Paul's Note - December 4th, 2020

I fully support the Mayor’s call for an evening curfew to help slow the rampant spread of Covid-19 across our community. I also understand that there is a balancing act between public health and the economic wellbeing of our small businesses and the people they employ.

We addressed the Mayor's call at an emergency meeting Tuesday to address the record number of COVID cases along with near capacity hospital beds.

This morning’s headline in the Star highlights the national problem: 3,100 deaths on Thursday. Locally, we’ve had 878 new cases reported just today. We heard testimony Tuesday night from leaders from TMC, Banner and El Rio that talked about how strained their staff and resources are. Action was necessary.

I felt that the proposed 8pm start time would disproportionately affect businesses, particularly bars and restaurants (the ones that have survived), that have just begun to reopen and have now adapted to the “new normal” with limited capacity and new protocols.

I offered a substitute motion for a curfew starting at 10 pm starting Friday. After talking to businesspeople and health care experts, I believe that this achieves the goal of keeping risky late night non-essential gatherings to a minimum, but is less impactful to local businesses and their employees. I also think that starting it on Friday would give businesses enough time to make arrangements. My colleagues agreed to these changes.

Enforcement of the curfew is going to be educational first. It also will not apply to people coming to and from work or those helping out with families. It will not mandate that any business will have to close. For more information, please visit our Curfew FAQ page.

We are very limited in what we can do locally. We need coordinated and consistent leadership from our State and Federal governments. I know a vaccine is on the horizon but we need to hold on a little longer. Please wear your mask and keep your distance from those not in your immediate circle.

Please stay safe.

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Some of you that have called the office have gotten a call back from Chesney Richter, who has been on my staff since last month. Chesney is a native of Colorado who attended Pennsylvania State University. She first came to Tucson four years ago to work at the University of Arizona. She holds a PhD in nutritional science.

Make sure to welcome her aboard if you get a call from her.