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Tempe City Council confirms emergency declaration

Post Date:03/18/2020 1:18 PM

Tempe, AZ – In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic and the emergency declarations of the state and federal governments, the Tempe City Council today approved an ordinance declaring an extraordinary local emergency citywide.

The action was taken during a Special Council Meeting.  

This type of action is authorized in the Tempe City Charter. Tempe’s declaration of a local emergency follows similar actions by the state and federal governments, as well as other Arizona cities.

Under the Charter, the Mayor has the authority to enact necessary emergency response measures via proclamation during the duration of an emergency. In this situation, the emergency is the evolving coronavirus public health emergency. The ordinance was approved unanimously.

“The Council moved forward on the emergency declaration in the event that further action is needed,” said Mayor Mark Mitchell.  “Any action taken would be done after thoughtful deliberation and would be in line with the recommendations of state and federal agencies for the safety of the residents of Tempe and the public at large. Stemming the spread of COVID-19 or coronavirus is our highest priority.”

The Mayor may issue proclamations to preserve health and peace during this emergency, to enact actions such as: imposing curfews; ordering businesses to reduce hours or temporarily closing, including closing restaurant dining rooms; closing public access in various areas; and calling upon other law enforcement agencies to assist Tempe.

No proclamations have been enacted at this time.

For more information about the city’s response to coronavirus, visit


Media contact: Nikki Ripley, 480-313-8850

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