COVID-19

Maricopa County released a proclamation on June 19, 2020, that the policy of Maricopa County that ALL persons in Maricopa County shall wear face coverings in compliance with regulations defined therein. This order begins at midnight on June 20, 2020. To read the regulations, click here.

About the Virus

What is the coronavirus disease or COVID-19?

  • Coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 is a new respiratory virus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.
  • Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. There are several known coronaviruses that infect people and usually only cause mild respiratory disease. Based on current data collected, COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) is a more contagious coronavirus that may have severe symptoms for persons with underlying health issues and/or compromised immune systems.
  • Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear 2-14 days after exposure and include fever, cough, shortness of breath. Emergency warning signs may include difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, pain or pressure on the chest, new confusion or difficulty to arouse, bluish lips. If you experience emergency warning signs, get immediate medical attention! These emergency warning signs are not all-inclusive. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning. 
  • You can learn more about COVID-19 at the CDC website.
  • Monitoring and testing are ongoing across the United States. 
  • A nationwide case count table is available on the CDC website
  • A statewide case count table, including confirmed cases in Maricopa County, is available on the Arizona Department of Health Services website.
  • This is a rapidly evolving situation.
    • Please visit Maricopa.gov/coronavirus for the most up-to-date and accurate information about what is going on in Maricopa County.
    • Please visit the CDC website for the most up-to-date information nationally.

Who is at higher risk for severe illness?

Some people may be at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness. This includes:

  • Older adults
  • People who have serious underlying medical conditions like:
    • Heart disease
    • Diabetes
    • Lung disease
    • Asthma
    • Obesity
  • For more information about specific groups and higher risk complications visit the CDC website.

What is the treatment for COVID-19?

  • There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19. People with COVID-19 will receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms.

Protect Yourself and Others

COVID-19 is thought to mainly spread by droplets, such as when an infected person coughs or sneezes near you similar to how flu and other respiratory infections spread. One way for you to protect yourself from COVID-19 is by practicing social distancing. This means increasing the physical space between people to avoid spreading illness. This is why it is recommended to avoid groups greater than 10 and staying at least six feet away from other people.

These simple actions will lessen your chances of catching COVID-19 and spreading it to others: 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. CDC’s tips for cleaning and disinfecting 

Should everyone be tested for COVID-19? 

  • Limited testing is currently available for COVID-19 and is being prioritized for individuals who have been identified as high-risk for COVID-19 exposure and are showing symptoms of illness. Commercial testing is coming online and more options will soon be available for public access to testing.
  • During this time with limited testing, those experiencing flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough and achiness should stay home, drink fluids, rest, and avoid others when experiencing symptoms. The vast majority of people do very well recovering at home. Getting a COVID-19 test does not change the treatment or the outcome. 
  • People at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider early, even if their illness is mild.
  • If your symptoms worsen, especially if you experience shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, contact your healthcare provider immediately.

What do I do if I don’t have insurance?

If you are experiencing such symptoms as shortness of breath and you need to see a healthcare provider, you should do so. If you do not have a medical home or are uninsured, consider visiting a community health center. They will work with you to help you get access to a healthcare provider. Please make sure you call ahead and let them know your symptoms, so you are not putting anyone at risk. You should also cover your mouth and nose when out in public. Please call 602-253-0090 or look at the AACHC website for a health care center near you.

How can I help the community during this time? (Updated 6/30/20 at 8:00 AM)

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed. Stay at home, as much as possible, except for essential needs. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person between people who are in close contact with one another (within 6 feet). This occurs through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

The following guidelines are still in effect:

  • Practice the suggested hygiene guidelines
  • Work from home if possible
  • Avoid gatherings of 10 or more people
  • Practice social distancing (try to keep at least a 6ft distance from others)
  • Avoid discretionary travel 
  • Use drive-thru, pick-up, or delivery options where available
  • Delegate 1 (one) member of your household to do the shopping
  • Mandatory use of a cloth face-cover for essential travel where social distancing may be difficult (ie: pharmacy, grocery store) Do NOT use on children age 2 and younger. For complete CDC guidelines on face coverings, click here
  • Persons traveling to Arizona from areas with substantial community spread, including but not limited to, the New York Tri-State Area (Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York) must self-quarantine
    at their own expense, for 14 days from date of arrival. Read the full Executive Order 24 here. Expired

As of 6/29/20, Arizona State Governor Doug Ducey’s Office has released a series of Executive Orders due to the surge of cases and hospitalizations of COVID-19. You Are Safer At Home is the new message from the Governor as he hits pause on Arizona’s re-opening during the pandemic. Governor Doug Ducey signed an Executive Order (EO 43) to prohibit large gatherings, cease the issuance of new special event licenses and pause the operations of bars, gyms, movie theaters, waterparks and tubing rentals. The pause of these business operations takes effect at 8:00 p.m., Monday, June 29 and is in effect for one month. Unless extended, the pause remains in effect until July 27, 2020, after which businesses seeking to resume operations must demonstrate compliance with public health guidance as determined by the Arizona Department of Health Services. Even if appropriate physical distancing is possible, organized events of more than 50 people are prohibited. The Executive Order enables local governing jurisdictions, such as the city, town or county, to approve events on the condition of meeting certain safety precautions, such as physical distancing. 

