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A person runs along a trail in the Sweetwater Preserve west of Tucson. With local gyms closed, more people are turning to walking and running.

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.  

For local, breaking news, check out the Arizona Daily Star's coronavirus updates

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. ❤️

March 24

*making an executive decision about dinner: Tuesdays are now Takeout Tuesday*

• Gov. Doug Ducey and the Arizona Department of Education announced today that they are working with school districts across the state to launch a childcare program, called Arizona Enrichment Centers, for children of first responders, critical healthcare workers and essential public sector workers, including child safety workers. They hope to have these centers running by next week. Go here to read more about the plan. 

• The governor's office launched an initiative today to help Arizonans with resources and information during the COVID-19 outbreak. The Arizona Together initiative is a central location for people to find resources if they need help and find ways to help others. There is information for things like financial assistance, information for seniors, employment, food, volunteering as well as business resources. The governor also announced the creation of the AZ Coronavirus Relief Fund which will take donations for personal protective equipment for medical personnel, non-profit organizations that support vulnerable community members and to help provide technology resources for low-income students for remote learning. 

• The teachers and staff at White Elementary School are organizing a car parade that will take place on Friday. The staff will meet at the school and caravan through the neighborhood to wave hello to its students and families.  

• Scientists at the UA made 1,600 COVID-19 tests kits over the weekend and are producing thousands more for use here in the community.

• Casas Adobes Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery donated its extra face masks and gloves to the Pima County Health Department to distribute as needed. 

• Local utilities including Tucson Electric Power Co., Southwest Gas Corp., Tucson Water and Trico Electric Cooperative have said they will not disconnect customers for non-payment or charge late fees during the coronavirus pandemic.

• Saguaro National Park restrooms and comfort stations will be closed starting Tuesday. 

• You can see so many unique pieces of public art from the comfort and safety of your car. Use this guide to help you find some pieces to check out. 

• The number of coronavirus cases in Arizona has increased to 326 as of Tuesday morning. Confirmed cases in Pima County increased to 42.

Become a member of #ThisIsTucson. None of our stories are behind a paywall because we believe this work should be free. We just launched membership last week because we believe in the power of journalism to help people find answers, connect with their community and change things for the better — and that work is costly. If you believe in what we do, your contribution directly helps our team of five local amazing women keep doing this work for you.

• Gov. Ducey released a list of 'essential services' that would leave workers in those fields free to travel in case he declares a 'shelter-in-place' order.

• The Disaster Distress Helpline, 1-800-985-5990, can provide immediate counseling to anyone who is seeking help coping with the mental or emotional effects caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The helpline is a 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week free resource that responds to people who need crisis counseling and support. The helpline is sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). 

• 5 Points Market and Restaurant is doing a trial run of selling produce from its tiny Riverview Farm. There are a small quantity of fresh beets, greens and herbs available for purchase here until 10 p.m. Tuesday, March 24. 

• Local t-shirt designer QMULATIVE is selling a custom-made T-shirt in collaboration with Ermanos, Thunder Canyon Brewery, Pop Cycle and Why I Love Where I Live. $10 of each tee will go to one of those businesses. More info on their Instagram page

• Need to get some exercise? A Tucson running expert has some tips

•Seen on Facebook: This Little Free Library has been converted into a Little Free Pantry with a leave-what-you-can, take-what-you-can philosophy. 

• Make Way for Books has launched an online storytime Monday through Friday from 10:30-11 a.m. Go here for more information. 

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