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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Additional Information

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Upholding Our Mission as a Department and City

As we navigate through coronavirus (COVID-19), we will continue to support our mission at Tempe Fire Medical Rescue to dedicate our efforts to provide for the safety and welfare of the public through the preservation of life, health, property, and the environment.

While we are all adjusting to the rapidly changing world and science behind the COVID-19 here is some information we would like to share with the community to let you know what the city has been working on behind the scenes:

  • City of Tempe Department Directors are working diligently to ensure all essential city services continue to be provided in the community. This would include water, trash, sewage, police, courts, and fire medical rescue services.
  • As part of Emergency Preparedness in the City, each department has what is called a Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP), which assists departments in continuing to provide their services during a declared emergency. These plans were in place prior to the appearance of COVID-19.
  • Tempe Fire Medical Rescue and Tempe Police are actively participating in region, county, and statewide conference calls daily to obtain the most current and accurate information on the impacts of COVID-19 in Arizona. These calls also provide direction to the local jurisdictions on actions that should be taken to try to reduce the amount of spread in the community.
  • The City of Tempe virtually activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) the week of March 9th and is working in close coordination to address local and countywide needs through the Maricopa County Department of Emergency Management’s (MCDEM) EOC.

Why are we recommending most people stay near home?

  • Prevention and mitigation are the key to slowing and stopping the spread of COVID-19.
  • Initial research has shown that when a person is infected with the virus, they have the potential to infect approximately 2 or more other people in the community. Those newly infected persons then may spread the virus to an additional 2 or more people each. This is how a disease can spread quickly through the community.
  • If people stay near their homes and are not continuing to spread the virus, it will slowly die off.
  • Continue to exercise outdoors if you like to hike, bike, walk, run or enjoy other outdoor activities to promote a healthy lifestyle.  While you do these activities, please remember to avoid doing so in groups of 10 or more people.

Our hospitals, emergency care, and 9-1-1 during COVID-19

As with any normal flu season, there is an increase on the demand within the healthcare system. COVID-19 brings additional challenges as it has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) and has created an even larger demand on all healthcare supplies and systems. 

As more testing becomes available and occurs, there is an expectation that we will see a significant increase in the number of confirmed cases in the valley. This does not necessarily mean all cases need to be in hospitals receiving care. Healthy adults and children may appear asymptomatic or have mild symptoms, requiring them only to stay at home, rest, and recover like other flu viruses.

Recommendations for most people with symptoms are to STAY HOME to prevent the exposure and spread of COVID-19:

  • If you develop symptoms such as fever, cough, and/or mild shortness of breath, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or have recently traveled from an area with the ongoing spread of COVID-19, stay home and call your health care provider first.
  • Older patients and individuals who have severe underlying medical conditions or are immunocompromised should contact their healthcare provider early, even if their illness is mild.

When to call 9-1-1 or go to the Emergency Room:

  • Only call 9-1-1 or go to an emergency room if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
  • Based upon CDC recommendations, if you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19, get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs for COVID-19 include* :
    • Increasing fever
    • Increased difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
    • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
    • New confusion or inability to be woken or aroused
    • Bluish lips or face

      *This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

  • If you have non-emergency medical questions about COVID-19, or health concerns, call your doctor or healthcare provider FIRST. Your doctor will determine if you have signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and whether you should be tested.

It is extremely important during this time that we keep the hospital beds available for truly emergent patients.

Help us take care of the community as a whole by staying home as much as possible, avoiding gatherings of 10 or more, and continuing to practice good hygiene through washing your hands frequently, avoiding touching your face, sneezing or coughing into a tissue, and disinfecting frequently used items and surfaces as much as possible.

For additional resources, please use the following:

Maricopa Department of Public Health Hotline:  1-844-542-8201