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Monday, March 9

• The Arizona Department of Health Services announced the first Pima County coronavirus case, bringing to five the number of people in the state who have either tested positive or presumptively positive for the disease caused by the coronavirus.

Tuesday, March 10

• First Southern Baptist Church of Thatcher canceled its Spring Fling event.

Wednesday, March 11

• The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

• The NCAA announced there would be no fans for the March Madness basketball tournament.

• The Pima Unified School District announced school will be closed March 12 because a staff member may have been exposed to an unknown illness.

• Haven Health began restricting in-person visits and began encouraging video conferencing and phone calls.

Thursday, March 12

• State officials raised the statewide total to nine patients, including five members of one Pinal County household.

• Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey declared a public health emergency to gave state officials more leeway and tools to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.

• The NCAA cancelled the March Madness basketball tournament.

• The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints suspended public gatherings of church members worldwide “until further notice.”

• Cochise College decided to extend spring break for one week for students only. All classes will resume on Monday, March 23.

• State lawmakers approved $55 million to provide resources for the Department of Health Services to deal with the coronavirus.

Friday, March 13

• The Graham County Health Department announced the Pima Unified School District employee had tested positive for the coronavirus. The decision is made to at-home quarantine the 166 children she came into contact with over two days. Students who exhibit symptoms of the illness are instructed to be tested by Graham health care workers on March 16, March 17 and March 20.

• The Graham County Republican Party announced the March 16 Lincoln Day Luncheon has been indefinitely postponed due to Gov. Ducey being too busy with COVID-19.

• The Eastern Arizona College announced the National Junior College Athletic Association canceled all sports events until April 3. On April 3, the NJCAA will reassess the coronavirus situation to determine the next course of action regarding sports.

• In addition, the college announced it may virtualize classes and limit activities after spring break. Officials said they 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.

• College officials said they’d provide food and activities for the many international students who will be remaining in the dorms over spring break due to international travel restrictions.

• Willcox Little League suspended its season. Little League International recommended a temporary suspension of all league activities until at least April 6.

• The Graham County Historical Society canceled its March 28 Spring Symposium at Discovery Park.

• The Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry announced that it has suspended all visits to Arizona prison complexes for at least 30 days.

• Centerpoint for Hope-Mobilize AZ free mobile clinic announced its visits to Thatcher on March 19 and Pima on March 20 will be rescheduled.

Saturday, March 14

• The Graham County Electric Cooperative announced it has suspended water service and electric service disconnects for non-payment, closed the lobby to in-person customer payments and member services.

• The San Carlos Council declared a State of Emergency on the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation. Public service and welfare employees will continue about their business as normal, but many of the Tribe’s employees were either placed on administrative leave for 30 days or asked to work from home.

Sunday, March 15

• Sister Allie Wren of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints hosted a virtual singing time for primary children of the Thatcher 2nd Ward on YouTube. She said other videos will be downloaded periodically.

• Gov. Ducey and Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman announced all Arizona schools will remain closed through March 27.

• The Boys and Girls Club of the Gila Valley announced it will shut down through March 27.

• The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that no gatherings of 50 people or more take place for the next eight weeks to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

• Peace Corps suspended all operations worldwide and announces evacuation of volunteers.

• Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center announced it is limiting visitors to one essential visitor per patient. No other visitors will be permitted to remain in the hospital lobbies or other public areas in the hospital.

Monday, March 16

• SDA Board and Downtown Businesses are informed there will not be a SDA meeting Wednesday. The annual appreciation luncheon scheduled for April 8 has also been postponed until a later date, to be announced later. Voting for the Best of Safford is still in full swing and will end on March 23.

• The Graham and Greenlee Veterans Serving Veterans announced the Chicken and Waffles dinner scheduled for March 21 has been cancelled. They will also not be having their weekly committee meetings. The event on April 18 will more than likely be postponed to a later date.

