DOUGLAS — City leaders announced last week that due to the continued increases in local COVID-19 cases, they will be extending the closure of all city facilities indefinitely until further notice.
As of Tuesday, June 30, Douglas had 163 of the 322 active coronavirus cases in Cochise County.
The facilities that will remain closed to the public include City Hall, Police Department Lobby, Library, Visitor Center and Aquatics Center.
Jennifer Smith, Leisure Services Director for the City of Douglas, said this extended closure will not affect this Saturday’s Fourth of July events that are currently scheduled.
“We ask people to please follow CDC social distancing guidelines and to please wear face coverings when out in public,” she said.
“Having to extend the closure of city facilities is not what we hoped for at this time,” Mayor Donald Huish added. “During this extension the city staff continues to work diligently developing protocols that will allow for a safe opening once this local spike in COVID-19 cases subsides. In the meantime the city is committed to providing all critical services. We will continue to monitor the situation and are committed to going to the next phase at the earliest date possible. As our community works together to fight this pandemic, we will win.”
On May 19, in conjunction with Governor Doug Ducey’s guidelines for reopening amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the City of Douglas developed a phased plan to open in-person city operations and services. The proposed plan followed federal and state guidance and is divided into three phases.
The targeted dates for Phases I, II and III were subject to change based on guidance from federal, state and county officials.
City officials will be continually assessing COVID case numbers in our area to determine a potential date to safely reopen city facilities in accordance with the City of Douglas Return-to-Service Plan.
Most city services have continued without interruption and will continue during this extended facilities closure. Services including public safety, utilities, water, streets, development services, housing, library, and customer service have been, and will continue to be, delivered online and through the phone. Transit services are operating at normal schedules but users are required to wear masks.
Despite the extended closure of city facilities, we will continue to conduct in-person council meetings in the council chambers with limited seating for the public on a first come, first served basis and reserving space for citizens that wish to speak on an agenda item. Masks are required.
If you would like to address the City Council regarding any item for future agendas, please contact the city clerk at (520) 417-7301 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to complete your request to speak.
“As always, our main objective is to provide service to the public while doing all we can to keep the safety of the Douglas community top of mind,” a statement in a recent press release reads. “As we continue to evaluate the city’s plan for reopening Douglas residents are encouraged to comply with the city-wide face mask mandate and to continue practicing good hygiene, physical distancing and following the recommendations provided by ADHS and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).”