Hi, friends. We know that things seem to be changing faster than we can all keep up and that so much of the news out there is heavy right now. We feel it, too. Through all of it, we are still committed to helping you engage with — and love — our community. And that starts with knowing what's happening here.
For local, breaking news, check out the Arizona Daily Star's coronavirus updates.
On this page, we're sharing major local news you should know, along with a few stories that make us smile. There is good news out there. Take good care.
• Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced Monday that the state will delay the start of K-12 school from Aug. 6 until at least Aug. 17.
• The governor also announced that bars, gyms, movie theaters and water parks will be closed starting Monday, June 29 at 8 p.m. The list also includes a ban on tubing (as in down the Salt or Gila rivers). The closures will last for a month. To reopen, businesses will have to adhere to public health requirements. Restaurants are not included in the closures.
• Pools will also have to stick to new guidelines, with public pools required to limit occupancy to no more than 10 people. Pools at apartments and condos will have to post signs about the 10-person limit.
• The new order also prohibits gatherings of more than 50 people, unless a local government provides a permit after getting guarantees about physical distancing and protection. Churches and political rallies are exempt.
If you'd like to read the executive order for yourself, you can find it on the governor's website.
• Many Fourth of July events have already been canceled, but there are still some Tucson fireworks shows and virtual events to check out.
• The new rules come as Arizona experiences a coronavirus spike with a total of 74,533 confirmed cases and 7,568 confirmed cases in Pima County on Monday.
• Despite all of that, there are STILL Tucson things we are looking forward to this summer. Think watermelon Eegee's, sunsets and prickly pear season.
• Also, if you have kids and if you're looking for specific resources and actionable ways to launch your child's social justice learning journey, there are resources created by a few Tucson moms that can help.
• Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced the end to the weeklong curfew he imposed on May 31 following some rioting and looting at Scottsdale Fashion Square. Since that time there have not been major problems.
• About 3,000 people gathered on the University of Arizona mall for Black Lives Matter Tucson: Celebration of Black Lives, the organization’s first official event since the death of George Floyd. There were speeches and musical performances. Once the Celebration of Black Lives concluded, attendees began marching downtown. A group of a few hundred people then made their way to Sixth Street, continuing to march through the Interstate 10 underpass, which turned into St. Mary’s Road, and continued south to the Congress Street underpass at I-10. Officers and protesters had a standoff as police blared over the loudspeaker that the state curfew started at 8 p.m. Nearly an hour later, the remaining protesters marched back to the UA.
• In Arizona, more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases were reported statewide on Sunday morning. The number of confirmed cases is 26,889 in the state, with 3,098 confirmed cases in Pima County. As the pandemic intensifies in Arizona, mounting evidence shows, hospitals are seeing sharp increases in patients and emergency-room visits.
• A group of black Tucson artists painting murals hope the Black Lives Matter mural project will break down racial barriers and help launch conversations about the treatment of black people in the United States. You can see these amazing murals on the walls of Hotel Congress, the Rialto Theatre and the MSA Annex.
• The Bighorn Fire in the Pusch Ridge area near Oro Valley has grown more than 10 times in size and could send smoke drifting into Tucson as wind directions change, fire officials said Monday. The fire, caused by lightning, began June 5 and grew to cover about 2,300 acres by midday Monday.
• Event planner and business owner Ashley La Russa created a Google document of black-owned businesses in Tucson, using information culled from #blaxfriday as well as community input. This evolving document includes websites, Facebook and Instagram pages of each business, so you can check them out for yourself. The list includes restaurants, markets, hair and nail salons, local musicians, apparel, nonprofit organizations and other "gigapreneurs," a term La Russa uses to describe micro entrepreneurs like Zumba teachers. A team of black community leaders are also working together to put on the benefit event Blax Friday Night Live on June 26. The event will feature a mix of live and prerecorded pitches from black-owned businesses, as well as uplifting news from the black community. Follow Roux Events on Facebook to keep tabs on the upcoming event.
• As Tucson's economy reopens, we're starting to get a glimpse of our future. Arizona Daily Star beat reporters talked with their sources last week and collectively painted a picture of what a post-coronavirus Tucson might look like.
• As outdoor venues reopen, here's a guide to which parks, pools, gyms and recreation areas are open and when.
• Gov. Ducey dropped Arizona's stay-home order, allowing gyms and pools to reopen. Locally, neither the City of Tucson nor Pima County have announced when community pools and splash pads will reopen. Both entities are reviewing guidelines and working on strategies for reopening. Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation said it plans to announce details before Memorial Day weekend, which is when pools are traditionally opened for the season. The City of Tucson Parks and Recreation says it will release information as soon as possible.
• Confirmed coronavirus cases in Arizona was 11,736, the Arizona Department of Health Services said Tuesday morning in its daily tally. The state said 562 people in Arizona have died from COVID-19. In Pima County 1,623 cases of coronavirus have now been confirmed.
• The Pima County Public Library is reopening branches with limited services starting Monday.
• The Reid Park Zoo is asking for community feedback about reopening and inviting people to fill out this survey to share their thoughts about what measures would make them feel safe about returning to visit the zoo.
• Arizona Public Media is celebrating graduating high school and college seniors on TV, radio and online. You can submit a photo and brief bio of your student here.
• Four University of Arizona students launched a Spanish-language coronavirus information campaign and recently received funding from the Centers for Disease Control.
• Theater teachers are making sure the shows go on for Tucson kids during coronavirus.
• These Tucson educators form a grassroots system to support families in need with technology, supplies and food.
• Scores of children have fallen off the radar from Tucson schools during the pandemic.
• Tucson is well positioned for fiscal revival after the pandemic, a new report says.
• Newborn elephant Mapenzi is bonding with big sister Nandi at the Reid Park Zoo.
• These trails are usually less traveled than some popular Tucson hiking destinations.
• A campus-wide furlough plan at the UA is delayed until July.
• 1,400 meals going to TMC will be "something special."
• Ending stay-at-home orders endangers Arizonans, writes Tucson City Councilman Steve Kozachik, a Democrat, who represents midtown Ward 6.
• Pima County workers should not rush back to the office, despite push by their boss, writes Tim Steller, the Star's Metro columnist.
• Pima County issues new guidelines to boost safety for restaurant patrons, employees.
• A campaign by some restauranteurs, "Too Soon Arizona," calls reopening premature.
• Navajo lands, families ravaged as COVID-19 deaths keep mounting.
• UA deploying resources to aid students with financial, other needs.
*Hurray for Friday!*
• Confirmed coronavirus cases topped 10,000 on Friday, according to new state figures.
• Arizona lawmakers are unable to decide whether to pull the plug on this year's session.
• Breweries, wineries and bars are now permitted to open this Monday, May 11 along with the restaurants, following efforts by the Arizona Craft Brewer's Guild. Some breweries including Dragoon, still aren't ready to open though.
• Have you been wondering which restaurants are opening Monday, and which aren't? We reached out to a handful or restaurants to see how they're getting ready for the big day, May 11.
• We just announced our 2020 Summer Reading Challenge for Grown-Ups. The challenge will have 18 Arizona-inspired books for you to read.
• Tucson teens are still celebrating prom during coronavirus isolation.
• We need COVID-19 convalescence centers, writes Dr. Charles Kaplan, a primary care internal medicine physician practicing in Tucson for the last 31 years.
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• In response to growing criticism over a decision to pause the work of an Arizona coronavirus modeling team with scientists from Arizona State University and the University of Arizona, the state Department of Health Services announced Thursday that it has established "an ongoing partnership" with those university experts to continue to provide predictions of the spread of the virus locally.
• The number of confirmed coronavirus cases across Arizona is 9,945, the Arizona Department of Health Services said.
• Arizona legislative leaders are finally pulling the plug on the 2020 session. The move comes more than a month since lawmakers recessed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, with hopes at that time of returning to act on unfinished business once the pandemic had passed.
• These Tucson resources can help you apply for rent, food and employment assistance. Pima County and the Community Food Bank can provide help in English and Spanish.
• Tohono Chul has created an online way to experience the gardens with weekly tutorials, educational resources and more.
• A new coalition that includes graduate students and professors asks the UA to pause furloughs and consider alternatives.
• Tucson bars wonder why they can't join restaurants in reopening Monday.
• Restaurants here turn to family deals, meal kits during pandemic.
• Plan fun things to do with your kids at home and squeeze in some time for self care. Lots of Tucson businesses have options for online shopping, delivery and curbside pickup to help you survive Tucson's summer. Here's a list of 14 Tucson ways to keep cool from home as summer begins.
• Bicycle shops are bustling as Tucsonans seek exercise during the pandemic.
• A driver who coughed in face of Nogales customs officer faces assault charge.
• If you've been decluttering and purging your house of junk during Arizona's stay-at-home order, some Tucson places, including thrift stores like Goodwill, will still take your donations amid COVID-19 closures. Here's a guide to getting rid of all of that clutter.
• Tucson's city budget outlook dreary without some help from feds.
• A lawyer for Arizona news groups told a judge that Arizona's refusal to release more details on COVID-19 in care facilities affects public safety.
• A lawsuit over Arizona's stay-at-home order is set for court Friday.
• UA coaches say they will take pay cuts of up to 20 percent.
• More than 100 people attended a rally at Chuy's Mesquite Broiler this week after the restaurant had its liquor license suspended for violating coronavirus restrictions.
*I keep typing March instead of May. Because what are months? 🤷*
• The University of Arizona opens antibody testing to all Tucsonans.
• A lawsuit by Arizona news groups seeks details on COVID-19 cases at nursing homes, care facilities.