Governor Ducey also signed an Executive Order (EO 44) delaying the first day of school for in-person learning until August 17, 2020. Schools will be able to conduct distance learning should they choose before then.  

As of 6/17/2020, Arizona State Governor Doug Ducey’s Office has released a new Executive Order (EO 40) Containing the Spread of COVID-19 and Continued Mitigation Efforts enhances actions in place and includes the following:

  • Continuing to boost diagnostic testing, including expanding rapid testing capability;
  • Amplifying contact tracing in partnership with counties, including utilizing National Guard assets and providing additional resources to counties;
  • Increasing awareness of distancing and face-covering guidelines, including authorizing local governments to implement enhanced mitigation measures;
  • Continuing to focus on long-term care settings, including providing $10 million for additional PPE and face masks;
  • And enhancing guidance for establishments to limit congregating and enforce mitigation policies. 

"Following outbreaks in select parts of the state, including along the southern border and in northeastern counties, ADHS released updated guidance allowing local governments to implement mask and face-covering policies and determine enforcement measures. The guidance allows local authorities to tailor mitigation efforts specific to the local public health need." 

Businesses will now be required to implement ADHS safety guidelines for mitigating the spread of COVID-19, which include the following:

  • Physically distancing of 6 feet;
  • Providing employees with face-coverings and requiring usage;
  • Conducting symptom checks for all employees before shifts; 
  • Requiring sick employees to stay home;
  • And increasing the frequency of employee hygiene, cleaning and disinfecting. 

Local law enforcement will have authority for enforcement of these guidelines. Please read the full Executive Order here.

As of 5/12/2020, Arizona State Governor Doug Ducey’s Office has released a new Executive Order (EO 36) that amends the previous Stay at Home order effectively ending May 15th, and replaces that EO(33) with new guidance focused on economic recovery, named Stay Healthy, Return Smarter, Return Stronger (EO 36). Executive Order 36 institutes a policy that promotes physical distancing while encouraging social connectedness and allows businesses to gradually and safely open in compliance with federal guidelines as the state continues to mitigate and prevent the spread of COVID-19. This builds on actions the state has already taken, and further memorializes some already in effect, to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect our citizens. EO 36 also expires/rescinds EOs 24 and 33. There is no longer any travel ban into or out of Arizona.

The policy also asks that vulnerable persons continue to take reasonable steps to protect themselves from being exposed to COVID-19. Please read the full Executive Order here.

As of 4/29/2020, Arizona State Governor Doug Ducey’s Office has released a new Executive Order that amends the previous Stay at Home order effectively pushing the Stay at Home till May 15th. This is part of the Governor’s plan for Arizona to Return Stronger. During these next 15 days, certain retail businesses will begin to reopen according to the Governor’s plan. You can read the entire EO 33 here. (RESCINDED)

As of 4/7/2020, Arizona State Governor Doug Ducey’s Office released five (5) new Executive Orders covering mandated stricter protocols to protect our vulnerable populations living in group homes and nursing facilities (EO 22); allowing restaurants to sell grocery items and packaged foods, meat, and vegetables (EO 25); giving state and local health authorities access to confidential patient information as it pertains to COVID-19 patients, and medical records (EO 23); as well as requiring reporting by hospitals of COVID-19 related patient data and supply numbers; required self-quarantine for travelers coming from areas with substantial community spread of COVID-19 (EO 24)RESCINDED; and more protection of businesses financially affected from COVID-19 that suspends evictions from commercially rented spaces (EO 21).

As of 4/3/2020, Arizona State Governor Doug Ducey’s Office released additional information further defining essential services and recreational activities. Per the statement, effective Saturday, April 4 at 5 pm., “amenities at public parks that do not allow for recommended physical distancing or proper hygiene,” will cease operations. The Town of Gila Bend has already complied by closing its basketball courts along with playgrounds and ramadas.

The following businesses will be mandated to close as of 5pm on April 4th, 2020:

  • Barbers 
  • Cosmetology, Hairstyling, Nail Salons, and Aesthetic Salons 
  • Tanning salons
  • Tattoo parlors
  • Spas
  • Massage parlors

Click here to view the full statement from the Governor’s Office. 

