Note: I am sorry that I was not able to get out my weekly update on Friday due to technical issues. Also, we will soon be changing the way that the newsletter is sent to your email. You shouldn’t notice the difference, but I wanted to let you know.
We’ve had a difficult couple of weeks in Tucson. While there were various reasons why the council, and more importantly the public, was not informed immediately about deaths in TPD custody, I appreciate Chief Magnus taking the initiative to release this information as soon as it could be compiled. We need to be sensitive to the families of the decedents and acknowledge their pain and loss. These incidents illustrate the challenges our first responders face on a daily basis. In examining each issue individually, we should discuss what strategies and philosophies need to be altered to protect the community. Most importantly, each one of these situations is unique and should be evaluated on a case by case basis.
A member of my staff is serving on the Sentinel Event Review Board that is looking in to two of these incidents. I will let you know what the results are when that is complete, and we will act on their recommendations.
There were nearly 27,000 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona during the most recent seven-day period available, according to a data analysis by Capitol Media Services. That's nearly 3,700 new infections this past week for every 1 million Arizona residents. That's higher than any state in the country and any other country in the world, according to a separate analysis this week by The New York Times. As of last Thursday, July 9, Arizona is now recording 112,671 positive coronavirus cases, with 4,057 new cases reported on Thursday. The total number of cases includes people who have recovered. Of that number, 10,835 cases are in Pima County. There have now been 2,038 COVID-19 deaths in Arizona, and 313 of those occurred in Pima County.
This Saturday, the Star ran a story with a chilling headline: Tucson's funeral homes 'close to running out of room' because of coronavirus deaths. Please, take this seriously.
I appreciate Tucson Fire taking the lead to facilitate testing for our employees and eventually the general public. I think the bigger task has been to ensure we are properly collaborating the county, the university and our locally health care providers and not duplicate efforts. This is a situation that changes every day. Communication is essential.
As we continue to expand our testing efforts, there are many local organizations offering testing. The Arizona Department of Health Services keeps an updated list of nearly 300 drug stores and health facilities that offer testing in the state, 47 of them are in Pima County. You can find that list on their website.
The City of Tucson maintains an up-to-date COVID-19 website that includes information for businesses, residents, and even activities for kids.
This Saturday, July 18, from 7-10 a.m, the Mayor and Tucson City Council are holding the citywide #Mask Up Tucson Free Mask Distribution Event. The event will be held at six locations throughout the city, Ward 2’s will be at Udall Park, and will be an opportunity for community members to obtain washable face coverings for themselves and their families.
American Red Cross is in desperate need for donors, so Ward 4 and Ward 2 will be teaming up, hosting the Eastside blood drive. Ward 4 will be hosting on Saturday, July 18th from 8am-1pm at Lincoln Park near the Ward 4 parking lot (8123 E. Poinciana Dr). Ward 2 will be hosting on Monday, July 27th from 9am-2pm at Udall Park (7290 E. Tanque Verde Rd).
You can ONLY donate if you have signed up for a time slot due to COVID-19. Please go to redcrossblood.org and use the sponsor code “Ward2” to sign up for your appointment. It is also recommended that donors also complete a RapidPass either through the free Blood Donor App or online at redcrossblood.org/rapidpass on the day of the drive before you come to donate. If you would like to call to make an appointment, you can do so by calling 1(800)733-2767.
All donors at this drive will receive free COVID-19 Antibody Testing and be entered in a sweepstakes to win a prop from the movie "Wonder Woman". FYI: Sweepstakes winners will be announced in August, and antibody results will be available about 2 weeks after you donate through the blood donor app, or online through your blood donor account.