• Tucson small businesses hit by coronavirus can get no-interest loans backed by city.
• There's plenty to do from home this week. We came up with 32 Tucson things.
• Rio Nuevo is sponsoring another round of gift cards for downtown Tucson businesses. You'll be able to purchase gift cards starting at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 8. Basically, you purchase $25 of gift card and get $10 more for free, thanks to the sponsor. More than 60 businesses are participating, according to press materials. Visit downtowntucson.org for more information.
• A blue 'A' Mountain is proposed to honor health-care professionals.
• Investments in Tucson apartment complexes are steady despite coronavirus pandemic.
• SculptureTucson and the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance have created a drive-thru sculpture garden at Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort, 5501 N. Hacienda del Sol Road. You can drive through the pop-up sculpture park for free from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. through May, according to a press release. On Sunday, May 10 (Mother's Day) and Monday, May 25 (Memorial Day), the hotel is also offering special menus for meals to-go. Visit the Facebook event for more information.
• Here's a list of Tucson restaurants that are bypassing delivery apps like Grubhub and Postmates and doing their own delivery.
• Stay-at-home orders leave abuse victims with nowhere to hide, writes Ed Mercurio-Sakwa is the CEO at Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse.
• There are some benefits from re-imagining schools in the wake of COVID-19, writes Heather Mace, a Beginning Teacher Mentor at TUSD, and a Public Voices Fellow with the OpEd Project.
• As restaurants get the green light to open back up on Monday, local bars ask, "What about us?"
• We interviewed local restaurateur Grant Krueger about what his restaurants Reforma, Union Public House and Proof, are doing to create a safe environment when they open on Monday. You can watch the full interview on Instagram Live.
• In honor of Mothers' Day, Hotel Congress and Maynards Market plan to give away 100 quiches and grocery bags to women who work at hotels across the city of Tucson. It's a collective effort, with help from Janos Wilder, Chapman Tucson, Visit Tucson and more. They will drop the packages off Saturday, May 9 between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m..
Taco Tuesday + Cinco de Mayo = your dinner plans
• Confirmed coronavirus cases topped 9,300 on Tuesday, according to new state figures. The state said 395 people in Arizona have died from COVID-19, up from 362 reported Sunday. There were 33 new deaths reported today. Across Pima County, 1,379 cases of coronavirus have now been confirmed, up 33 cases from the day before.
• Arizona's barber shops and beauty salons can get back to work Friday, and restaurants can reopen their dining rooms on Monday, under new coronavirus guidelines Gov. Doug Ducey has announced.
• We want to hear what daily life is like for Tucsonans during the pandemic. Share your personal experiences with us here.
• Why I Love Where I Live is beginning an in-person pickup option today. You still can't shop inside the store, but you can place an order online and pick it up at the front of the shop at 267 S. Avenida del Convento, Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 4 p.m.
• Tucson's City Council will discuss what to do with a budget hit hard by the coronavirus.
• The Oro Valley Spring Festival of the Arts, postponed to May 16-17, has been canceled by the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance, according to a press release.
• These T-shirts honor Tucson's front-line workers, help kids.
• Neighbors in Tucson's Sam Hughes create chalk art, 'bear hunt' for kids on walks.
• Now is a great time to grow food, learn to conserve at home writes Lisa Shipek, executive director and co-founder of local nonprofit Watershed Management Group.
• Little acts of kindness, compassion and love are more important than ever, writes Chaplain Patrick Sheridan Cunningham, a grief and loss authority.
• Here's a list of Tucson restaurants who are doing take-home cocktails.
• Tucson is bringing back drive-in theaters. The Tucson Speedway is holding its first movie "Talladega Nights" this Thursday.
*May the fourth be with you. We had to say it.*
• Gov. Doug Ducey said Monday barber shops and salons can reopen on Friday, May 8 with certain limitations. Dine-in service in Arizona restaurants will resume Monday, May 11.
• The number of confirmed coronavirus cases across Arizona is 8,919, the Arizona Department of Health Services said.
• The Cooper Center for Environmental Learning (Camp Cooper) has launched some online resources to help you and your kids learn about the natural world from home. Tune in to learn about Sonoran desert animals, sustainable clothing and more.
• Meet the people who help provide your groceries, and hear what it's like to be essential during coronavirus.
• Tucson police officers volunteer to take meals to the city's vulnerable residents.
• Tucson Medical Center is celebrating its nursing staff and hospital workers through May 16. The hospital is encouraging the public to make cards for health care workers and send them to the TMC Foundation, 5301 E. Grant Road, put a sign of support in your yard, make some noise to celebrate staff at 7 p.m. or uplift them with prayer or meditation at 7 a.m.
• The Louis Carlos Bernal Gallery at Pima Community College is hosting a virtual exhibition of its annual Student Juried Art Exhibit. The show, "Creating Wonder" features more than 75 works of art in a variety of mediums including paintings, drawings, sculptures and photography.
• Many Tucson schoolchildren have dropped off the radar since the coronavirus forced schools to close.
• High school graduation ceremonies for TUSD are set for mid-June.
• Tucson must 'get creative' in allocating $95M in federal coronavirus funds.
• Arizona will give Green Valley's hospital a $3.6 million boost to help keep it going.
• Emissions testing, still required in Arizona, helps fight the coronavirus, officials say.
• A new UA financial plan exempts some workers from virus-related furloughs.
• Lower-income tax filers in Tucson have options for free help.
• The lack of COVID-19 testing here hinders efforts to safely ease coronavirus rules.
• The coronavirus pandemic robs kids in Tucson hospital of healing touch.
• Meals on Wheels driver Brenda Merino Alvarez travels a 70-mile route to deliver food to Tucson's homebound residents.
• Unemployment benefits for Arizona's self-employed workers who don't normally qualify, including contract and gig workers as well as sole-proprietors, are coming.
• Senior living residents in Tucson are finding new ways to stay connected during the pandemic.
• Find inspirational messages from local religious leaders in the Arizona Daily Star's "Keeping the Faith" feature.
• Mayor Regina Romero urges Tucsonans to wear masks in public.
• Arizona issues new guidelines as more businesses set to reopen.
• 'Groceries to Go' program, arts care packages help ease virus isolation.
• The number of confirmed coronavirus cases across Arizona is 7,962, the Arizona Department of Health Services said. Across Pima County, 1,267 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed.
• You asked about ‘em and now they’re here! We have limited edition cactus mask vinyl stickers in our online store. $1 from every sticker purchased will be donated to Tucson Medical Center’s Marks Fund to help healthcare employees experiencing financial hardship.
• Tucson diners should expect big changes at restaurants under new state guidelines that could allow them to reopen dining rooms. For example, everyone from the person who seats you to the waiters and the kitchen staff will be wearing masks and gloves. And fewer tables will be available to limit the number of diners.
• Starting Tuesday, May 5, the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona is moving its emergency food distribution to Kino Sports Complex, 2500 E. Ajo Way, to improve the flow of traffic and offer some shade as summer bears down. Distribution will still be via a drive-through system.
• Critics are questioning the language of Gov. Doug Ducey's virus order when it comes to social distancing guidelines.
• Mother's Day is May 10. Here are some ideas for how to pamper your mom while in quarantine.
• Tucson Mayor Regina Romero urges Tucsonans to wear masks in public to fight spread of COVID-19. You can listen to Romero talk about the virus outbreak on the Star's podcast, The Point Being.
• Sen. Martha McSally has spent much of the past month blasting China over coronavirus.
• From the Tucson Museum of Art to the Louvre, you can explore virtual art galleries from the comfort of your home. In particular, check out Lex Gjurasic's new exhibition Weirdos, which opened online today. Originally intended to open at the Tiny Town Gallery in May, you can now check out the showcase of more than 60 sculptural works at tanlineprinting.com through May 31.
• Tucson cruise ship doctor returns home after 6-week sea ordeal.
• Sauce Pizza and Wine is giving all healthcare workers and first responders 20 percent off every Monday. This includes hospital staff and faculty, active police officers, firefighters, EMTs and active, reserve and retired U.S. military, according to a press release. To get the discount, show your uniform or proof of service. The offer is valid for takeout, curbside pickup and excludes alcohol and gift cards.
• FC Tucson is partnering with the American Red Cross to host a blood drive on May 13. The blood drive will happen from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Food City parking lot at 2950 S. Sixth Ave. Donors have to sign up online to make an appointment and use the sponsor code FCTucson. FC Tucson staff and players will be at the drive and will be giving posters and bandanas to donors.
*It's gonna be May*
• The number of confirmed coronavirus cases across Arizona is 7,648, the Arizona Department of Health Services said Thursday. There are 1,241 confirmed cases in Pima County.
• The University of Arizona plans to resume in-person classes for the fall semester. The administration is looking at protective measures, including reducing class sizes, disinfecting surfaces and offering optional COVID-19 antibody testing to all students, faculty and staff members.
• The Pima County Public Library is offering its school-readiness program Ready, Set, School! through Facebook Live. This free program helps 4- and 5-year-olds prepare for kindergarten through stories, songs and interactive activities. Parents and caregivers will also get ideas to help kids continue learning outside the program. Ready, Set, School! is offered in English Fridays 10-10:45 a.m. and in Spanish Tuesdays 10-10:45 a.m. Visit the Pima County Public Library's Facebook page for more information.
• This weekend is Census Awareness Weekend. Make sure your household is counted and represented so Arizona gets its fair share of federal money for important services and programs like: roads, healthcare access and school lunch programs. You can complete the census online, by phone or by mail in just a few minutes. Read our story from earlier this spring with five things to know about this event that only happens once every ten years.
