Covid Update And Vaccines
After recording our worst month of positive cases in the community in January with 481 cases, February was our lowest number of positive cases since September with 82 cases. The Health Department also documented seven additional deaths with 18 active cases. The number of daily cases continue to decline statewide and in our community. We need to continue to let science drive our future decisions and be cautious and sensible in order to prevent another spike. Just because some of us have received our vaccine or were positive for Covid does not mean we do not have to continue to follow the CDC guidelines. Our plan as we move forward should be uniform and responsible so we do not send mixed messages. We can never forget those who have died from this horrible virus. We can never forget those who have suffered through Covid and continue to deal with the post symptoms. Our healthcare workers, doctors, nurses, and respiratory techs need a much needed break with all the many sacrifices and hours they have worked. May we all be patient and stay the course and continue to follow all the CDC guidelines.
Gila County was not only recognized in the state, but also has drawn attention across the nation for being one of the first counties in the country to open up to all phases 18 years and older for the vaccine. The success was made possible with the cooperation of all the community partners in the county, with the Gila County Health Department leading the way and building relationships since the beginning of Covid. Those partners include the hospitals, schools, mines, local doctors’ offices, the City of Globe, the Town of Miami and the National Guard. A major factor was our local hospital, Cobre Valley Regional Medical Center, as they provided the facility and manpower for daily vaccinations. The establishment of a dedicated landline to make appointments by phone was huge for our elderly community who may not be proficient with navigating a computer to book an appointment. It is estimated that we are about 38 to 45 percent vaccinated in our county. We still have a ways to go, but we have a good head start.
Projects In Progress
The former East Globe School was purchased by Best Care Behavioral Homes and is currently being upgraded to meet all building and fire code requirements in preparation of opening the facility. They will be providing a much needed service to our community when dealing with behavioral health patients. The purpose of Best Care is to help clients reach recovery status and help them gain independent living skills. Many rural communities throughout Arizona struggle to provide this type of service, leaving families, first responders and law enforcement without help and a solution when these individuals are encountered. The staff from Best Care Behavioral Homes has been providing outreach information and even held an open house event recently to the local neighborhood. We welcome them to our community.
On Dec. 2, 2020, Governor Ducey signed an Executive Order for temporary approval for extension of premises for businesses during the Covid crisis. I wanted to explain the process that is available to our local businesses as there is some misinformation out there. The City of Globe has approved two extension of premises applications to two downtown businesses in an effort to support Governor Ducey’s Executive Order. The businesses are Farley’s Pub and the Drift Inn. The Executive Order allows a business to temporarily extend their premises in order to increase capacity for six months during Covid. The process begins with the business submitting an application for extension of premises to the city for approval. If the business is a bar, they must prepare, cook and sell food onsite in a licensed permitted kitchen and cooking equipment, approved by the county Health Department. Once they receive those local approvals, they can submit an application to the State Health Department and the State Liquor License Department for the approval to extend their premises. In a past meeting, the City Council approved the use of the city’s Jersey barricades for public safety protection to go along with the Executive Order. The city’s responsibility is to set up the barriers and pedestrian fencing, which will be returned to the city. The business is responsible for any other costs such as material, supplies, decking and equipment to complete the extension. A business can apply for funding to help offset the costs for the setup of the extension of premises through the Governor’s Office.
April 2: First Friday Historic Downtown
April 16-18: Gila Monster UTV Fest (Trail Rides-Cornhole Tournament-Night Rides-Quick Draw Poker-Raffles-Camping-Food and More)
I want to recognize the Historical Preservation Advisory Commission this month. These are volunteers that operate as a sub-committee to the City Council to oversee the historic downtown district guidelines and compliance and give recommendations of approval to the city council. The members are Rachel Hanson-Chairman, Katy Ryan-Secretary, Leora Hunsaker, Sherry Rice, James Perry and Delores Ward.