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March 18: City of Tempe's coronavirus (COVID-19) update

Emergency declaration, help for businesses and prevention tips

Post Date:03/18/2020 5:00 PM

March 18, 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).

All critical services that Tempe provides – police and fire protection, traffic control, buses, light rail, Orbit, 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. Visit for the latest information. 

Emergency Declaration

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 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. Read more.

Maricopa County also issued an emergency proclamation today. 

CARE 7 helping students

CARE 7 youth specialists are continuing to serve students from all seven high schools in the Tempe Union High School District. During the school year, the specialists meet with students individually or in group settings to provide critical social and emotional support.

With the schools closed and heightened anxiety relating to the coronavirus pandemic, the specialists are now in contact with students via email, phone and text message. Students are expressing a wide range of concerns, from feelings of isolation to anxiety about graduation. Students who were previously seeing a youth specialist on campus, or students who now have a need, can connect via email. Find more details at

CARE 7 has been working with the school district since 1994 to provide mental health services to students. Last school year, the youth specialists served nearly 1,400 students at the seven high schools. So far this year, specialists have served more than 1,150.

Commitment to businesses

The City of Tempe is working with local, state and federal partners to assist Tempe's businesses. We've created a webpage with helpful resources that will be updated with new information regularly. Currently, you can read how to apply for the Small Business Association's Economic Injury Disaster Loans, how to apply for a streetcar loan, get prevention tips for staff and more. 

Refunds and credits

The City of Tempe is issuing refunds and credits for some programs, reservations and city-hosted events that have been canceled due to coronavirus concerns.

Recreation programs and classes 
Credits will be issued to anyone who has already paid for a city class or program that has been canceled. The credit can be used for any class or program once they resume. Refunds are also available as needed. Call 480-350-5200 with questions.
Ramadas, ball field and volleyball court reservations 
Staff is contacting customers with ramada, ball field or volleyball court reservations individually to offer credits or refunds. Call 480-350-5200 with questions.

Income tax payment extensions

The Treasury Department and IRS are extending the due date for Federal income tax payments due April 15 to July 15 for payments due of up to $10 million for corporations and up to $1 million for individuals - regardless of filing status – and other unincorporated entities. Associated interest, additions to tax, and penalties for late payment will also be suspended until July 15. Visit for details.

Prevention tips, symptoms and testing

The best way to avoid getting coronavirus (COVID-19) is not to be exposed to it. Staying six feet away from people and washing your hands frequently are the top ways to stay healthy. Here's the CDC's list of prevention tips

People over 60 and those with severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. If you develop signs for COVID-19, please get medical attention immediately. According to the CDC, symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

This list is not all inclusive. If you are a close contact of someone with COVID-19 or develop symptoms of COVID-19, call your healthcare provider and tell them about your symptoms and your exposure. They will decide whether you need to be tested  and direct you on next steps.

The best way to take care of yourself and everyone else is to follow the CDC guidelines. Don’t leave home if you are sick and wash your hands frequently. 

Food for students 

Thank you to all the staff members and volunteers distributing grab and go food bags to Tempe students. We appreciate your time, energy and attention to public health and safety. If you or someone you know need help with food or other resources, we have resources for you.

school lunches together

Get the latest news and information at  Call 480-350-4311 for questions.

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

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