COVID-19

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
  • 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 4/1/20 at 11:03 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

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

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.

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