Adjustment and Hearing Officer. These are exceptions because they take legal action on matters of immediate need to the business community. The city is evaluating how to conduct these specific meetings remotely if needed, while retaining public participation in them.
Ken McDonald Golf Course and Rolling Hills golf course remain open during normal days and times.
Reservations for fields, parks and ramadas
Already-made reservations for city fields, parks and ramadas before April 30 will be honored. No new reservations will be accepted through April 30.
Get informed, stay calm
To receive updated information right to your inbox, subscribe to coronavirus email updates by going to tempe.gov/enews and clicking the coronavirus box.
Tempe 311 also is a source of information each Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. by called 480-350-4311, filling out a form at tempe.gov/tempe311 or using the Tempe 11 mobile app.
The City of Tempe cares about the health of all community members and city employees. 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 or have a temperature of 100.4 or above, 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