• The Graham County Chamber of Commerce announced they are working with Local First Arizona to collect letters for Gov. Ducey so he can send them to the Small Business Administration in the hopes the SBA will release funds for assistance during the pandemic.

• University of Arizona CALS/Greenlee County Cooperative Extension announced their office will be closed and all events postponed until further notice.

• The Safford City Graham County Library announced it has closed.

• The Arizona Interscholastic Association Executive Board, announced it has decided not to postpone or cancel the spring championship season. The governor’s office and the state health department have recommended a two-week suspension of school and activities. If this timeframe holds true, it should hopefully not impact postseason tournaments. The AIA will keep all processes in place for postseason tournaments. If the spring championship season extends for any period of time, the AIA will be ready to conduct tournaments in their entirety. The decision by this Board is that there will not be any official interscholastic competitions played effective immediately through Saturday, March 28.

• A spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service in Phoenix said they are not experiencing operational impacts as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic and they are using this time to review/revise their contingency plans should they be needed. Customers can view the most recent media statement and find a link to the CDC guidance at https://about.usps.com/newsroom/statements/usps-statement-on-coronavirus.htm.

• Solomon American Legion President Frances Lopez announced he has cancelled their fundraiser until further notice.

• The Arizona Department of Health Services announced the total number of COVID-19 cases in Arizona now stands at 18.

• The Town of Pima announced they have closed town hall to walk-in customers and it has also closed the library.

• Washington Federal: Officials announced lobby areas at some branches, including Safford, are closed to the public based on requests from public health officials for social distancing. These locations remain open to serve clients through the drive-up windows, the night deposit drops, local staff via the phone, and ATMs.

{div}• Eastern Arizona College announced it is extending its spring break through March 27 and events or large-group gatherings of 50 or more people will be cancelled through the end of the semester. This includes large concerts, theater productions (including Children’s Theater), and all intercollegiate athletic events. Comic-Con has been postponed.

Where feasible, the majority of instruction will move to distance learning when classes begin on Monday, March 30. Students with course schedules that entirely allow for remote delivery are encouraged to stay home to complete their coursework.

· Courses requiring “hands-on” instruction, such as labs, performance- and technical-based classes, and healthcare clinical training, will continue in person when students return to campus on March 30. These courses will be modified to encourage small groups and to enable social distancing recommendations.

· Faculty will communicate directly with students regarding the delivery of course material. Faculty and staff will return to campus on March 23, and distance education staff will be available to work with students. Students are encouraged to check their Monster Mail accounts for important updates.

· All campus locations will remain open and continue operations. All necessary services for students will remain available, including campus housing, food services, academic library, computer labs, and all student services.

• The Safford City Council will hold a meeting March 17 to consider declaring a state of emergency. City Manager Horatio Skeete said he is working on a detailed list of measures for the city to take to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

• Sparklight announced it is opening WiFi hotspots across its footprint for public use during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis in order to keep individuals and communities connected to the online resources they want and need. Sparklight’s WiFi hotspot can be accessed in the Sparklight local office parking lot, located at 1515 S. 20th Ave. in Safford.

• The Town of Thatcher implemented the following measures effective immediately: Closing lobby to in-person customer payments and customer services. Payments can be made through the drive thru window, with the night drop box, by calling 928-428-2290 or on-line at www.xpressbillpay.com.

If you have an emergency regarding funeral arrangements, cemetery plots, or any other urgent matter please call their office at 928-428-2290 to make an appointment. For any further questions, please contact our office during normal business hours, Monday-Thursday, 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at 928-428-2290

• The Diocese of Tucson announced all parish-based public gatherings are either cancelled or suspended until April 6. This includes Masses or confirmations in Clifton, Morenci, Safford and Solomon. Weddings will be restricted to 10 persons, and if Mass is celebrated only the bride and groom, if Catholic, will receive Holy Communion. Funeral Masses will be restricted to 10 persons and the congregation won't receive Holy Communion.

Please check back periodically as this list continues to grow.

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