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March 20: City of Tempe's coronavirus (COVID-19) update

Homeless help, masks for firefighters and FAQs

Post Date:03/20/2020 5:38 PM

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. 

FAQs for city facilities, grocery stores, more

Conditions are changing fast in regards to coronavirus-related closures and actions. We've put together a webpage of FAQs for everyone that includes grocery store hours, questions about city services, bars and restaurants and more. We will continue to add to this and update it as needed. If you have questions that aren't answered on it, please call Tempe 311 at 480-350-4311 or check other sections of

Downtown handwashing stations

The city has rented portable handwashing stations to be placed at five locations in the downtown area to increase sanitary options for the community.
Each station includes two sinks with water, hand soap and paper towels. The stations have foot pedals to turn on the water. The stations will be available through early April but that date could be extended as needed. The stations will be maintained by the city’s vendor.
Beginning Monday, the locations are:
  • Tempe Center for the Arts - 700 W. Rio Salado Pkwy
  • Tempe Beach Park - 80 W. Rio Salado Pkwy
  • 6th Street Park - 24 E. 6th St.
  • Tempe Salvation Army – 714 S. Myrtle Ave.
  • Moeur Park – Mill Avenue and Curry Road (east ramada area)

HOPE for the homeless

The city’s HOPE homeless outreach team is still fully functional and serving people experiencing homelessness, with precautions on distance and cleanliness. 

The HOPE team includes five outreach specialists and a homeless solutions supervisor. The team typically provides street outreach on a daily basis to engage people in housing and services and that continues to be the primary function.
During the pandemic, outreach specialists are increasing their efforts by handing out water bottles, snack bags and hygiene kits. They are distributing fliers with information on COVID-19, ways to stay safe and how to access medical care through community providers.
For the time being, the HOPE team has discontinued outreach in group settings and is no longer providing transportation for individuals. The team will give out bus passes to those in need.
The city is not conducting clean ups at encampments at this time to allow people to shelter in place and maintain social distancing. However, the HOPE team continues to have weekly encampment protocol phone calls with the city’s parks and police departments to exchange information and plan for the future.
In addition, the HOPE team is regularly communicating with regional partners and local nonprofit and faith leaders to share ideas and best practices and help educate the community. Part of that work is collaborating on data collection if individuals are displaying symptoms.
Donations needed
The HOPE team is seeking donations to help people who are homeless stay nourished, healthy and safe:

  • Non-perishable snack foods such as granola bars, pretzels, toaster pastries, fruit cups, nuts and apple sauce.
  • Hand sanitizer and new empty travel-size containers that can be filled with hand sanitizer for distribution.

To make a donation, contact Homeless Solutions Supervisor Nichole Stevens at

Donate blood, please

The American Red Cross and Vitalant, formerly United Blood Services, are experiencing blood shortages due to the coronavirus outbreak. Consider scheduling an appointment to donate today. Visit the websites to see additional safety precautions that are being put in place. 

Masks for firefighters

The Tempe Fire Medical Rescue Department has recently received some generous donations of unused N95 respirators and surgical masks, as well as other cleaning and disinfecting supplies, at its fire stations. These supplies have been offered by local doctor and dentist offices as well as other organizations and individuals within our community. The city can accept these donations and may be able to utilize these items after they are inspected by Tempe Fire Medical Rescue for their quality and expiration dates. However, the city asks that these donations are brought only to the Tempe Fire Medical Rescue Support Services building located at 1425 S. Clark Drive, in Tempe, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays. To arrange drop off or pick up, please contact Deputy Chief Mike Atkinson at 480-250-5426.

Temporary signage for businesses

We understand that local businesses, now, more than ever, need to communicate with their customers. Therefore, businesses who are still in operation will be allowed additional temporary window signage and banners so long as it does not pose a risk to public health or safety. The signs may remain until the spread of Covid-19 has been contained and city operations return to normal. If you have any questions, please contact the City of Tempe at 480-350-4311 or online at Tempe 311

Supporting our favorite local businesses

Tempe has so many wonderful local businesses. Here are a few that you may want to remember right now. 

Top: Family-owned Great Harvest Bread Co. recognizes the need in our community and is donating a loaf of bread for the hungry for every loaf purchased. Say hi to your neighbors Leslie, George and Ward Walston while you are there.
Left: You don't have to have a wedding or special occasion to enjoy an amazing cake or cookie treat from Honeymoon Sweets. Stop by to see Tim and Joan O'Connor and pick up something fabulous just because.
Right: P.Croissant has been part of Tempe's community for 37 years. Grab a delicious morning pastry- they have savory items, too. Seth and Joshua Giles will be there to serve you. 

Have suggestions of other open Tempe businesses we should feature? Email  

Golf Tempe

Tempe’s Ken McDonald and Rolling Hills Golf Courses are open for play.

Pre-book tee times online at or by phone: Ken McDonald at 480-350-5250 or Rolling Hills 480-350-5275. Pre-paying by phone prior to arriving at the course helps speed up check-in. An onsite payment method is also available. Staff is implementing social distancing guidelines to prioritize customer and staff safety.

Restaurants are closed, but some food and beverages are available from beverage card. The proshops are closed, but tee times can be made online or by phone. Prepaid customers can go straight to the first tee.
The night range hours at Ken McDonald are discontinued at this time.  

Staff is implementing various health and safety procedures, including extra cleaning and sanitizing. Please visit for a complete list of changes, procedures and precautions taking place at the courses.

Merchants: free gift card service help 

Tempe-based Hownd has launched a program to help local restaurants, salons and family entertainment centers quickly and effectively sell gift vouchers directly to consumers.
It’s part of a larger program the company has jump-started to relieve some of the financial stress caused by Covid-19 closures. This includes direct deposit of 100 percent of the voucher sales price immediately into the merchants account. It allows consumers who can afford to do so provide direct support. “Buy Now. Visit Later.” shows community support and provides a lifeline to those local businesses most impacted.

Hownd is endorsed by the Tempe Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Tempe Authority, the BBB, and Local First AZ. Locally they’re working with the Pedal Haus, Ted's Refreshments, Varsity Tavern, and Slices on Mill, just to name a few.

To see if you can take advantage of this program, contact Eric Keosky-Smith, Chief Growth Officer: 480-221-1698 or

Community Supervision

The city’s Community Supervision staff is continuing to provide uninterrupted oversight and services for clients involved in diversion, probation, and home detention programs. 

Community Supervision receives referrals from Tempe Municipal Court or the city prosecutor’s office after arrests for misdemeanor charges. Counselors conduct comprehensive risk-need assessments, provide referrals to clinically-appropriate treatment in the community and monitor compliance for participants throughout the duration of their program. The intent is to divert participants from the criminal justice system and connect them with appropriate education and treatment to address underlying needs related to criminal behavior. 
For questions about available services through Community Supervision: 480-350-5400.


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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