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. ❤️
Tuesday, March 17
This list has changed radically from the beginning of the day. It's impossible to keep up with everything and maybe not worth trying. But this list includes some light in the dark: Curbside book pickup from Antigone, resources for families, support for local musicians, a virtual Fourth Avenue Street Fair and Why I Love Where I Live virtual shopping.
*reads article about how I should not touch my face, then touches face *
• All Pima County Public Library locations and book drops are closing at the end of business March 17 until further notice. Due dates are extended until May 1. Don't worry about renewing your books and DVDs. Just hang on to them. You can still use your library card to access lots of great digital resources, including ebooks, audiobooks, movies, magazines and more. Go here for more information about the closures and digital resources that are available.
• Although Tucson-area schools (and all schools statewide) are closed until at least March 27, many school districts are making sure kids in the community still have access to free breakfast and lunch. Go here for a huge list of where kids can get free meals.
• Tucson Mayor Regina Romero mandated that all Tucson bars and restaurants must close their dining rooms at 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 17 until the end of the month. They are limited to takeout, drive-thru and delivery. Similar measures are being taken in Phoenix and Flagstaff.
• Antigone Books, 411 N. Fourth Ave., and Mostly Books, 6208 E. Speedway, are both offering curbside pickup for customers who order online or over the phone. Call the Antigone at 520-792-3715 and Mostly Books at 520-571-0110 when you arrive, and someone will bring your books out to you. If you need some recommendations, check out our Arizona-inspired book lists.
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• The Fourth Avenue Street Fair — originally planned for March 20-22 and canceled last week — is going virtual. Check out this map of about 250 vendors who have their products online. Visit the Facebook event for more information.
• The DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun is temporarily closed. "In an effort to be proactive in the face of the spread of COVID-19 and in keeping with ADHS and CDC guidelines, we are temporarily closing until April 1, 2020," the museum said in a statement.
• The 89-year-old Arizona Inn (which was founded by Isabella Greenway, a BFF of Eleanor Roosevelt) is closed for the first time since 1971 — with a tentative reopening date of May 1 — in "a wrenching thing to have to do," says its president Will Conroy.
• More Tucson bars and restaurants have announced that they are closing their doors temporarily. Those restaurants include La Cocina Restaurant and Cantina, Sky Bar (its sister restaurant Brooklyn Pizza Company will remain open for takeout), Ermanos Craft Beer and Wine Bar, IBT's, Obon Sushi, Goodness and Cobra Arcade Bar.
• Oro Valley Parks and Recreation facilities will close and programs will be canceled starting Wednesday, the city announced Tuesday. The city will issue refunds for any programs that have been canceled. Parks and recreation will also suspend fitness and aquatics memberships and stop automatic billing for the memberships, the city said.
• #ThisIsTucson has a running list of local resources to help families impacted by COVID-19 closures. Check that out here.
• To support the shopping needs of older adults, all Bashas', Food City and AJ's grocery stores will open from 5 to 6 a.m. on Wednesdays for anyone 65 years or older. The special shopping hours start this week on Wednesday, March 18. Shoppers can be accompanied by one caretaker if needed, but caretakers cannot shop for themselves. Shoppers will be required to show a valid I.D. at the door and all purchase limitations will remain in effect. Bashas’ reservation stores will be open from 6 to 7 a.m. for those 65-and-up.
• To support local musicians, Startup Tucson and Harbor Lighthouse Studios announced a series of livestreamed, digital concerts March 23-27 from noon to 1 p.m. You can tune in on YouTube or Facebook by visiting Startup Tucson's page. There is also a GoFundMe page to support those musicians. Go here for more information.
• Saguaro National Park will close both visitor centers and all scheduled programming starting Tuesday, March 17, and for at least the next 15 days, in both its east and west units.
• Why I Love Where I Live at the MSA Annex is moving its grand opening celebration online with a virtual shopping experience set for March 21. The local gift, home goods and clothing shop has been working on its move into a new, larger location at MSA Annex for months and will be offering a 3D tour of the new space online along with links to purchase items and a "micro gallery" of works by Tucson artist Lauri Kaye from her "Tucson Portrait Series" highlighting the people and places that make Tucson so special. The virtual experience launches at 10 a.m. on March 21, go here to see it.
• Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium is closed until further notice.