The Graham County Republican Party announced Monday’s Lincoln Day Luncheon has been indefinitely postponed due to Gov. Doug Ducey, the event’s keynote speaker, being occupied with the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
“Things have cropped up in Phoenix with the coronavirus that the governor has to deal with, so he’s postponing his visit,” said Keith Alexander, first vice chair of the Graham County Republican Party.
Alexander said that, until that development, plans were for the luncheon to go ahead. He added hand sanitizers were to be provided, and anyone feeling ill Monday would have received ticket refunds.
“None of us are experts on this. We’re taking our lead from the Arizona Department of Health Services and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control,” said Alexander. “Like everybody else, we’re concerned, but we weren’t concerned to the point that we thought it needed to be cancelled.”
Alexander said all ticket purchasers had been contacted.
Graham County Republican Party Chairman John D. Rhodes said there was some concern among older citizens about possible exposure to the virus. Rhodes was hopeful, however, that the luncheon could be held within the next month, with Ducey attending.
Also on Friday, Eastern Arizona College announced it is putting all sports on hold.
EAC was instructed by the National Junior College Athletic Association that all sports events are cancelled until April 3. On April 3, the NJCAA will reassess the coronavirus situation to determine the next course of action regarding sports.
“Athletic games are now cancelled at EAC,” said Kris McBride, director of marketing and public relations.
McBride said when the students return to EAC after spring break, the college will assess the virus situation to determine of other events should be cancelled.
In addition, the college announced Friday it may virtualize classes and limit activities after spring break. Officials are monitoring the situation and will make any announcements following the break.
The college may limit the size and number of campus gatherings, restrict college-sponsored travel, and ensure student attendance policies do not penalize those with legitimate health concerns.
The Graham County Health Department released a statement Friday morning announcing there are currently no confirmed cases of the Covid-19 virus in Graham County. According to the report, testing is ongoing, but all completed tests have been negative. However, test results from a staff member at a Pima school are pending.
The Pima Unified School District published a statement on social media Friday morning informing the public a staff member was tested for the virus Wednesday evening. This staff member is the only case awaiting testing results. The district expects the results to be delivered by 6 p.m. Friday.
In an effort to keep our readers up-to-date on events and meetings that may or may not be impacted by fears over COVID-19, we are compiling a list. See below:
• Willcox Little League has suspended its season. Little League International has recommended a temporary suspension of all league activities until no earlier than April 6.
• March 21 - First Southern Baptist Church of Thatcher has canceled its Spring fling event.
• March 23 Cochise College has decided to extend spring break for one week for students only. All classes will resume on Monday, March 23.
• March 28 - Graham County Historical Society has cancelled their Spring Symposium at Discovery Park.