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Sahuarita set to reopen town buildings, parks

The town of Sahuarita is set to reopen municipal facilities next Friday, including parks and public service offices. The town closed down many in-person public services last month due to the conoravirus outbreak.

"Town hall will reopen to the public for all counter services such as those conducted in the main lobby, town clerk office; planning and
building lobby; and Anamax Recreation Center, although recreational programming may be delayed," officials said.

Town employees will be required to observe social distancing and wear cloth face masks when interacting with the public, officials said in a news release Friday.

Public park amenities will reopen with what officials described as "the institution of additional cleaning protocols for public common areas such as playground equipment and restrooms."

"We do this cautiously and responsibly with  the utmost concern for public health, and for the health of our local businesses, residents and employees," Mayor Tom Murphy  said. "We're eager to get back to full-capacity service to our residents."

The Town Council meeting on May 11 will be open to the public.

Murphy said Sahuarita's move comes on the heels of Gov. Doug Ducey's order this week, which allows some retail businesses to reopen on a limited basis next week.

As of Friday, there are 1,267 reported positive cases of COVID-19 infections in Pima County, with 81 confirmed deaths. 26 new cases were reported Friday, along with 1 new death.

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Across Arizona, there are now 7,962 cases and 330 deaths, with 10 new deaths reported Friday.

On March 17, Murphy issued a proclamation declaring an emergency that he said would put the community in a better position should relief money come available.

That proclamation also reiterated national guidelines for dealing with coronavirus, including social distancing, avoiding people with elevated risk and avoiding gatherings of more than 10 people.

"It just gives us the ability to make some suggestions, make a statement, and if other funds become available, doing this puts us on good footing to reach out for additional services," Murphy said of the March proclamation.

Sahuarita Sun editor Dan Shearer contributed background to this report.

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