The following information details the latest updates and responses to COVID-19 by Cochise County.

Vaccine distribution

In the 10-day span between Dec. 1 and Dec. 11, 1,031 people tested positive for COVID-19 in Cochise County. Until most of our population is vaccinated, we must be diligent about wearing masks properly, washing our hands, and staying a safe distance from others who do not live in our home.

Cochise Health & Social Services (CHSS) anticipates receiving the first shipment of Moderna vaccine as early as the week of Dec. 20, pending FDA approval. A phased approach will be used, based on recommendations from the Arizona Vaccine and Antiviral Prioritization Committee (VAPAC).

The first group to be vaccinated are the frontline healthcare workers who are at highest risk of being exposed to COVID positive patients. As more vaccine becomes available, other members of the community will be eligible to receive the vaccine in later phases.

CHSS is partnering with over 30 healthcare providers who are registered to administer the vaccine.

It is incredibly important for everyone to receive the second dose from the same manufacturer. Plans for phases II and III will include the coordination of drive-thru immunization clinics throughout Cochise County which will be scheduled approximately three to four weeks apart. CHSS will announce these clinics and who is eligible to receive the vaccine at www.cochise.az.gov, the County’s Facebook page, and other media outlets.

County offices and operations

Consistent with social distancing guidelines established by the Center for Disease Control, the County continues to suspend public group access to conference rooms located in County buildings.

The Development Services Department’s permit counters in Sierra Vista and Bisbee are currently closed to walk-in services. The Benson office is by appointment. The public can email permits to planningandzoning@cochise.az.gov or call (520) 432-9300. Staff will continue to provide all current building permit and inspection services. The Department’s top priority is to minimize any disruption to the business process.

The Cochise County Library District branches in Bowie, Elfrida, Portal, Sunizona, and Sunsites are offering curbside pickup for library materials, along with curbside copy and fax service. Computer use is available by appointment at the library branches in Bowe, Elfrida, and Portal, and free wi-fi service is available outside all library locations. Visit https://cochiselibrary.org for 24/7 access to eBooks and digital materials, and updated information about all public libraries in Cochise County.

Members of the public are encouraged to access county services remotely via telephone and internet. Non-essential, over-the-counter convenience services are being suspended at many county offices. Citizens who require a County service should call the appropriate department or check the county’s website for the latest closure notices. Department telephone numbers can be found at www.cochise.az.gov

Non-essential work sessions have been postponed, but public meetings essential to County operations and business will continue to be held. Members of the public who wish to attend Cochise County Board of Supervisors’ regular meetings and work sessions can do so remotely by calling (602) 609-7513. Attendees will need to use a conference ID, which will be published on each meeting agenda.

Members of the public who wish to comment on an agenda item can email their comments to Clerk of the Board Kim Lemons at board@cochise.az.gov. Please include the date of the meeting and the agenda item number. Call to the public is suspended during the public health emergency, but comments submitted ahead of public hearings on specific agenda items will be read during the meeting. 

The county continues to post daily updates to its COVID-19 website (https://covid-cochisehealth.hub.arcgis.com/) to include specific information related to local guidelines, response efforts and resources. The public is encouraged to visit it regularly for official information.

Submitted by Cochise County