Valley Coronavirus Update: Gun shop sales skyrocket, death toll rises to 6 and small businesses continue to suffer

Madison RutherfordMarch 25, 2020
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Happy headlines are hard to come by these days. Coronavirus cases in the Valley and fear concerning the pandemic continue to rise, but there are silver linings – the community is coming together (virtually) in solidarity and local organizations, businesses and residents are doing the best they can to support each other. Our duty during these tough times is to keep you informed and updated, even if the news isn’t always uplifting. Here is a roundup of coronavirus-related news in our region – from serious to silly, because we could all use a smile amid the somberness.

Case Counts Increase in Several Counties
On Wednesday, 401 cases of the virus were reported in Arizona, with 251 in Maricopa County. Of those 251 cases, 35 of them are hospitalized. Pima County has identified 49 cases, Navajo County has 37 and Pinal and Coconino counties each have 23. Apache County has seven cases, Yavapai County has four cases, Yuma County has three, Graham County has two and Cochise and Santa Cruz counties both have one case. There are no reported cases in Gila, Greenlee or La Paz counties.

6 Known Deaths Have Occurred Due to Coronavirus
As of late Tuesday, six coronavirus deaths have been reported in Arizona, three of which occurred in Maricopa County. According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, the patients were all over the age of 50 and had underlying health conditions.

Testing for the Virus in the Valley is Limited
A test kit shortage and lack of protocol on who to test suggests that the case count could be higher than reported. Official numbers only report positive test results from private labs, disregarding stats from the state lab. People also report a lack of public information on how and where to get tested and who to contact if they experience symptoms. Medical professionals simply advise people to stay home and practice social distancing.

Governor Halts Evictions for People Affected by the Virus
On Tuesday, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey issued an executive order suspending evictions in Arizona due to the economic impact of COVID-19. Those who qualify for the waiver include licensed medical professionals self-quarantined based on symptoms, individuals who have suffered a substantial loss of income resulting from COVID-19 and those with health conditions that place them more at risk and need to stay home. The order will remain in effect for 120 days.

Sales Plummet for Small Businesses
Local restaurants and retailers are really suffering. Some have shuttered their doors for good, while others are struggling to make ends meet. The Arizona Restaurant Association created Arizona Takeout Weeks to support local eateries, while other small businesses have signed a petition urging Governor Ducey to provide relief.

Valley Gun Sales Surge Due to Coronavirus Concerns
While toilet paper has become a coveted commodity, firearms have also been flying off the shelves. Droves of first-time gun buyers are flocking to local suppliers to stock up on guns and ammunition in a fear-based frenzy. People are panic-buying guns to protect them from potential gun-toting trespassers ransacking their homes for supplies – like toilet paper.

Toilet Paper is at an All-Time Premium
Speaking of bath tissue, do you have enough? This online calculator will tell you how long your stash will last.

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