• The county's health department released a video showing COVID-19's spread across Tucson.
• A Marana teen's social distance survey received 1,200 replies.
• Tucson's nonprofits need help to serve in new ways, writes Kurtis Dawson, president and CEO of the YMCA of Southern Arizona.
• The City of Tucson is hosting a Virtual Recycling Q&A on Tuesday, May 12 where you can get learn all about what items can and cannot be recycled (spoiler alert: used face masks and gloves belong in the trash, not the blue bin).
• Local nonprofit Iskashitaa Refugee Network is looking for volunteers to help with their summer harvesting rounds. Social distancing requirements have forced the nonprofit to rely more on volunteers, who help pick food that goes to immigrants. To learn more, call 520-481-3430.
• Round two of the Fourth Avenue Gift Card Program goes live this Monday at 6 a.m. Purchase a $25 gift card and get an extra $10, courtesy of the Fourth Avenue Merchant's Association and an "anonymous angel." The money goes directly into Fourth Avenue businesses. Purchase a gift card on their website.
• Starting today, the 4th Avenue Deli will give away 25 grab-and-go sandwiches every Thursday to out-of-work service industry workers or people in need of a meal. They are open from 11 a.m to 5 p.m. on Thursdays. Call 520-624-3354 for availability.
*Oh, so it's summer now.*
• Gov. Doug Ducey is extending Arizona's stay-at-home order until May 15, with some modifications planned in the meantime. Some retail businesses will be able to open in the coming weeks and restaurants may be able to open in about two weeks — all with limitations in place.
• Ducey's stay-home order is working to fight COVID-19, and rushing to lift it is dangerous, say two UA virus experts in an opinion column.
• The number of confirmed coronavirus cases across Arizona is 7,202, the Arizona Department of Health Services said Wednesday.
• More than 470,000 Arizona workers have sought unemployment aid during the pandemic.
• Thanks to the Marshall Foundation, you can get a $35 gift voucher to a Main Gate Square shop, service or restaurant for $25 if you're one of the first 1,000 to purchase. This will support businesses that have been hard-hit by the closure of the University of Arizona. To purchase a gift voucher, visit maingatesquare.com/shop.
• This new video uses empty Tucson streets, landmarks to encourage resilience during the virus crisis.
• Here are 35 Tucson things to do at home this week, including virtual one-on-one time with farm animals, Facebook Lives with fluffy kittens, a nature scavenger hunt for your backyard and more.
• Tucson Medical Center has found a way to let patients have visitors without virus exposure.
• The Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance put together more than 500 care packages for residents at assisted living facilities. Local makers, musicians, artists and businesses donated craft kits and other creations for the packages.
• UA researchers will use $500,000 in new funding to address virus challenges.
• Public health data will dictate the pace of recovery and reopening of the local economy, write Ramón Valadez, chair of the Pima County Board of Supervisors, and Chuck Huckelberry, the county administrator.
• Rocco's Little Chicago Pizzeria has reopened with new hours for takeout and delivery. You can pick up your food on the patio from noon to 8 p.m. daily, but be prepared to pay with your card. They also have a limited selection of market goods that you can view on their website.
*Really missing giving hugs right now*
• Pima County has hired a new public health director. She will take over coronavirus efforts starting June 1.
• Saguaro National Park puts fire restrictions in place to protect public lands and resources during the coronavirus pandemic.
• Gov. Doug Ducey orders testing 'blitz' as he weighs lifting coronavirus restrictions in Arizona.
• Confirmed coronavirus cases in Arizona reached 6,716 on Monday, the Arizona Department of Health Services said in its daily tally. The state said there were no new deaths to add to the 275 people in Arizona known to have died from COVID-19. Across Pima County, 1,164 cases of coronavirus were confirmed Monday.
• Floor Polish is celebrating its fourth birthday on Saturday, May 2 with a drive through party. Pre-order some birthday swag online and say 'hi' to the owner when you drive by to pick it up.
• TUSD says it faces an extra $8.5M in virus-related expenses.
• Virtual graduation ceremonies will replace big celebrations at UA and Pima.
• PCC is sending nearly $5 million in emergency federal aid to some students.
• TEP customers on track to get credits to help make payments.
• Tucson Collaborative Community Care — known as TC-3 — is a group of community partners dedicated to reducing reliance on the emergency medical system. It has been offering expanded services during the pandemic to its clients, like food, medication and wellness checks.
*Guess it's time to wash the dishes for the 15th time today*
• The pandemic has caused many Tucsonans to start vegetable gardens and start raising chickens.
• A group of five local high school students started an organization to make face masks, deliver groceries and tutor students online.
• Grab-and-go snacks can be picked up from 10 different library branches for anyone under age 18. The program runs Monday through Friday until May 29. Snacks are shelf-stable and will be pre-packaged, except for whole fruits. Pick up will be contact-free and social distancing measures will be in place. Distribution is from 9 -10 a.m. at Nanini, Martha Cooper, Valencia, Mission and El Rio libraries; and from 10:30-11:30 a.m. at Woods Memorial, Eckstrom-Columbus, El Pueblo, Southwest and Quincie Douglas libraries.
• The number of confirmed coronavirus cases across Arizona is 6,716, the Arizona department of Health Services said Monday.
• School districts across Tucson have hustled to distribute thousands of devices and set up mobile hot spots so students to continue learning from home.
• Pima County has postponed registration for its summer youth programs.
• Tucson Cancer Conquerors is a peer support group that's keeping its members positive, moving during the pandemic.
• Surplus produce from Mexico is being directed to southern Arizona food banks.
• Tucson's Chinese-American community brings masks to the front lines.
• Sun Van and the City of Tucson are working with local agencies to provide transportation to and from homeless shelters.
• Tucson Boys & Girls clubs need activity supplies.
• New restaurants continue to open across metro Tucson amid the virus outbreak.
• Free produce is being offered to the community from the school gardens at Manzo, Borton, Miles elementary schools and Tucson High Magnet School, which are all part of the University of Arizona School and Community Garden Program.
• Some unemployed workers in Arizona might need to wait several more weeks get federal unemployment benefits.
• With the help of local groups like the People's Defense Initiative, Pops Hot Chicken put on a free chicken sandwich lunch at American Eat Co. over the weekend for out-of-work service-industry members. They're also doing a separate lunch for kids in the Old Pascua neighborhood this Tuesday from noon to 2 p.m. They will give out plates of chicken wings and a side salad at the Pascua Neighborhood Center, 785 W. Sahuaro.
• After several weeks of closure, Tallboys announced it's opening back up Thursday, April 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. You can browse their new to-go menu at their online store. They'll also be doing cocktails and liquor to-go.
• We put together a huge list of resources for Tucson women giving birth during the pandemic.
• The number of confirmed coronavirus cases across Arizona is 6,045, the Arizona Department of Health Services said Friday morning in its daily tally.
• Ten Pima County Public Library branches will be giving out Grab-N-Go Super Snacks starting Monday, April 27 for anyone under the age of 18. Kids will be able to get snacks Monday through Friday, through the last week of May (May 25-29). Stop by the Nanini, Martha Cooper, Valencia, Mission and El Rio libraries from 9-10 a.m. and the Woods Memorial, Eckstrom-Columbus, El Pueblo, Southwest and Quincie Douglas libraries from 10:30-11:30 a.m. This will be a contact-free service.
• A Chuy's in Oro Valley had its liquor license pulled for serving during shutdown.
• How close is Arizona to hitting a peak in COVID-19 cases? That depends on whose numbers — and whose virus models — you believe.
• A Pima County task force is being set up to devise a plan to reopen local businesses.
• After being closed for a month, Blue Willow has reopened for takeout, grab-and-go meals and curbside pickup. They're also doing meals for two that can be reheated at home, like a Double Check Ranch meatloaf, lasagna for two, quarts of chili and a whole quiche. They're also remodeling their restaurant to pivot to counter service for when restaurants open back up again. View the menu at Blue Willow's website.
• Tucson Tamale just launched an online market with goods like white rice, toilet paper and more. You can order the goods online and pick them up in the store, or get them no-contact-delivered with a $20 minimum. Check it out on their website.
*And just like that, 100-degree days were in the forecast. So long spring.😭*
• Gov. Doug Ducey said Wednesday he won't be rushed into lifting his statewide executive orders limiting what's open across the state. His orders closing businesses he's deemed non-essential — like gyms, bars, and salons — are set to expire April 30. Ducey said he's asking for patience from Arizonans as he contemplates whether the orders will be continued, lifted or modified. Ducey did decide Wednesday to allow nonessential surgeries to resume May 1, after hospitals across the state complained the prohibition was a major financial hardship.
• 40 students from the University of Arizona's Colleges of Medicine are graduating early to help fight the coronavirus pandemic.
• Teachers from Lulu Walker Elementary School are planning a car parade on Friday, April 24 from around 2-3:15 p.m.
• We know pantry staples are hard to come by and the Star's food columnist, Robin Mather, wants to help. She'll take items you have and come up with dishes to make. Send your ingredient list to email@example.com. Today's recipe: Shrimp (frozen after a trip to Rocky Point) and grits, with a desert twist.
• Coronavirus is influencing Tucson artists' creative process.
• Tucson musicians respond musically to the coronavirus pandemic.
• Tucsonans can explore the world of art from home.
• Get artistic with classes offered by Tucson businesses.
• Water uncertainty raises the risk of catching COVID-19 on the Navajo Nation, writes Gillian Bowden, an ASU student studying urban planning and sustainability.
