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Three transportation possibilities presented to the public
Contributed Graphics/SEAGO  

Dial-a-Ride option

WILLCOX — Transportation was the big discussion last Tuesday as locals picked their favorite possibilities.

Southeastern Arizona Governments Organization officials presented three possibilities to Willcox residents, asking them to rate their favorites at the Willcox Community Center. Community leaders, volunteers and others rated the options presented.

“There’s a huge need for transportation. We have a lot of unemployed, we have a lot of all ages without cars that need transportation. We have a large population who are hurting, and they need transportation. This would be a wonderful service for Willcox,” said Willcox Food Pantry volunteer LaDonna Burgess. “The elderly and the handicapped, and a lot of people on disability pensions are unable to afford a car and can’t walk from the food pantry to the grocery store.”

Contributed Graphic/SEAGO  

Cochise Community Fixed Route

For those who were not at the meeting, here are the options:

• Regional Dial-a-Ride

Regularly scheduled service five days a week. An ADA-accessible van/bus will be dispatched in response to reservations made in advance. Routes define; however, the bus can go up to one mile beyond the route. Typical fare is estimated between $1 and $5, and elderly and disabled receive priority for ride reservations.

• Fixed route — Willcox

Regularly scheduled service five days a week. ADA-accessible bus will stop at the same locations on the route within Willcox city limits several times a day; however, the bus can go up to three-quarters of a mile beyond the route. Typical fare is estimated between $0.50 and $1.50 and open to the public

• Fixed route — Cochise community

Regularly scheduled service five days a week. ADA-accessible bus will stop at same locations on the route several times a day. Expanded service beyond Fixed Route Willcox service; however, bus can go up to three-quarters of a mile beyond the route. Typical fare is estimated between $1.50 and $2.50, and open to the public.

Contributed Graphic/SEAGO  

Willcox Fixed Route

The community rating at Tuesday’s meeting showed that the Dial-a-Ride option was the local favorite thus far.

“We’re asking for comments in addition to ranking. We’re asking the public to rank their choices one through three. We might have missed some community impact in the planning of the routes that we’re wanting to collect and capture. So we’re asking them to give us any input on the routes we’ve chosen and give us their ranking preferences, which will have an impact on the final planning,” said Chris Vertrees, transportation program assistant of the Southeastern Arizona Governments Organization.

Contributed Photo  

Locals gathered at the Community Center on Tuesday to overview the transportation options for Willcox. Mellany Greene, of SEAGO, right, presents the options.

“We’ll collect this data; we’ll analyze it; then we still have to do a cost analysis based upon the preferred service. We’ll have cost analysis probably for all three, and then we’ll have a final recommendation that will go to ADOT, which will hopefully allow the applicant to apply for funding in October of 2019. The service would kick off in October 2020. Hopefully, we get enough input to have a good and valid sample of what’s really wanted in the community.”

Willcox fights off Hep A outbreak

WILLCOX — Local authorities are working with the Cochise County Health Department to curb a hepititis A outbreak in Cochise County.

Leslie Johns, with the Health Department, spoke to the Willcox Health Community Committee last Tuesday, May 28, and discussed the ongoing outbreak. So far, nine individuals in Cochise County have contracted the infection of the liver.

“Hep A is easy to catch because it’s transferred (via the) oral-fecal route. You can catch it from contaminated food, and it can remain live on surfaces for up to 17 hours. The good news is that it’s vaccine preventable,” Johns said. “It’s a two-step vaccine, but if you only manage to get the vaccine once, you are protected up to 11 years, the research shows. If you get the two vaccines as an adult, you will be protected up to the rest of your life.”

Those who are at risk of contracting hepititis A are the incarcerated, homeless and individuals who may be having oral sex. Individuals who volunteer with the homeless are also at risk of contracting the illness.

The Willcox Police Department has spent multiple hours working with the Cochise County Health Department in the effort to get vaccinations to the homeless population, and Willcox Food Pantry volunteers have set up a vaccination booth with the Cochise County Health Department.

“The best way to avoid this is to get the vaccine and wash your hands,” Johns said.

Symptoms of hepititis A include:

• Fatigue

• Sudden nausea and vomiting

• Abdominal pain or discomfort, especially on the upper right side beneath the lower ribs, by the liver

• Clay-colored bowel movements

• Loss of appetite

• Low-grade fever

• Dark urine

• Joint pain

• Yellowing of the skin and the whites of one’s eyes (jaundice)

• Intense itching

To find out more about upcoming hepititis A vaccination clinics, contact 1-833-670-5786.