Mayor Kate Gallego issued this statement:
After extensive discussions with medical professionals, business leaders, and community members I am working with my fellow councilmembers and city leadership to implement a State of Emergency in the City of Phoenix in response to COVID-19. Tomorrow’s City Council meeting includes a scheduled vote on this State of Emergency Declaration. The parameters and further details on the proposed declaration will be available following tomorrow’s vote.
The most immediate effect of this declaration is that Phoenix bars have been asked to close by 8pm tonight and all restaurants (or bars that serve food) are asked to shift to a take-out/delivery/drive-thru only model. We have not assigned an official end date to these closures. We’re reviewing needs on an hourly basis based on medical input. The other largest cities in the nation have already made the difficult to move bar and restaurant service to take-out/delivery/drive-thru only models.
This was not a decision made lightly–we understand we are talking about people’s livelihoods and lives. Servers, bartenders, wait staff, and others will need our support during this time. It is imperative that all levels of government partner to put forward innovative solutions to support our businesses and residents.
I’ve spoken with medical professionals who continue to reiterate that our system is not prepared for a deluge of COVID-19 patients. They’ve asked that community leaders do anything possible to help stem the spread of this virus. We have learned from the mistakes made in other nations in their efforts to combat this virus and we do not want to repeat them. The priority is the health and safety of our residents. This decision will save lives.
What our community is experiencing right now is unprecedented. The steps we take will define the future of our city and our residents. Every Phoenician can be part of the solution. Stay home and save lives. The city has set up an inbox and phone number for residents with questions around city service changes related to COVID-19. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call at (602)262-3111.