*Happy 🌎 Day!*
• Tucson's air pollution levels have dropped in the last two months with fewer cars on the road.
• El Charro and radio station KDRI are helping feed Tucson's front-line workers.
• Teacher Appreciation Week is coming up soon, here are four ways you can remotely thank Tucson teachers.
• From Yoga classes and virtual concerts to trivia nights, here are 27 things you can do from home starting today.
• The number of confirmed coronavirus cases across Arizona is 5,459, state health officials said Wednesday.
• Tucsonans are so creative, here are 11 chalk messages spotted around town to brighten your day.
• The Fourth Avenue Merchant's Association has launched a gift card program to support Fourth Avenue businesses offering an additional $10 for every $25 gift card purchased.
• The Arizona Water Festival, a program that's part of the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension has gone virtual. The program is hosted annually and typically includes hands-on activities for youth to learn about water issues including groundwater, watersheds, the water cycle and conservation. The water festival has put together a website with videos to teach kids about these different topics and included associated activities they can do from home.
• The Pima County Community Action Agency has set up a new hotline to help answer questions about the COVID-19 Rental Eviction Assistance Program funded by the Arizona Department of Housing. Information about the program and an application for rental assistance can be found here. The hotline number is 520-724-2505.
• The Arizona Department of Transportation is sharing transportation and engineering themed activities and virtual resources for kids. These include coloring pages, videos of ADOT's projects and heavy machinery and Zoom backgrounds.
• McDonald's is now offering all first responders a free meal as a small way of saying thank you. That includes healthcare workers, police, janitors and anyone else on the front lines.
• The number of confirmed coronavirus cases across Arizona is 5,251 — an increase of 187 cases from the prior day, state health officials reported Tuesday. In Pima County there are now 941 known cases of coronavirus. There have been 58 known coronavirus deaths in the Tucson area.
• Nearly 420,000 Arizonans have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic, new state unemployment figures show. Another 72,103 people filed first-time claims for unemployment benefits in the week that ended April 17. That's 418,016 new unemployment filings in the past five weeks, or 11.6% of Arizona's total workforce.
• Literacy Connects needs your help to collect basic school supplies for elementary school students who are now learning from home. Students who do not have internet are dependent on materials handed out by schools and need basic school supplies to keep working. Literacy Connects at 200 E. Yavapai Road will be collecting school supplies via drive-thru Friday, April 24, Saturday, April 25 and Monday, April 27 10 a.m. to noon. Teachers from Tucson school districts have submitted supply lists.
• University of Arizona researchers launched a texting tool to collect and share COVID-19 information.
• Hundreds of protesters gathered at the state Capitol Monday to demand an end to stay-at-home orders.
• On Wednesday, April 22, many Tucson organizations are collaborating to create a virtual Earth Day celebration. The Children's Museum Tucson and Oro Valley have compiled tons of digital resources into one place, to encourage people to take care of the earth via videos, live events and more. Partners include Mrs. Green's World, Reid Park Zoo, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Sustainable Tucson, the Loft Cinema, Ben's Bells, Local First Arizona, Tucson Water, Tucson Botanical Gardens, the University of Arizona Poetry Center and Center of Creative Photography and more. Visit childrensmuseumtucson.org/earthday/virtual to learn more.
• More coronavirus cases have been reported at Arizona immigration facilities.
• Some Tucsonans are donating their government stimulus check to those in need.
• Tucson's Botanical gardens and Tohono Chul face economic hardships.
• The Flores family at El Charro restaurants has launched a new website where consumers can purchase tamales and have them delivered to healthcare workers. The website Tamales for Heroes has already raised $10,000, which will pay for 4,000 tamales to be distributed to local hospitals. Regular consumers can pay as little as $4 for a sponsorship.
• Independent Tucson radio station KDRI The Drive has fed more than 800 frontline workers through its GoFundMe campaign “Drive Thru for Tucson’s Frontline,” writes Cathalena E. Burch in the Star.
*Do you ever look into the box of crackers, thinking you're going to stop munching now? Then you see how many are left and think, 'I'm going all the way.' Welcome to this Monday of working from home.*
• The number of confirmed coronavirus cases across Arizona is 5,064, Arizona health officials said Monday.
• Members of Tucson's homeless community who might be showing coronavirus symptoms or are at risk of contracting COVID-19 are being moved into a pair of hotels under a new program initiated by city officials. So far, 33 people — 22 falling into the at-risk category and 11 who were displaying symptoms — were moved out of homeless shelters or off the streets and into the two hotels on Friday in an effort to try to slow the spread of the virus.
• Although the libraries may be physically closed, the Pima County Public Library's Infoline is available to help you get answers about electronic library resources, recommended education tools for kids, small business help, community resources, authoritative health information and more. Infoline can be reached at 520-791-4010 Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• Living Streets Alliance has organized a photo scavenger hunt that you can participate in through April 26 for a chance to win gift cards to Antigone Books and Time Market. You'll earn points for every photo you share corresponding to a category on social media using the hashtag #bikefeststories. Topics include: the coolest cactus in your neighborhood, best bike-themed coloring page and spring flowers. See all the rules and categories on the LSA Facebook page.
• Some snowbirds are staying perched in Tucson to wait out the pandemic.
• 6 important life tasks to complete from home while you have some time.
• The Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory in Amado, Arizona is hosting a livestreamed star party Friday, April 24 at 7 p.m. to celebrate International Dark Sky Week, according to a press release. You can join on the observatory's YouTube channel Friday.
• Tucson arcade D&D Pinball has closed to avoid racking up debt during mandated closure. On Sunday, Tim Steller, the Star's Metro columnist, wondered how many of Tucson's popular hangouts will survive the virus crisis.
• Mind-set is key to navigating uncertain reality, writes Amy Hirshberg Lederman, a Tucson author and attorney.
• Teen poets in the Sunnyside Unified School District could have their work published on #ThisIsTucson and win a prize in the district foundation's first ever poetry competition.
• Biosphere 2 is celebrating Earth Day online this Wednesday.
• The Pima County Dislocated Worker Hotline — 520-724-5735 — was established March 26 to respond to the surge in unemployment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, the hotline is helping direct those who were recently laid-off to other resources, including from the Pima County Community Action Agency, which offers assistance with rent, utilities and other basic needs for low-income individuals and families.
• Nearly half of Arizona's licensed early childhood care and education providers have closed during the coronavirus crisis. That's more than 1,200 facilities across the state, including public and private preschools, Head Start facilities, in-home providers and child-care centers that are casualties of the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.
• As Arizona struggles to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, the state stands to lose nearly half a million jobs by the fall, according to a new forecast by University of Arizona economists.
• Educators across Tucson still don't know when, or how school will reopen. Some are trying to plan for what the start of a new school year like no other.
• A pause in some surgeries and more people avoiding emergency rooms have combined to hit the finances of Tucson hospitals.
• Key trauma principles can help you navigate the COVID-19 crisis, write Cassandra Loller and Lourdes Lopez-Escobar, child and family therapists with Casa de los Niños.
• Sunnyside wrestling phenom Audrey Jimenez keeps her focus on training during the pandemic shutdown.
• New numbers from a health tracking firm suggests that Arizonans could start going out and socializing by the end of the first week in June.
• Casino del Sol has started delivering free lunches to more than 2,000 frontline workers across Tucson. They began this process today at St. Mary's Hospital, and plan to visit St. Joseph's, Tucson Medical Center, Banner University Medical Centers and the Pascua Yaqui Tribe healthcare, police and fire over the next week and a half.
• Tucson's bartenders have banded together to create a Facebook group called Tips for Tucson where you can find information about supporting them through virtual tips. Tips for Tucson also made a PSA with local bartenders talking about their struggles being out of work.
*We made it to the end of another week*
• We found 27 things you can do for free from home starting this weekend
• A gift card program designed to help downtown Tucson businesses weather the coronavirus crisis has raised more $105,000 in just three weeks.
• The Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona have been delivering Girl Scout cookies to healthcare workers across the city through its Cookies for Heroes program. This week they delivered to Carondelet Medical Center and last week they stopped at Tucson Medical Center.
• Here's a daily map of coronavirus cases in Arizona, broken down by county. The number of confirmed coronavirus cases across Arizona is 4,507, Arizona health officials said Friday.
• A group of well-wishers gathered at Tucson's Triple T Truck Stop to hand out free lunches to commercial drivers.
• Being pregnant during the pandemic can be especially stressful for new, and soon-to-be Tucson moms.
• The University of Arizona, one of Southern Arizona's two largest employers is implementing furloughs and pay cuts for nearly all of its employees that are set to last through June 2021.
• Arizona's jobless rate jumped a full point last month, shedding some 7,400 jobs in March.
• Hospitals in Arizona appear to have enough beds and ventilators to handle an anticipated surge in COVID-19 patients.
• Tucson consumers don't have to worry about their electric or natural-gas rates increasing anytime soon.
• After a brief closure, Rollies Mexican Patio has opened back up for takeout, with a streamlined menu with some rollies and other tacos dorados. Also, birria ramen every day?! Look at the menu on their Facebook page.
• The number of confirmed coronavirus cases across Arizona is 4,234, Arizona health officials said Thursday.
• With physical spaces closed and social distancing measures in place, local organizations and storytellers are still finding ways to connect with their regular families and new audiences through virtual programs. Here are 8 Tucson organizations taking storytime online.
• Elective surgeries might be allowed again in Arizona to help hospitals cope with mounting financial losses.
