COVID-19 update

The City of Flagstaff announced a state of emergency following the global pandemic inflicted by COVID-19. This decision, which was reported by The Associated Press and Arizona Daily Sun late Sunday afternoon, allows the city to prepare for any financial impacts or challenges caused by the disease.

Mayor Coral Evans addressed this topic, specifically referencing the city’s partnership with Coconino County Health and Human Services. By working together, she said employees are observing the situation and establishing safety for the community.

Flagstaff’s localized economy is also affected, Evans explained to the Daily Sun, through its hospitality services and small business ownership. As COVID-19 spreads and social distancing approaches are implemented, accompanying costs are carried.

“The economic impacts to our small businesses and our tourism industry, which is the backbone of our county, are severe,” Evans said in a Daily Sun article.

Heading out of the weekend, all schools statewide are also closed due to COVID-19. According to Flagstaff Unified School District’s (FUSD) website, state governors and educators decided upon a two-week timeframe for the initial shutdown.

“Governor Doug Ducey and Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman announced the closure of all Arizona schools through Friday, March 27, 2020,” FUSD stated. “We are canceling all trips and activities through that time.”

Flagstaff area educators separate from the public school system are also closed effective Monday. Northland Preparatory Academy (NPA), BASIS Flagstaff and Flagstaff Arts and Leadership Academy (FALA) are among those that announced shutdowns in compliance with the state’s decision.

FALA executive director Eli Cohen distributed an email to the school’s community regarding this news and its influence.

“As additional guidance comes out from the state, we will keep you informed and let you know about schoolwork to be done during this time,” Cohen’s email stated. “Please continue to take all precautionary measures and stay safe.”

Normally, most schools around Arizona are on spring break from March 16 to 20, but this timeframe will be extended by one more week until March 27. Additionally, as local politicians, educators and organizations form new or modified responses to COVID-19, further updates will be included.