Mayor of Tempe orders bars to close, restaurant service banned

PHOENIX – In response to the growing coronavirus epidemic, the city of Tempe is joining with neighboring Phoenix in banning food service and shutting down bars, gyms and other places where large crowds congregate.

Mayor Mark Mitchell issued a proclamation Thursday ordering the changes a day after city council approved an ordinance declaring an extraordinary local emergency.

“This decision was made by me after carefully consulting with experts and taking into account the different perspectives of many local residents and business owners,” said Mitchell, who lost his candidacy for re-election earlier this month. here and will be replaced by Corey Woods in July, said in a press release.

“This is a very serious matter and, although it is a difficult decision, I must consider the health and safety of community members in Tempe and beyond. We must take active steps to slow the spread of COVID. -19. “

Starting Thursday at 8 p.m., bars in the East Valley suburb, known for its bustling Mill Avenue entertainment district, are to close and restaurants will be limited to curb delivery and pickup.

This applies to places of entertainment such as cinemas, comedy clubs, bowling alleys and arcades.

Gyms were ordered to close at 1 p.m. Thursday.

The town of Cave Creek has adopted similar rules Wednesday, following the recently ordered closures and restrictions in Phoenix, Tolleson, Tucson and Flagstaff.

The Cave Creek order is effective from 4 p.m. Thursday through April 6.

Activity on the Arizona State University Tempe campus was already limited, with all classes being moved online, though dorms remained open.

Many businesses affected by the mayor’s order, including gymnasiums and cinemas, have already closed their doors in response to the spread of the virus.

As of Thursday morning, 44 cases of COVID-19 had been reported by the Arizona Department of Health. Half of them were in the Phoenix subway.

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