• With pantry staples hard to come by on Tucson grocery shelves, food columnist Robin Mather is offering recipes for readily available ingredients: This week: How best to use a bag of dry navy beans.
• Start a garden, take a walk or shop local. There are plenty of little Tucson ways to make your life more sustainable.
• Stop by Flowing Wells Jr. High School, 4545 N. La Cholla Blvd., for a drive-thru produce and snack bag distribution Friday, April 17, noon to 1:30 p.m. Check out the Flowing Wells Family Resource Center Facebook page for more information.
• Union Public House is teaming up with Goettl Air Conditioning & Plumbing to deliver 200 meals to Carondelet St. Joseph’s Hospital on Saturday at 7 p.m. The meal of choice? Individually-wrapped burritos ...
• Old Tucson has jumped on the takeout meal bandwagon and is now offering food for takeout and curbside pickup through its gift shop, The Last Outpost. The park is currently closed, but you can still order some barbecue Thursday through Monday from 4 to 7 p.m. Order online at their website.
• After a temporarily closure, Raijin Ramen at 2955 E. Speedway has reopened for takeout. Call ahead at 520-795-3123 or stop by to place your order. The restaurant is also doing 30 percent off all alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks.
*Today, on Slack, we discussed all of our guilty quarantine purchases*
• Tucson organizations that support women and girls here are being offered the chance to win a $500 grant through the Women's Foundation of Southern Arizona and its after-school program for teen girls, Unidas. The girls in Unidas have shifted their focus this semester to support COVID-19 relief work and to help local organizations.
• Here's a daily map of coronavirus cases in Arizona, broken down by county.
• A gift card program designed to support Downtown Tucson businesses is launching a third fundraising round, which if successful would raise a grand total of $105,000 for restaurants, museums, boutiques, breweries and more in just three weeks.
• City workers could face furloughs and layoffs as Tucson deals with steep, unexpected revenue losses as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Michael Ortega, the city manager says.
• Gov. Doug Ducey says he will be the one to decide when to reopen Arizona's economy, not President Trump. In a wide-ranging news conference on COVID-19 Tuesday afternoon, the governor said that, for the moment, he is still using May 1 as a target date to start removing restrictions he placed on both what businesses can operate and the personal movement of Arizonans.
• The number of confirmed coronavirus cases across Arizona is 3,962, Arizona health officials said on Wednesday.
• Trusting Connections Nanny Agency wants to recognize parents who are doing it all and then some and is taking nominations for its Power Parent prize pack, which includes a $500 Google Play, a flex membership to access the agency's services and a $250 credit toward its in-home nanny or virtual services. Nominations can be made here through April 30.
• For $10, The Loft Cinema wants to match you with movies you'll love on streaming services you already subscribe to. Just fill out this form and the Loft will pick a few films just for you.
• Faculty, staff and students at the University of Arizona will be tested to see if they have antibodies showing they have had COVID-19, President Robert Robbins said Tuesday. The tests won't be mandatory and no one will be denied admission or access to classrooms depending on the test results, Robbins said. However, he says, widespread campus testing will help the university determine what sort of protective measures need to be taken, if any, when classes resume. Dave Heeke, the UA's athletic director, told boosters and fans the school could lose $7.5 million this spring due to spring sports being canceled.
• Brent Dennis, Tucson's parks and recreation director, says he's eager for city facilities to reopen to the public.
• The Tucson unit at Raytheon won't be affected by company salary cuts and furloughs related to the coronavirus pandemic.
• Funeral restrictions in COVID-19 era compound grief, hardship for Tucson families
*Our earnest attempt to eat healthy disintegrated by lunch which consisted of a handful of Cheetos.*
• The Tucson Symphony Orchestra is sharing weekly lessons that teachers and parents can use for children learning from home. The lessons introduce children to a new piece of music each week and provide discussion questions and other activities related to the piece. You can find this week's lesson here.
• Starting on Friday, April 17, the Pima County Public Library will be offering its popular Ready, Set, School program online. The program will happen weekly on Fridays from 10-10:45 a.m. and is meant to help children ages 4-5 prepare for school by learning skills through stories, interactive activities and songs with their parents and caregivers. The program will be available on the library's Facebook page.
• The library also shared that it is working on a plan to offer curbside pick up for holds sometime soon. A date has not yet been announced.
• The library also launched a digital haiku challenge for the month of April, because poetry is not canceled.
• Workers in these essential functions can register and may qualify for priority childcare and may be eligible for a scholarship for child care at Arizona Enrichment Centers, a collection of licensed childcare providers, school district facilities and other community organizations offering childcare. Go here for more information.
• In Pima County, there were 685 cases of coronavirus confirmed on Tuesday, with 32 known coronavirus deaths. The number of confirmed coronavirus cases across Arizona is 3,806, up from 3,702 the day before, state health officials said on Tuesday, April 14. Seven more deaths from the coronavirus were reported for Arizona Monday, bringing the statewide total to 122. There are eight confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Immigration detention centers in Arizona.
• Newly released data from the state showing coronavirus cases by ZIP code should be 'cautiously' interpreted, health officials say. They warn the numbers don't accurately reflect where people contracted the virus and are skewed by testing availability.
• Some 350,000 new unemployment claims have been filed in Arizona since the start of the coronavirus outbreak.
• Pima Community College's Fashion Design and Clothing Department posted on its Facebook page that students are making cloth masks for donations as a fundraiser, after the program's spring runway show was canceled. For every donation of $25, you get one cloth mask. If you'd rather make your own, here's a good option from volunteers with the University of Arizona College of Nursing.
• Gov. Ducey says reopening economy must be done in 'safe, healthy' manner.
• The Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona has an interactive map that shows where emergency food boxes and community meals are being distributed in the region.
• The Tucson Sugar Skulls canceled their season.
*Started out the day dressed like I was actually going to the office. Downgraded to sweatpants several hours into another day of working from home.*
• Throughout Tucson, folks who teach music are taking their lessons to a virtual realm, holding classes and one-on-one instrument lessons with students of all ages now that schools and public spaces have been closed.
• The number of confirmed coronavirus cases across Arizona is 3,702, up from 3,539 the day before, Arizona health officials said on Monday morning.
• Arizona Health Services released data Sunday that allows you to look up the number of coronavirus cases by ZIP code. So far, Tucson's coronavirus hotspot is ZIP code 85714 — loosely between Ajo Way and Irvington Road, west from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base to just west of Interstate 19. So far, it has 64 confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to the data.
• We're pretty sure you need some adorable, desert and Tucson-inspired coloring pages in your life. De-stress and color away.
• The University of Arizona's administration is 'cautiously optimistic' the fall semester will resume in-person. The UA is also looking at the 'full spectrum of options' to cope with the financial fallout of the pandemic. Options include a temporary stop in hiring that's already been implemented, to salary freezes and furloughs.
• Tuscon neighbors get creative to spread kindness, not germs with teddy bear hunts, positive messages and kindness rocks.
• We're staying home and we're doing our best to stay 6 feet away from everyone we meet, but here are tips for when going out is required.
• For your future meal plan: 19 iconic Tucson dishes and recipes to cook at home. With recipes from Reilly Pizza, Boca Tacos y Tequila, Ghini's, Rollies Mexican Patio and more.
• Buy Local is a new Arizona Daily Star partnership connecting all of us to vitally important Southern Arizona businesses through an online marketplace. Go to https://localbusiness.lee.net/arizona-daily-star to see which local businesses are offering gift cards on Buy Local, says John D'Orlando, president and publisher of the Arizona Daily Star.
• "Imagine if no one could explain to you why you suddenly couldn't see your family — or were stuck with them 24/7," writes Amy Silverman, an Arizona journalist whose teen daughter has Down syndrome. Remote learning struggles are even harder for kids with special needs.
• Stay-at-home orders and social distancing are leading Tucson families to find creative ways to celebrate birthdays and other milestones.
• Judy Rich, CEO of Tucson Medical Center, describes what the hospital is doing to ensure patients and staff are safe during the coronavirus pandemic.
• Arizona food-stamp recipients will soon be able to buy their groceries online.
*We believe the Easter Bunny is an essential worker, but the current working conditions may necessitate a delay or postponement of delivering treats and gifts.*
• Southern Arizona officials created a public service announcement, urging the public to not congregate at public parks for upcoming Easter and Passover celebrations.
• Nearly a month after turning off the lights and closing the doors in reaction to the coronavirus health crisis, Club Congress at Hotel Congress is back in the concert biz — virtually.
• As elderly relatives and friends are in lockdown in care facilities as a security measure against the coronavirus pandemic, Tucson families are finding ways to stay connected.
• This is what you need to know about adopting, fostering and caring for pets during COVID-19.
• Photo gallery: Benny Galaz, owner of BK Carne Asada & Hot Dogs, is giving two free Sonoran hot dogs to healthcare workers at Tucson area hospitals for the next several weeks as a way to say thank you for their hard work during the coronavirus disease outbreak. Eegee's also helped out by delivering their popular watermelon Eegee to Tucson police and fire stations, as well as the Community Food Bank.
• The number of confirmed coronavirus cases statewide has increased to 3,112, Arizona health officials said Friday.
• Arizonans will soon know more about whether their neighbors are getting sick and dying from COVID-19.
• Starting Saturday, Bashas' supermarkets will be selling "Bakery Creation Stations", which include undecorated cakes, cookies and cupcakes and bags of icing and sprinkles for people to make their own creations at home.
• Some county employees who have unavoidable contact with the public — putting them at greater risk for developing coronavirus — are getting a temporary pay increase.