As of 3/31/20, the Town of Gila Bend Town Council, during a Special Meeting to discuss their response to COVID-19, took action to reiterate the Town Curfew for 17 years old and under. The curfew is the following:

Sun. - Thurs. 10:00 PM until 6:00 AM  and  Fri. - Sat. 11:00 PM until 6:00 AM

The Town Council has also taken action to close all Town playgrounds and basketball courts, as well as prohibit soccer games and soccer practices.

Gila Bend has officially appointed Councilmember Chris Riggs as the Town’s Director of Emergency Preparedness (aka Director of Civil Preparedness). During emergencies, the Director shall act as principal advisor to the Mayor on emergency operations. The Director’s major responsibility is to assure coordination among emergency forces and with higher and adjacent governments, by assuring that the EOC functions effectively. The Director shall assist the Mayor in the execution of operations, plans and procedures required by the emergency. The Director shall prepare a comprehensive disaster basic plan which shall be adopted and maintained by resolution of the Council upon the recommendations of the Director. In the preparation of this plan as it pertains to town organization, it is the intent that the services, equipment, facilities and personnel of all existing departments and agencies be used to the fullest extent. To read more about this and other roles during an emergency, please see the Town Code Chapter 35.

The Town of Gila Bend is following Governor Ducey’s signed Executive Order for all Arizonans to “Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected” in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. This order takes effect from March 31st, 2020 until April 30th, 2020. The following are exceptions to this order:

  • To conduct or participate in essential activities
  • For employment in essential business functions
  • To utilize any services or products provided by essential businesses
  • Employment as a sole proprietor or family-owned business, where work is conducted in a separate office from your home and is not open to serve the public

The Executive Order also includes a list of "Essential Services" which remains in place. View the list here.

Arizona food banks and pantries are in desperate need of volunteers and donations. For more information go to: https://unitedfoodbank.org/ and https://www.firstfoodbank.org/  

Additional information:

COVID-19 Guidance for Businesses

COVID-19 Guidance for Schools

Medical Absence Statement for employees, students and daycare attendees (PDF) [Template communication for use by child care providers, employers, and schools]

Business Resources

Small Business Administration Emergency Loans

Help for Small Businesses through the Small Business Administration (SBA) - Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program: 
This program provides up to $2 million in loans to support small businesses that suffer economic injury from disasters. It is administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). On March 16, Governor Ducey requested the SBA issue a disaster declaration for Arizona’s small businesses affected by COVID-19. After the Governor’s Declaration Request is approved business owners should apply online in the Disaster Loan Application Portal at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/.  The electronic loan application will be screened by the Disaster Processing Center when it is received.

Below are the requirements so business owners can prepare.

1) Loan application (SBA Form 5), completed and signed (this is electronic/online in the portal)
2) Tax Information Authorization (IRS Form 4506-T), completed and signed by each applicant, each principal owning 20 percent or more of the applicant business, each general partner or managing member; and, for any owner who has more than 50 percent ownership in an affiliate business. Affiliates include, but are not limited to, business partners, subsidiaries, and/or other businesses with common ownership or management.
3) Complete copies, including all schedules, of the most recently filed Federal income tax returns for the applicant business; an explanation if not available.
4) Personal Financial Statement (SBA Form 413) completed, signed, and dated by the applicant, each principal owning 20 percent or more of the applicant business, and each general partner or managing member.
5) Schedule of Liabilities listing all fixed debts (SBA Form 2202 may be used)

All of these forms are available in the Disaster Loan Application Portal

Arizona State Executive Order 21: Prohibiting Small Business Eviction
Although many commercial landlords have already taken action to delay or defer rents, without action, public and private entities that provide essential functions such as healthcare, food, and medicine are at risk of being locked out and their operations interrupted; and without action, the economic impact of COVID-19 will have a greater impact for a longer period of time. 

  • Unless a court determines otherwise, a commercial eviction action including lockout, notice to vacate, or, any other attempt to inhibit the operations of a business shall be temporarily suspended.
  • Commercial landlords shall consider deferring or adjusting rent payments for commercial tenants that are unable to pay rent due to financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Commercial landlords are encouraged to work with tenants to waive late fees, penalties and interest associated with late rent payments and develop rent repayment plans for those tenants unable to pay rent due to financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Commercial tenants need to notify their landlords if they are experiencing difficulties due to COVID-19. If the commercial tenant is receiving financial assistance from public programs designed to assist businesses suffering financial hardships, must apply a portion of that assistance to any past or due rents. Read the entire Executive Order 21 here.

