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Traditionally, October through March, we pack a year’s worth of fun into six months through numerous community events, concerts in the park, food festivals, street fairs, fundraisers, and more. But unfortunately, these are not normal times.
Our community, along with the rest of the nation, continues to confront the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It remains a serious public health emergency to all of us and we have yet to see how the virus will respond to lower temperatures during the fall and winters month. Just like you – we are eager to resume the activities and celebration that we all look forward to this time of the year, but we must do so sensibly and safely.
The Pima County Health Department will be issuing guidance to our community about how to safely host and attend events and festivals over the coming months. It is critical that we continue to listen to science and follow the guidance and recommendations of our public health experts. We must be prepared for changes in how the festival season will proceed this year. Some events may be smaller than normal or moved to virtual events online. Event organizers will need to determine what makes the most sense for their individual events in coordination with the Pima County Health Department.
All of us, collectively, have made tremendous sacrifices to get to the much better place we find ourselves today compared with the height of the pandemic during the summer months. It is by listening to science and following the guidance of our public health experts that we were able to significantly decrease the spread of COVID-19. By continuing to follow public health guidelines, we can avoid a resurgence of COVID-19 that will only further delay the resuming of normal activities and jeopardize all of the progress we have made thus far.
We know these events are important to our local economy and many of them raise vital funds for nonprofits and charitable organizations who help and support thousands of people in our community. Still, we believe that we can adapt to the current circumstances, and celebrate many of the seasonal events that make Tucson and Pima County unique – it may just look and feel a little different moving forward.
We ask everyone in our community to be patient, to be understanding, and to follow public health guidelines to protect yourselves, your families, your neighbors, and your community so that we can overcome COVID-19 together.
We know this is not easy, but we are in this together. Thank you, be healthy and stay safe.
Ramón Valadez, Chairman, Pima County Board of Supervisors
Regina Romero, Mayor, City of Tucson