• Two locations in Tucson have been identified as sites that could be used as care facilities if there's a huge surge of hospitalizations due to the outbreak.
• Researchers are analyzing genomes to track the spread of COVID-19 across Arizona.
• Some e-scooters are pulled off Tucson streets to help curb coranavirus spread.
• Why we do what we do, even when it's not smart, during the pandemic is a topic tackled today by Kathryn Reed, a retired professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the UA, and Erin Harvey, an associate professor in the UA's Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Science.
• The Arizona Craft Brewer's Guild announced it's holding the first-ever Keep Arizona Brewing’ Virtual Beer Festival on Saturday, April 18. The festival will include virtual tours of local breweries, interviews with brewers, a make-your-own pretzel necklace competition and a live-music stream Couchella. It's all benefiting brewers and beer industry employees. Learn more at chooseazbrews.com.
• Downtown Tucson Partnership will launch a second round of offering free money to patrons who buy gift cards for their favorite downtown Tucson businesses starting Friday.
• Pima County has reported 512 confirmed coronavirus cases and 20 deaths as of Thursday.
• The Humane Society of Southern Arizona is delivering cat or dog-themed Easter baskets with goods from PAWSH and a puzzle from its thrift store, with proceeds directly supporting the shelter. Baskets range in price from $30-$40 and a basket can also be purchased to be given to a shelter pet. Place your order by April 10 here.
• A job matching website is now available to Pima County residents, the Tucson Metro Chamber of Commerce said.
• Cartoonist David Fitzsimmons created a video for Tucsonans. "We're Tucson. We're tough as saguaros. We got this."
• One of the companies participating in the city of Tucson's e-scooter pilot program temporarily pulled its scooters off the streets as a way to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
• Tucsonans have spotted chalk messages written on sidewalks across the city, giving an extra boost of encouragement to those who walk by. Here's a look at some of the drawings people have seen.
• The number of confirmed coronavirus cases across Arizona has reached 3,000, with 3,018 cases confirmed, state health officials said Thursday.
• TUSD students can use grades earned in the third quarter of the school year, before schools were closed, as their final grades. And high school seniors on track to graduate before schools were ordered closed will get their diploma, TUSD says.
• Restaurants in Tucson are temporarily allowed to act as pop-up grocery stores, selling packaged food, fresh produce, paper goods and cleaning supplies.
• Tucson independent radio station The Drive has launched a GoFundMe campaign to help feed health-care workers and first responders.
• Tucson will have its own virtual country music festival on Friday, April 10, courtesy of Jessica Northey-Shaw. A nationally- known country music social media influencer from Tucson, Northey-Shaw put together a solid lineup of local country talent for a daylong virtual festival from noon to 9 p.m. Friday, to be broadcast on her Country Sway Facebook page (facebook.com/CountrySway).
*Today one of our kids learned about grillz from Jeff Goldblum. So that's how homeschooling is going.*
• Tucson school closures prompted by the coronavirus outbreak won't hurt student grades in TUSD, the governing board decided Tuesday night. And seniors on track to get their diploma before schools closed will still do so, regardless of grades during online classes.
• Starting April 9, the Marana Unified School District will expand its free grab and go meals to include 14 bus routes making stops at 270 locations. Find more places offering free meals for kids throughout the city on this big list.
• These SaddleBrooke residents teamed up to make face masks for health-care workers.
• Tucson restaurant and bar workers displaced by the coronavirus are getting a hand up from Tucson's Barrio Brewing Co. It is donating $25,000 toward grocery gift cards.
• All four Sprouts locations in Tucson will now be offering grocery pick up for orders placed online.
• Tucson independent radio station The Drive has launched a GoFundMe campaign to help feed healthcare workers and first responders.
• With a rise in fake COVID-19 medical product scams, consumers can report fraudulent products to the FDA online.
• There are now 464 known coronavirus cases in Pima County and 16 deaths have been reported as of Wednesday morning, up one from Tuesday.
• As confirmed coronavirus cases in Arizona topped 2,500 Tuesday, beach towns in Sonora spread a message to American tourists who normally crowd its hotels and sandy shores during the days leading up to Easter: stay away. Travel restrictions along the border remain in place as Easter approaches.
• Gov. Doug Ducey wants visitors arriving from the New York area or other places where coronavirus is widespread to self-quarantine for two weeks.
• Here are groups across Tucson offering free food and services to those in need.
• Read the next in our series about how amazing Tucson teachers are adjusting to remote learning.
*Today we're thankful for Zoom, hummingbirds in the backyard and local restaurants that deliver.*
• We just wanted to remind everyone that the Arizona Daily Star has created this incredibly helpful resource guide that has Tucson-specific answers to many of our coronavirus questions. For example: How to navigate grocery shopping, what to do if you've lost work and how to find childcare if you need it.
• A local nonprofit — Make Way for Books — has launched a bilingual app for families to access books and activities and to tune in to storytime online while following stay-at-home orders.
• There are 415 known coronavirus cases in Pima County and 15 deaths have been reported as of Tuesday morning, up two from Sunday.
• The Tucson Police Department recently posted a new public service announcement about social distancing and Easter. It's cheesy, goofy and we can kinda relate.
• The number of out-of-work Arizonans seeking unemployment benefits amid the coronavirus crisis set a new record this week. There were nearly 130,000 new claims filed by the end of last week, state numbers released Monday show. The week before there were nearly 89,000 claims. How much higher than normal for Arizona are those numbers? Fewer than 3,000 new unemployment filings were submitted the last week of February.
• The Loft Cinema's CatVideoFest is going to be streaming digitally starting Friday, April 10. Because cats don't know there's a pandemic. It's pay-what-you-can for "The Best of CatVideoFest: Creature Comforts Edition."
• Today is Arizona Gives Day, and Tucson nonprofits say the economic fallout of the coronavirus outbreak makes the massive online fundraising even more essential.
• Tucson's Thunder Canyon Brewery has teamed up with Elgin Distillery to use their equipment to make much-needed hand sanitizer, a trend seen here and elsewhere.
• The Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance (SAACA) has compiled a guide to all of the local artists, musicians, museums, fitness studios, small businesses, performers and more who are livestreaming classes, workshops, performances and virtual experiences.
• FC Tucson Youth Soccer has found a way to keep some 2,000 young players engaged, writes Greg Hansen, the Star's sports columnist.
• Startup Tucson is launching the digital marketplace Tucson Shops Tucson to help you explore and shop from some of your favorite local businesses online. The market goes live Thursday, April 9. (#ThisIsTucson will be selling T-shirts in the market).
*The news we needed: A new elephant baby was born at Reid Park Zoo today. And she is the cutest.*
• Arizona Public Media, launched a new program today to provide learning resources connected to PBS programming for children in preschool through 12th grade. The At Home learning website has weekly television schedules for PBS 6 grouped by age and related resource pages for each show that includes games, activities and videos aligned with Arizona education standards to further explore the concepts and ideas from each episode. AZPM says the resources are "meant to engage, inspire and extend the learning experience," for children during school closures.
• Many local nonprofits have had to suspend operations and cancel critical fundraising events due to COVID-19, but tomorrow is a chance to support your favorite causes during Arizona Gives Day, an annual fundraising effort for nonprofit organizations across the state, several organizations have secured matching gifts for their donations so you can make your contribution go even further.
• We spoke with three local teachers for a series about their experiences teaching these days as Arizona schools remain closed for the remainder of the school year. This is the first teacher interview in that series.
• Health-care workers in Tucson are getting much-needed protection during the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to a local effort to make face masks and shields with 3D printers and laser cutters.
• Nancy Mellberg and Teresa Wilson, registered nurses in the Nurse-Family Partnership at Casa de los Niños shared tips for staying safe and healthy while pregnant during the coronavirus pandemic.
• Tucson couples are postponing their weddings due to the coronavirus outbreak — yet another aspect of normal life put on hold during the pandemic.
• University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins shares how researchers and students are working to help suppress COVID-19.
• Downtown Tucson Partnership said Sunday that all 1,000 gift cards it was selling for $25 apiece to help businesses sold out. The effort raised $35,000 in just over 24 hours, the group said.
• The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Arizona is now at 2,456, with 415 in Pima County, officials said on Monday.
• The Tucson food community is coming together to help the charismatic chef who opened a taco shop during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A helpful guide to using Arizona charitable tax credits. Alert: the deadline for this was not extended along with the regular tax deadline.
• Tucson's class of 2020 headed to spring break a few weeks ago not knowing it would be the last time on their high school campus. Now they're realizing coronavirus likely means no prom, no graduation ceremonies, no saying goodbye to classmates and the loss of other rites of passage for teens.
• Lacking supplies, medical devices and personal protective equipment, Tucson's hospitals are doing what they can to prepare for an expected surge in COVID-19 cases here later this month. Here are what some hospitals are doing and what they need.
• The Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson and other local congregations are live-streaming religious services this Holy Week.
• Gov. Doug Ducey today ordered the shuttering of barbers, beauty parlors, nail salons and spas, conceding there's no way to operate them safely. The edict, which takes effect at 5 p.m. Saturday, April 4, also further narrows his original list of "essential services.'' He will now require the closure of any amenities at public parks "that do not allow for recommended physical distancing or proper hygiene.'' That includes everything from basketball courts and playgrounds to public restrooms.
• Have fun while staying indoors with this list of all the local concerts, virtual tours and classes happening this weekend and beyond!
• Mutual Aid groups are helping Tucsonans with food boxes, hand sanitizer and other resources. Read about the efforts of three groups here.
