Hi, friends. We know that things seem to be changing faster than we can all keep up. And even though we can't tell you about fun events happening right now, we still want to help you engage with and love our community. That just looks different now than it did one week ago (which, can we just say, is totally crazy).
For local, breaking news, check out the Arizona Daily Star's coronavirus updates. The coverage is succinct, helpful and free — there's no cost to read stories related to the coronavirus. We'll include some of those updates here, but for even more information, please go to tucson.com.
On this page, we plan to share news updates, how local businesses and organizations are responding and what we can do to support each other through this. ❤️
Monday, March 16
*working from home on the patio, trying not to get ambushed by crane flies*
• Beginning Tuesday, March 17, all city of Tucson recreation centers and aquatics facilities will be closed through March. Aquatics, youth programs (SchoolzOut Camps, InBetweeners Club and KIDCO) and senior programming will also be canceled during this time.
• State election officials say voting on Tuesday in the Arizona Presidential Preference Election will be safe for voters worried about coronavirus spread. To find your polling place in Pima County, go here. For more info about the election go here.
• Tucson's artisan chocolate maker Monsoon Chocolate announced on Facebook today that it's closing its cafe to the public until further notice. They are keeping their web store open and exploring the idea of curbside pickup and delivery within a certain radius.
• Reid Park Zoo remains open, but all presentations and some "visitor amenities" including the carousel and public areas of the Conservation Learning Center will be closed to reduce traffic in high touch areas. All performances scheduled as part of the Asian Lantern Festival have been canceled. Go here for a full list of other changes the zoo is implementing.
• Starting Tuesday, March 17, the Tucson Museum of Art will be closed.
• Starting Monday at 6 p.m., the Tucson Jewish Community Center will close its doors for at least two weeks. Early childhood, J Care and Taglit will remain in service through the end of the day, Tuesday, March 17. "We will be closed for at least two weeks and will continue to communicate with you as we learn more," the JCC posted on Facebook Monday. "Our intention is that The J will completely reopen on Wednesday, April 1." For more information, go here.
• Hotel McCoy is offering a 25 percent discount to anyone who books a summer staycation between May 1 and August 31 using the promo code WELOVEYOU. The local hotel also posted on Saturday that they would make a grocery run for older or immune-compromised neighbors unable to get their own groceries.
• The Pima County Public Library has a collection of digital audiobooks for kids that you can access for free if you have a library card. The kids are home, so we are here for this.
• Make Way for Books is postponing its programming for children and families through March 27. Families are encouraged to download the free Make Way for Books app to find digital books and literacy activities for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. Learn more here.
• The Loft Cinema announced on Sunday that it would be closing until at least March 31. More info here.
• Bookmans is cancelling in-store events at its Tucson locations until further notice. More info here.
• The Tucson Botanical Gardens is closing some portions of the grounds starting Tuesday, March 17. The gardens, gift shop and cafe will remain open. The Cox Butterfly & Orchid Pavilion, public indoor areas including its galleries will be closed. All education classes, docent-led tours and the Ultimate Home and Garden Tour will be canceled.
• The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures is closing Tuesday, March 17 through March 31. "We made this decision to protect the well-being of our visitors, volunteers, and staff, and to support the concept of social distancing — which will hopefully flatten the curve and bring an end to the outbreak sooner. All programs and tours will be canceled but the museum is offering refunds and will contact those who had already registered. More info here.
• Both the Children’s Museum Tucson and Children’s Museum Oro Valley announced on Sunday that both locations will be closed at least until the end of March. More info here.
• #ThisIsTucson's food writer Andi Berlin created a guide to local take-out and delivery options so that you can support local restaurants. She is continually updating this list as new information arises, so check back for new information.
• Tucson currently has four semifinalists up for James Beard Awards, the Oscars of the food world. But the organization announced today that it's postponing when it will announce the next round of finalists. It's also postponing its annual awards ceremony in Chicago, which was previously scheduled for May 4. Read about Tucson's nominees here.
• The public and healthcare providers can call a local, COVID-19 hotline for questions about the virus. To reach a healthcare professional, call 520-626-6016 or call 1-844-542-8201 for information from the Arizona Department of Public Health.
• A patient at the Tucson VA is one of four Pima County residents to be diagnosed with coronavirus, according to the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System.
• Arizona schools will be closed for at least two weeks. Check out our Southern Arizona parent network on Facebook, where we'll post more updates about schools and you can ask questions and interact with other parents.
• The Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona is operating regular hours and is moving toward drive-thru distribution at its Country Club Road location later this week, according to a Facebook post. The nonprofit needs healthy volunteers who have not traveled recently to help out. If you can volunteer, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.