Employer Workforce Assistance

AZ Dept of Economic Security (AZDES) Shared Work Program - Employers experiencing a slowdown in their businesses or services as a result of the coronavirus impact on the economy may apply for the UI Shared Work Program. This program gives employers an alternative to layoffs and allows the retention of trained employees by reducing their hours and wages that can be partially offset with UI benefits. Visit Arizona Shared Work Program to learn more.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act - Employer Paid Leave Requirements
Requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The Department of Labor’s (Department) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) administers and enforces the new law’s paid leave requirements. These provisions will apply from the effective date through December 31, 2020. Read more at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-employer-paid-leave 

Small Business Exemption to the FFCRA Paid Leave Law - check to see if your small business qualifies for an exemption here dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-questions#58 

Families First Coronavirus Response Act - Employee Paid Leave Rights 
Requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The Department of Labor’s (Department) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) administers and enforces the new law’s paid leave requirements. These provisions will apply from the effective date through December 31, 2020. Read more at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-employee-paid-leave

Community Resources

Arizona Unemployment Insurance Benefits - Unemployment insurance benefits may be available to individuals who are involuntarily unemployed as a result of COVID-19. The amount of the benefit will vary based upon the amount of money that the individual has previously earned but will be between $187 and $240 per week. You can learn more at www.AZUI.gov(link is external) or by watching this video(link is external). To file for unemployment insurance benefits, visit www.azui.gov(link is external), and click on the button titled “Apply for UI Benefits".

Arizona Area Agency on Aging - will help Seniors who are unable to access groceries, please call 602-264-4357  or click to visit  https://www.aaaphx.org/program-services/24-hour-senior-help-line/ 

Brown Bag Program - the Town of Gila Bend provides free food distribution for residents in need each Thursday. Please call their Senior Services Coordinator, Erika Amezcua at 928-683-2244 for details about this program. 

Short-term Crisis Services - provides temporary assistance to low-income families experiencing an emergency need that cannot be met immediately by their own income, and resources to help stabilize an immediate financial crisis. A dependent child must live in the home. This program may be able to help with 

  • Preventing homelessness by helping with rent or mortgage payments
  • Emergency shelter
  • Utility payments and utility deposit assistance
  • Special needs related to maintaining or securing employment
  • Rental deposits

For questions, you may call the Town of Gila Bend Family Resource Center (GBFRC) at 928-683-6502 or visit https://des.az.gov/services/basic-needs/shelter-housing/short-term-crisis-services to learn more.

Healthcare/Medical Assistance

Effective April 2, 2020, an Executive Order issued by Arizona Governor Ducey, mandates that the Board of Pharmacy will allow the following:

  • Allow pharmacists to dispense emergency refills of maintenance medications for a 90-day supply and an additional 90-day supply if needed; 
  • Waive certain electronic prescribing requirements;
  • Extend the requirement for a prescriber to deliver a follow-up paper prescription to the pharmacy from seven days to 15 days;
  • Allow a phone-in prescription to be sent to the pharmacy via fax, scan, or photo as long as the original, hard copy prescription is kept by the prescriber; 
  • Waive certain hospital prescribing labeling restrictions for multidose medications;
  • Allow pharmacists to interchange therapeutically equivalent medications of the same FDA drug classification unless the prescriber has noted that the medication shall be dispensed as written;
  • Waive the requirement for companies producing hand sanitizer to be permitted;
  • And allow an Arizona pharmacy to receive pharmaceuticals from an unpermitted wholesaler, third-party logistics provider, or manufacturer located in another state or country to alleviate pharmaceutical shortages.

The Order also requires healthcare insurance providers to expand all telemedicine coverage for all services that would normally be covered for an in-person visit. View the Executive Order here.

Housing Assistance

HUD FHA Foreclosures and Tenant Eviction Action - because Americans have been asked to remain at home, individuals and families have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, therefore the Department of Housing and Urban Development has issued a 60-day moratorium on foreclosures of FHA funded loans, and evictions for Section 184 and 184A guaranteed loans. Read the full letter here.

Executive Order for the Postponement of Evictions - those who must self-isolate or are unable to work may experience a decrease in income and thus may be unable to pay for regular living expenses, and so to further protect the public health, the Governor of Arizona is temporarily suspending all enforcement of evictions to avoid the serious risk of these Arizonans losing their rentals. Specific circumstances must be applicable for an eviction to be suspended. To see if you fall under these specific circumstances, please read Page 2 of the Executive Order here.

Utility Assistance

APS Electric - As of March 18th, APS has set up a support fund to assist customers with their bills. APS is also offering several other forms of support, please visit aps.com/support to learn more. 

Southwest Gas - For customers experiencing financial hardship, we are here to help with flexible payment options. Call to speak with a Customer Service Rep at 877-860-6020 or visit https://www.swgas.com/en/contact-us

Gila Bend Water - As of March 24, 2020, Town Council has elected to suspend shut-offs to past-due accounts. You should continue to pay your bill or request a re-payment option to keep you from falling behind. For assistance, please call 928-683-2255. More information to come.

Waste Management - Service Guidelines and Waste Reduction information
This is a handout outlining best practices for household waste removal to be practiced so that we maintain a healthy, clean, and safe environment for everyone. Download the PDF