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Romero, other Az mayors press Ducey to issue 'Stay at Home' order

'The ever-increasing numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths serve as a stark indicator of what is to come if we do not take action now.'

"The ever-increasing numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths serve as a stark indicator of what is to come if we do not take action now," Tucson Mayor Regina Romero and the leaders of Phoenix, Flagstaff and other cities wrote to Gov. Doug Ducey on Monday, pushing him to issue a "Stay at Home" order across the state.

Romero issued an advisory on Friday night, asking Tucson residents to stay at home as much as possible. The Tucson mayor also issued a binding order instructing all non-essential businesses in the city to close.

"We understand that public health officials in Arizona have already recommended the governor issue a Stay-At-Home Arizona order immediately and we would like to know why the governor has not followed that recommendation," the mayors wrote Monday.

"Arizona must not squander the opportunity to learn from the unfolding events in our sister states and immediately formalize a statewide Stay-At-Home order to ensure that we pursue every avenue to #flattenthecurve of this devastating pandemic," wrote the municipal leaders.

The complete letter:

Dear Governor Ducey:

In acknowledgement of recent empirical findings that support social distancing as an effective mechanism by which to slow the spread of COVID-19, we as mayors representing millions of vulnerable Arizonans fervently urge Gov. Ducey to issue a Stay-At-Home order for the state. We understand that public health officials in Arizona have already recommended the governor issue a Stay-At-Home Arizona order immediately and we would like to know why the governor has not followed that recommendation.

Arizona must not squander the opportunity to learn from the unfolding events in our sister states and immediately formalize a statewide Stay-At-Home order to ensure that we pursue every avenue to #flattenthecurve of this devastating pandemic.

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Twenty-eight other states that represent more than 50% of the American constituency, have already officially urged everyone to stay home. The ever-increasing numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths serve as a stark indicator of what is to come if we do not take action now.

Throughout our state’s history, Arizonans have stepped up to help one another through difficult times. We cannot emphasize enough that staying home is one of the best ways to continue that tradition. All Arizonans must help stop the spread by modeling social responsibility and caution for our communities.

The only way at this moment in time to save lives is to stay at home and #flattenthecurve. Empower Arizona!

Respectfully,

Mayor Anna Tovar, City of Tolleson

Mayor Alexis Hermosillo, City of El Mirage

Mayor Coral Evans, City of Flagstaff

Mayor Kate Gallego, City of Phoenix

Mayor Ginny Dickey, Town of Fountain Hills

Mayor Regina Romero, City of Tucson

Mayor Valerie Molina, Town of Guadalupe

Mayor Thomas L. McCauley, City of Winslow

Mila Besich, Town of Superior

Schools closed for the year

Arizona's public and charter schools will not reopen this school year, Gov. Doug Ducey and schools chief Kathy Hoffman ordered Monday, citing the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

They had first ordered schools to be shuttered starting March 16.

"From here on out our students will continue to use the Learn From Home curriculum that they are starting to use with their teachers this week," said Gabriel Trujillo, superintendent of Tucson Unified School District.

Navajo Nation under curfew, lockdown order; Hopi also locked down

The outbreak has grown on the Navajo Nation, which has instituted a nighttime curfew and "Stay at Home" order. There are 128 reported cases there, with 2 deaths.

The entire Navajo reservation has been placed on lockdown by tribal leaders, as has the landlocked Hopi Reservation within the Navajo Nation.

Everyone on the Navajo Nation must remain at home between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m., 7 days a week, officials proclaimed in a curfew and extension of the preceding "Stay at Home" order.

The outbreak has reached all of Arizona's 15 counties. The largest group of cases has been reported in Maricopa County: 690 patients there have been diagnosed.

Cases increasing

There are 187 reported confirmed cases of COVID-19 patients in Pima County, among 1,157 in Arizona. 6 have died here, among 20 deaths across the state.

The latest death of a Pima County resident was announced Sunday. County health authorities would only disclose that the patient as "a male between the ages of 41 and 65 with underlying conditions that made him at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19."

Another Pima death was announced Saturday. "To protect the privacy of the deceased and his family," officials would only say the fatal confirmed case was a man who was "a hospice patient between the age of 18 and 40."

Another 238 cases were added to the total count of reported diagnosed patients with CV-19 in the state, officials said Monday morning.

Sunday, 919 cases had been reported, with 147 in Pima County.

Of those reported by Sunday night, 89 are men and 98 women, with 40 older than 65. 79 are ages 41-65, with 62 adults between the ages of 18 and 40. 1 is younger than 18.

Officials said they didn't know the ages of 5 of the Pima cases.

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Last Wednesday morning, Pima officials removed the number of people hospitalized and in ICU from their online dashboard.

A majority of patients with reported positive tests in Pima and Maricopa counties are under retirement age, with fewer than 22 percent here older than 65, and 32 percent in Maricopa over age 60. The counties are not using the same age ranges when releasing data, so direct comparisons are not possible.

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Paul Ingram/TucsonSentinel.com

Romero during a press conference on coronavirus, March 9.