• Here's a list of Tucson restaurants, updated daily, offering special deals for takeout and delivery.
• Pima County announced Friday that it will close its shooting ranges for the duration of the COVID-19 outbreak due to extreme staffing shortages.
So far, many groups haven't seen a huge increase in demand for child care but they are open and prepared to serve families who need care now and in the foreseeable future as school closures remain in place.
You've probably seen homemade masks all over social media, as Tucsonans take up the fight against coronavirus, armed with needles and thread.
This list is updating resource guide to find free food near you, emergency assistance, Tucson-area food banks, restaurants offering discounted meals, free lunches for kids and special grocery hours for seniors.
If you must venture out, here are a few things to keep in mind to stay safe and be responsible outdoor explorers.
• Pima County’s WIC program is helping local families amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Women, Infants and Children Program, offered through the Pima County Health Department, provides healthy food, nutrition tips, breastfeeding support and helps guide families toward other resources in the community.
• Starting Monday, April 6, the Catalina Foothills Unified School District will be providing grab-and-go meals for all children ages 1 to 18 at four schools. Go here for more information.
• We are so inspired by how creatively local businesses have pivoted to continue serving the community. Here are five examples.
• Confirmed coronavirus cases in Arizona now sit at 1,769, with 280 in Pima County, state officials said Friday.
• The stay-at-home order issued this week by Gov. Doug Ducey has left some Arizonans confused about what they can — and cannot — legally do.
• El Charro owners Flores Concepts are donating four weeks of ready-to-eat mealkits for firefighters and first responders in 20 Tucson Fire Department houses across Tucson. The meal program will go from April 7 to May 5, and will serve approximately a thousand meals a week, according to a press release.
• The local food media teamed up to produce a PSA to support Tucson restaurants. The message is to order takeout once a week. You can watch it here!
• Why I Love Where I Live has compiled the most amazing collection of coloring pages created by local artists. You can download them here. We know what we are doing this weekend.
• Without gigs to play, Tucson country singer Angel Perez is set perform a concert later today from his balcony. The performance of his second concert this week begins at 5 p.m. It will help raise money for the staff of Wisdom's Cafe, a Mexican restaurant in Tumacacori. The concert is being livestreamed on his Facebook page.
*We forgot what day it was. Twice.*
• Whether you need help paying the rent, getting groceries or keeping the kids busy, the Arizona Daily Star's resource guide — updated daily — is here to help.
• Tucson Unified School District announced that children no longer need to be present at school sites or bus stops when picking up free meals, but parents/caregivers do still have to show documentation or proof of the children they are picking up meals for.
• The Pima County Health Department is consolidating its clinics and has suspended walk-in services in response to the COVID-19 virus.
• Hotel McCoy is offering rate-assistance grants for artists, hospitality employees and nonprofit employees that can be used for a 10-40% discount on monthly room rates. The monthly room rates include furnished studios, cable, wi-fi and daily breakfast. Anyone interested in a monthly rental or Hotel McCoy rate assistance grant should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
• The Desert Diamond Casino in Sahuarita is postponing its May Diamond Center shows.
• The doors are closed for live performances by Tucson musicians, but many of them aren't letting the coronavirus stop the music.
• The number of confirmed cases in Arizona now sits at 1,598, with 237 in Pima County.
• Arizona's Department of Economic Security has been having ongoing problems this week that prevent clients from calling DES customer service centers.
• When it comes to deporting migrants, everything old is new again for the Border Patrol. The agency is taking 'unprecedented measures' to quickly expel migrants from southern Arizona into Mexico as a precaution against the coronavirus.
• Chinese-American business owners here first noticed a drop in customers during the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show, typically one of the busiest times of the year. Soon regulars disappeared, many saying they were scared to go outside to eat. Then business restrictions from the city and state to fight coronavirus hit.
• These Tucson restaurants are open for take-out, delivery or both. While many Tucson restaurants have closed to ride out the pandemic, Govinda's Natural Foods and Brother John's Beer, Bourbon & BBQ reopened on Wednesday to offer takeout.
• "These are some of the hardest decisions I've had to make in my more than four decades with Pima County," County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry said about putting an unspecified number of it's 7,000 employees on leave to help reduce the spread of coronavirus. "But they are necessary. I, and every member of the Board of Supervisors, understand that these actions will cause financial hardships for some employees if this order lasts more than a few weeks. We are doing everything we can to assist our workers through this difficult time."
• Technology invented at the University of Arizona could potentially help people who are having trouble breathing due to coronavirus complications.
• Megan A. Carney, an assistant professor in the School of Anthropology at the University of Arizona, says there 3 lessons about what we can do to curb the COVID-19 catastrophe by learning from other countries, like Italy, that have been fighting the coronavirus longer than the United States.
*April Fools day is canceled y'all*
• Today is Census Day and Pima County has a 36.8% response rate so far (31% have responded online). Billions of dollars in public funding for our state and region are tied to the U.S. Census. According to the Pima County Association of Govenments, if 100 people are not counted, we could lose $3 million over the next decade. Read our tips about the census here, you have until late May (the deadline was extended due to coronavirus) to fill it out.
• Two Tucson restaurants Govinda's and Brother John's had been sitting out the coronavirus pandemic, but have reopened to offer takeout.
• A 7-year-old boy in Oro Valley was surprised with a birthday car-parade from his first-grade classmates. ❤️
Tucson teachers are finding creative ways to stay connected with their students.
• Tucson Parks and Recreation has temporarily closed all city park playgrounds and other equipment to help curb the spread of COVID-19 in the community.
• A call for volunteers, especially people with medical backgrounds, was issued by the county to help fight the coronavirus.
• The Humane Society of Southern Arizona is asking for donations of pet food to help families in need. You can drop off your donation of unopened pet food 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, April 3 and Saturday, April 4 at 635 W. Roger Road or 5311 E. Speedway, according to a new release. Go here for more information.
• The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is offering online learning. Sign up for a course via Zoom, and learn from educators and scientists who will teach you about the beauties of the desert. Thursday's programming includes a 30-minute desert yoga class at 10 a.m. and a class at noon about nocturnal desert creatures. Go here for more information.
• The Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona is looking for 250 fabric face masks for its volunteers and staff. Go here to learn more about the request.
• Gospel Rescue Mission now has a free drive-through to help supplement basic needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
• Club Congress is returning to its regular programming via the internet. Catch livestreamed performances every night at 9 p.m. thanks to a partnership with the Southern Arizona Artists and Musicians Healthcare Alliance. Go here for more information.
• More restaurants announced temporary closures on Facebook and Instagram today. The most notable was Reilly Craft Pizza & Drink. "It wasn’t a hard decision, because the safety of our staff and community is always our top priority, and we no longer felt it was fair to remain open," they said on Facebook.
• The Star's Justin Sayers spoke to the owners of two local Chinese restaurants, who said that Tucsonans have been nothing but supportive in the face of this crisis. Despite that, they're still closing their doors.
• Want to order groceries without leaving your home? We just published a guide on how to get your shopping done through supermarkets, local farmers and even restaurants that'll deliver straight to your house.
• Several Tucson restaurants are temporarily closing to ride out the coronavirus pandemic. Today, Rollies Mexican Patio and Tito and Pep announced on Instagram that they were shutting their doors.
• The state's estimated 86,000 high school seniors won't be prevented from graduating just because the governor shut down Arizona schools through the end of the academic year.
• A health clinic on Craycroft Road is offering coronavirus tests to adults who meet CDC criteria.
• The temporarily-closed Rialto Theatre just posted about the second in its Fantasy Concert Series on Facebook and on its marquee. For just $0, you can imagine Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris on stage at the Rialto on April 1. On its Facebook page, the theater wrote, "Admission is easy, just say you believe, and come to this place in your heart." 😂#thisistucson ya'll.
• Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails just dropped a new takeout menu today that includes dark chocolate and jalapeño ice cream sundae kits. It comes with an entire pint of the ice cream, plus chocolate sauce and candied pecans. Guilty pleasures are where it's at right now.
*This is the month that never ends, it just goes on and on my friends.*
• Gov. Doug Ducey issued an executive order today telling Arizonans to stay home during the coronavirus crisis. Click through to find out what you can and cannot do. Yes: Exercise outside. Yes: Trips to grocery stores. No: Dinner at a friend's house.
• Arizona schools will remain closed through the end of the school year, Governor Doug Ducey and state Schools Chief Kathy Hoffman announced Monday morning.
• The Postal History Foundation is accepting entries for the 13th Annual Tucson Birthday Stamp Design Contest for Kids 2020. Tucson-area children ages 5-17 can enter the contest. There are three age groups. The winner will have their design made into a custom U.S. postage stamp, and the top five winners from each age group will receive awards and prizes. The contest deadline is July 31. Entry forms and rules can be downloaded at www.postalhistoryfoundation.org. Entries should be mailed in as the Postal History Foundation is temporarily closed to the public due to the coronavirus.
• Agua Caliente Park, a popular site for Easter celebrations will be closed Easter Sunday this year.
• Eegee's, Prep & Pastry and its sister restaurant Commoner & Co. are delivering meals to feed grocery store workers across Tucson this Tuesday, March 31. Follow this link to see their delivery schedule.
• Three more restaurants have closed their doors due to the coronavirus crisis. Bianchi's Italian is closing its Marana location permanently, writes Cathalena E. Burch in the Star. (Its original location on Silverbell is staying open.) Bisbee Breakfast Club announced on Facebook today that it's temporarily closing all of its locations in the Tucson area. And Rocco's Little Chicago is closing "for a couple weeks go regroup," it posted on Facebook.
