Pima County Public Health Update March 13, 2020 – social distancing and canceling events

Hi I’m Francisco Garcia I’m the Pima
County’s chief medical officer and this is your pima county public health update
for Friday March the 13th it’s been quiet a 24 hours as you’ve heard
communities and organizations across the country cancel a variety events and
other public gatherings these types of actions are called social distancing in
which we as individuals distance ourselves from others in order to reduce
our exposure wrists to the spreading coronavirus or kovat 19 let me remind
you that the Pima County Health Department has been very very cautious
about recommending the wholesale cancellation of events and closing of
schools and businesses this is because we do not believe that the social and
economic costs are justified based on the occurrence of a single
travel-related Cova 19 case in this community these recommendations of
course may change as the situation changes and as we get new federal
guidance community transmission of the virus is occurring in parts of Arizona
and is likely occurring in some parts of Pima County but please remember that
even in the event of community transmission the overwhelming majority
of people will experience either no or very very mild disease and will not
require medical intervention or evaluation what we do know is that older
folks and folks who are medically vulnerable because their immune system
is not working or because they have chronic disease those are the ones that
are at greater risk for serious health effects from this virus for that reason
we recommend that they avoid public gatherings as much as possible and we do
recommend that you stay away from public events and gatherings if you are sick
even if it seems mild we have been emphasizing that it’s not good to
overreact to this outbreak and we believe that this advice still holds I’m
Francisco Garcia and this has been your p.m. County Public Health update


  1. So, how many staff and teachers are employed in Pima County work at our public schools? We don't have enough sick leave to protect ourselves, unless you make an exemption for our population over the age of 60.

  2. This goes against recommendations by the World Health Organization and other experts based on findings from China (and upcoming info coming out of Italy), and is misaligned with other Tucson departments, which are cancelling school and not giving large event licenses. I'm glad this is being updated daily and that care is being taken to mention those at risk, but remember that at risk individuals do not live in a vacuum. As a PhD scientist who studied disease and epidemiology, I really hope that the PCHD thinks more critically about containment, prevention, testing, and possible treatment, and less about "financial and economic impact".

    Thank you again for these updates, and I hope we'll get more detailed information with as much transparency as possible.

  3. Good advice. Closing of schools is not justified. Students will spread the disease faster in the malls, movie theaters and parks faster than in the schools. Setting all those bored kids lose on the community is a very bad idea. They are better off in the care of teachers.

  4. I’m concerned by the suggestion that only those at greatest risk should avoid public places and events. Slowing the spread of mild cases slows overall transmission and so slows the spread of more severe cases too. Every person who manages to avoid a mild case is protecting a loved one who would have caught a more severe case from them.

  5. Closed childcare

  6. A single case?? How can he be sure if there is no testing of those who may suspect they have the virus but do not meet the narrow criteria for testing?

  7. You, sir, are being absolutely negligent to our entire community by not closing schools. The CDC and WHO is basically screaming for social distancing, and you are NOT LISTENING! There are not enough tests to test everyone who is sick, which you well know, so hiding your negligent actions behind the theory of not having a high number confirmed cases is absolutely ridiculous, and hurts your credibility in our community even more. I highly question your intelligence, morality and ethics, by refusing to close schools, and instead waiting for a "real" outbreak to do something. What do you think the financial and emotional consequences will be once there is a massive outbreak? Giving people the option to keep their kids at home or send them to school is not an option at this point. It is your responsibility to make them do the right thing for the good of the entire community. People will make do when they have to, and it is everyone's responsibility to do so at this point. Close the schools!!!

  8. I cannot understand why the Pima County court facilities and the County Jail appear to be continuing operations as usual. These facilities concentrate hundreds of people from diverse geographic areas, cannot adequately deal with "social distancing", and seem to present a possibility of transmission of novel corona virus that is at least as serious as that posed by restaurants, schools, taverns, and other public venues. The courts also are centers where vulnerable populations–those over the age of 60, people whose economic circumstances have adversely affected their health, individuals with serious and often life-threatening conditions–congregate, yet the courts remain open. It appears that the haphazard, uncoordinated closures that are occurring nationwide are more for show than they are intended to seriously address transmission of this virus. The continued operation of the courts, here and elsewhere, confirms this conclusion.

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