Joe Winfield

We are living in a challenging time: schools have closed prematurely, businesses have shuttered or significantly adjusted their operations, Congress has approved the largest relief bill in history, Gov. Ducey has issued numerous executive orders, local governments have invoked emergency proclamations and first responders help calm the community and hospitals adjust to a world-wide pandemic and local priorities.

Important family events have been disrupted including births, birthday celebrations, graduations, proms, marriages and even funerals. In just a matter of weeks, our world has changed in a dramatic fashion. Although state and local governments have instituted several measures to curb the spread, it is ultimately our individual actions that will make the most immediate difference. Flattening the curve will help prevent the healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients, reduce risk to healthcare workers, and save lives!

The governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected” executive order provides life-saving measures if we diligently heed them.

The “Stay Home” provision of the Executive Order cannot be emphasized enough. Any time we leave our residence, we have exposed ourselves to the virus, therefore it is imperative that we limit trips away from home at least through April 30. This is especially true if you are 65 or older. 

Please act to reduce your exposure. If you need assistance with groceries or prescription pick up, don’t forget that some stores now offer drive-up pick up as well as home delivery services.  

If you do go out, please follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation to wear a cloth face covering in public when social distancing may be difficult. Limit grocery shopping to once a week. Ideally only one person per household should enter the store. But remember the objective is to stay home.

The “Stay Healthy” provision applies to more than just COVID-19. To safeguard your physical and emotional health, it’s also important to get outdoors. Our parks are currently open for walking and hiking, but there are also similar opportunities right out your front door or backyard. Use the sidewalks in your neighborhood and the town’s extensive multi-use path system. Staying healthy also includes staying in touch with your doctor and tending to your other health matters.

The “Stay Connected” provision emphasizes the importance of staying in touch with friends and family, even though we are physically distanced. A neighbor of mine put together and distributed a contact list for each household on our block. It’s reassuring to know we can reach out to our neighbors if needed. Volunteering and donating are great ways to stay connected if your circumstances allow. Many charitable organizations in our community need your help, including the Community Food Bank and the American Red Cross. 

Lastly, it is important to stay informed. The jurisdictions in Pima County, under the guidance of the Pima County Health Department, have been working to centralize efforts and maximize resources. Be sure to visit pima.gov/covid19 for updates, information and a full list of opportunities to volunteer or donate. If you have general questions regarding this pandemic, call the state hotline at 211.

If you have questions about how COVID-19 is impacting services and facilities right here in Oro Valley, be sure to visit the Town’s website at orovalleyaz.gov, email us at Ask@orovalleyaz.gov or call 229-4700. We are here to help.

Thank you for your support, as we work to “Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected.” Together, we will make a difference. Our collective and vigilant efforts will save lives.

Joe Winfield is the mayor of Oro Valley.

Editor's Note: The print version of this article contained the incorrect email address for Ask Oro Valley. The correct address is in the web version.

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