• Tucson's warming weather might help slow the spread of the virus, but some experts also expect it will pounce again starting in the fall.
• Some Tucson school districts are launching day care for children of first responders.
*The #ThisIsTucson team made it through our second week of working from home. We miss seeing each other, and we miss seeing you around town. Thanks for sticking with us and supporting our community.*
• Late Friday, Mayor Regina Romero ordered the temporary closure of all "non-essential" services in Tucson — as they are defined by Gov. Doug Ducey — to slow the spread of COVID-19. The order says non-essential businesses must close by 8 a.m. Saturday, March 28, and remain closed through at least April 17. That does not include outdoor recreation spaces or restaurants doing takeout and delivery. The mayor also issued an advisory that Tucsonans stay home "except as may be needed to address essential needs,'' like getting food and prescriptions, fresh air and going to work if employed in an essential function. Read more here.
• Four Pima County residents have died of COVID-19, up from two on Thursday, according to the Pima County Health Department website.
• Here's a guide to local child care options for essential workers.
• Dr. Bob England, interim director of the Pima County Health Department, answered a few of the pressing questions people have been asking regarding the COVID-19 virus, including questions about testing and the supply chain.
• The Pima County Public Library will help you get a library card by phone or email. This is awesome, because even though library branches are currently closed, library card holders have access to tons of free ebooks, audiobooks, movies and music which you can access online. You obviously need this during this era of social distancing. Go here to learn more.
• Hotel Congress has set up an online market for orders of hard-to-find items, produce, pantry essentials, refrigerated food, beer, wine and liquor. Items include toilet paper, rice, eggs, bread, potatoes, ground beef. Orders are due before 1 p.m. on Sundays and Wednesdays and can be picked up on Mondays and Thursdays between 3-6 p.m. Find the order form here.
• Tucson bartenders have found ways to show off their craft and bring people together online. Read the article about virtual happy hours here.
• Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation said it would no longer accept reservations for ramadas at county parks until the health emergency has passed. Refunds will be issued to anyone who has already made a reservation. Park staff will wrap each ramada with caution tape and place "closed" signs on them starting on Monday.
• Live Theatre Workshop is doing a Facebook watch party of the "Tortoise and the Hare" Saturday, March 28 at 6 p.m. and Sunday, March 29 at 12:30 p.m. Go here for more information.
• In partnership with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, Guy Fieri has created a new grant program for displaced restaurant workers across the country. Applicants are eligible for a one-time $500 check. To learn more, head here.
*No more cloudy, dreary days. We have enough to deal with*
• The Pima County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 Thursday to extend business closures through April 10 due to the coronavirus outbreak.The measure limits restaurants to drive-thru and takeout and also calls for the closure of fitness centers, movie theaters, bingo halls, performance venues and similar public gathering sites. Pharmacies, grocery stores, banks and other essential services are not affected.
• Tucson sewers are creating DIY face masks for medical professionals. Here's everything you need to know about handmade face masks.
• University of Arizona students are helping make hand sanitizer and masks for health care workers in Southern Arizona.
• Fox Tucson Theatre is livestreaming a concert on Facebook Friday, March 27 for a Friday Night In. The show Acoustic Crossroads with Singer/Songwriters Billy Shaw Jr. and Amy Munoz starts at 7 p.m. Go here for more information.
• On Thursday morning, there were 508 confirmed coronavirus cases in Arizona, with 75 confirmed cases in Pima County.
• Tucson's La Cocina is serving free meals to restaurant workers who have been laid off because of coronavirus.
• As shoppers amass supplies to prepare themselves for self-isolation, grocers in Tucson say despite empty store shelves, the supply of food is keeping up with demand.
• Local organizations Visit Tucson and Storyteller PR are putting on a takeout version of Sonoran Restaurant Week to support local restaurants. They just debuted it today, but so far five restaurants have signed up. Go here to view the $30 takeout specials. Or email email@example.com if you'd like your restaurant to be included.
• Our food writer Andi Berlin will be on 1030 KVOI AM tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. to talk about how the local restaurant scene is adapting to the coronavirus crisis. Tune in on the radio or live stream it at kvoi.com.
• Pima County now has an employment hotline.
• Some hikers are ignoring the closure of Tumamoc Hill.
• Arizona Public Media has a collection of online learning resources and materials in Spanish for children in preschool to 12th grade.
• The Diaper Bank of Southern Arizona is hosting a cloth diapering webinar on Zoom on Friday from 2-3 p.m. for parents interested in learning more about this more sustainable option as disposable diapers are harder to get. Go here to register and learn more.
*We made it to Wednesday, friends. How are we all doing?*
• Two more Tucson schools, Dunham and Myers-Ganoung elementary schools, are taking to the streets on Friday to spread some cheer to students. Teachers and staff from the schools will drive through their surrounding neighborhoods for a car parade to greet their families and students who are home during school closures.
• We started a resource list to compile all the places to find free meals, food assistance, takeout options, mobile meal delivery and more food options. Go here to read it.
• Getting some fresh air is nice, but remember social distancing applies outdoors, too.
• Students living in one of the largest dorms at the University of Arizona have been told to watch for symptoms after a student there, who recently returned home, tested positive for COVID-19, officials said.
• Most of Tumamoc Hill’s walkers are staying away while the hill is closed to the public due to the coronavirus — but some scofflaws are sneaking up.
• In lieu of Cyclovia Tucson, which was supposed to be this Sunday, March 29, organizers of the community event are encouraging people to record video messages about how they're staying connected to community while social distancing and what they most look forward to when Cyclovia is able to return. It's a virtual celebration. Go here to learn more and record your own video tribute.
• Small business owners economically affected by the novel coronavirus can apply for a U.S. Small Business Administration loan online and can call the Pima Community College Small Business Development Center for assistance.
• The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Arizona increased to 401, up from 326, officials said Wednesday.
• The Arizona Daily Star asked local non-profits what they need now to help them help our community. Here's the huge list of ways to help.
• Arizona's largest beer distributor Crescent Crown Distributing has pledged to provide at least $50,000 for furloughed bar and restaurant employees across the state. To apply, your business must be a member of the Arizona Licensed Beverage Association. More info here.
• After more than a year of planning, a new brewery MotoSonora Brewing Co. opened in Tucson, despite the citywide ban on dining rooms. For now, the business is filling up growlers and crowlers to-go, and plans to hold a grand opening when dining rooms are open again.
• Street Taco and Beer Co. announced on Facebook that it's offering 40 percent off takeout and pickup orders. Police, military, fire fighters, court employees and teachers will receive 50 percent off.
• Copcake Cakery has created an adorable unicorn cupcake kit to add some sparkle to your days. For $8 you get two cupcakes, two frosting bags, two chocolate unicorn horns and ears, one speciality sprinkle mix, one piping tip and an online tutorial about how to assemble your magical creation. Pre-orders close Friday, March 27. Go here for more information.
• Taking another walk in your neighborhood? Here's a list of wildflowers and birds you're likely to see.
*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.
• 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.
• The Loft Cinema changed its well-known marquee on Speedway Friday night to a giant message of reassurance.
• Welcome Diner, 902 E. Broadway, is offering pay-what-you-can "staff meals" — the daily meal offered free to employees and based on ingredients Executive Chef Ian Rosales has on hand. In the past week, that meal has included butternut squash bisque, Thai soup, jambalaya with red beans and rice, roasted veggies salad and Spanish rice with jackfruit. Rosales also is experimenting with dishes that can be frozen and eaten later including a fried green tomato parmesan.
• There are lots of ways you can help your neighbors and the community. Here are some ideas.
• The Arizona Daily Star wants to help Pima County charities with needs connect with people who can meet those needs. Go here for more information.
• Gigs are canceled, tours are off, but that hasn't stopped some Tucson musicians from reaching audiences virtually and through carry-out concerts.
• Food writer Andi Berlin talks with three different restaurants about how they are staying open and staying safe.
• Confirmed coronavirus cases in Arizona rise to 234. Pima County had 24 confirmed cases as of Monday afternoon.
• Club Congress and Maynards Market & Kitchen announced over the weekend that they're closing their doors "for the foreseeable future." They've started a GoFundMe account for their hourly staff and have so far raised $6,115 of their $50,000 goal. "We will be back and stronger than ever, but until then, thank you for the support," they said on Facebook.
• People with concerns or mild to moderate symptoms specific to the coronavirus can use the Northwest Healthcare's VirtualHealthConnect app to talk with a provider using a smartphone or computer, the Tucson-area healthcare provider said in a news release.
• A University of Arizona psychiatry professor gave us some tips for helping kids through these uncertain times.
• Tucson Unified School District launched a "Learn at Home" resource website with a sample daily schedule and links to grade-appropriate tools for English language arts, math, science and visual arts that kids can use during school closures. The district is working on its framework for remote learning.
• Many Tucson-area school districts began free breakfast and lunch distribution today for all children ages 18 and younger. Find the list of locations here.
• Arizona is getting a virus hotline with $2 million from the state.
• Arizona Motor Vehicle Division is limiting office visits to people who have set appointments starting Monday. A new statewide customer service line, 602-712-2700, will be available between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to assist people who need to access MVD services remotely or need to set appointments. More than two-thirds of MVD services are available at ServiceArizona.com. Gov. Doug Ducey last week extended the driver license expiration date by six months for anyone whose license expires between March 1 and Sept. 1.
• Arizona has received a large shipment of masks, gloves and other supplies for health workers battling COVID-19.
• Tucson puts some high-risk homeless people in hotels in bid to decrease the coronavirus spread