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Sat, March 28

Prescott Valley has plan in place to deal with COVID-19 pandemic

The Prescott Valley Planning Commission is seen in this file image. Prescott Valley has reportedly had a pandemic plan in place for several years, dating to the H1N1 pandemic in 2009. (Courier, file)

The Prescott Valley Planning Commission is seen in this file image. Prescott Valley has reportedly had a pandemic plan in place for several years, dating to the H1N1 pandemic in 2009. (Courier, file)

If you live in Prescott Valley, town officials are urging residents to support each other and stay calm in the event that the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic spreads to Yavapai County.

As of early afternoon, March 16, state officials had reported 18 cases of coronavirus in Arizona, although none of them were in Yavapai County.

Town Manager Larry Tarkowski said Prescott Valley has had a pandemic plan in place for several years, dating to the H1N1 pandemic in 2009.

“We encourage our community to be safe and vigilant, but also to pull together to help your neighbors in this unprecedented event,” Tarkowski added about the town’s COVID-19 response. “It’s an opportunity for Prescott Valley to shine in the way it affects the entire community.”

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Mayor Palguta COVID-19 Update, March 17, 2020

Mayor Kell Palguta on March 16 issued an emergency declaration (See info graphic containing elements of it with this story). Palguta, Tarkowski and Communications Coordinator Heidi Dahms Foster added that they discussed plans for the town’s response this past weekend of March 14 and 15.

“We are on this,” Palguta said.

Prescott Valley residents should already be taking the necessary precautions to try and keep the coronavirus from spreading, such as washing hands regularly, maintaining a safe distance from people with whom you come into contact and staying home if you are sick.

Tarkowski said that the town is “able to move forward with the appropriate amount of seriousness, but not panic.”

Added Palguta, “We’re going about business as usual, but with caution.”

However, Prescott Valley has cut in half the number of public meetings that it has planned through at least April.

For example, the Town Council will not meet for study sessions, but it will gather for regular council meetings, provided COVID-19 has not spread into Yavapai County.

The first 50 people will be allowed into Town Council meetings, but they will be spaced apart throughout the Public Library Auditorium, Tarkowski said. The library’s Crystal Room and its lobby will be used to seat people, if there are more than 50 persons in attendance, to watch the meeting on big-screen TVs. Twenty-five people attend an average Town Council meeting, Dahms Foster said.

As far as town staffing is concerned, Tarkowski said that if there is an outbreak of the virus, there are “workarounds with customer service” to keep “essential functions with the government maintained” in Prescott Valley.

Services such as police, water and sewer, building permits and the magistrate court will remain in operation, he added. However, PV’s library classes and events are canceled through April, as are events and classes offered by PV Parks and Rec.

“It’s a fluid situation,” Palguta said. “We’re constantly working with those at the state and federal level to ensure all citizens are kept aware.”

Tarkowski said he is relying on local hospitals and professionals to confront any outbreak, which would be done in conjunction with the town’s efforts.

“Keep an eye on your neighbors; let the community know we’re in this together, as a team,” Palguta added. “Don’t take a selfish attitude of hoarding food. Give your phone number to your neighbor in case they need to give you a call. That’s how to quell the fear.”

If you have a question about coronavirus, call 1-844-542-8201 or the town’s management offices at 928-759-3100. For more information, visit pvaz.net or send an email to comrel@pvaz.net.

Doug Cook is a reporter for The Daily Courier. Follow him on Twitter at @dougout_dc.

Prescott Valley coronavirus efforts

Town Management

• The town will adhere to Gov. Ducey’s March 15, 2020, declaration that all gatherings of 50 people or more be halted through April.

• All Town Council work study sessions are canceled.

• Regular Town Council meetings will continue until further notice with proper sanitary measures before and after the meetings. Meetings will continue to be livestreamed on the Town’s website at pvaz.net.

• The town’s annual Volunteer Appreciation Banquet and the Spring Citizens Academy have been postponed.

Public Library

• The library at 7401 E. Skoog Blvd. is closed to public access as of March 17, 2020, and will remain so until at least April 1.

• The library will continue to provide many digital services, such as e-books and e-audiobooks (pvlib.net/download); free access to magazines and newspapers (yavapaiaz.rbdigital.com/); and more (pvlib.net/research).

• The library’s Ask a Librarian question platform can be accessed online at pvlib.net/ask-a-librarian or by calling 928-759-3040. Other resources may be found at pvlib.net/.

• The library has extended loan periods, so borrowed materials do not need to be returned until the library returns to full operation.

• The library has a 24/7 drive-up book return, and drive-up window services will be extended from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

• The Peavine Café in the library will offer curbside pickup service. Call 928-759-5509 to order.

• All library classes and events are canceled through April.

• The library has suspended all volunteer activities through April to protect the town’s volunteers.

• The joint facility rented by Northern Arizona University will remain open, but is subject to any closures established by the university.

Parks & Recreation

• All Parks & Recreation programs and classes are suspended until May 4, 2020 (or as determined).

• Spring Adult Sports Leagues and the EGGstravaganza Easter egg hunt have been canceled.

• All town parks will remain open to the public, but the restrooms, playgrounds, pools and skate/bike parks are closed until further notice.

• Publicly accessible turf areas, parking areas, pavilions, ramadas and dog parks will remain open.

• The upcoming Gold Fever Day/Badges and Bobbers community event has been postponed until fall 2020.

Police

• All public outreach, such as Block Watch, Coffee with a Cop, Badgers and Bobbers, Cops at Kids school events and Bike Rodeo, are canceled through April.

• All Volunteers in Policing duties have been suspended through April.

To read Prescott Valley’s Pandemic Response Plan, visit: pvaz.net

To follow the Town of Prescott Valley on Facebook, visit: @PrescottValley

To follow Mayor Kell Palguta on Facebook, visit: @MayorKellPalguta

— Courtesy of the Town of Prescott Valley’s Heidi Dahms Foster

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