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Sat, June 06

Prescott Valley keeping COVID-19 precautions it put in place

The Prescott Valley Chamber of Commerce is seen in this file image. (Courier, file)

The Prescott Valley Chamber of Commerce is seen in this file image. (Courier, file)

The Town of Prescott Valley had already taken many of the precautions required to try and slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus before Gov. Doug Ducey issued his stay-at-home order on Monday afternoon, March 30.

Prescott Valley has been following a “tiered plan for essential personnel,” or essential employees, in response to the coronavirus, town Communications Coordinator Heidi Dahms Foster said.

Ducey’s office says its stay-at-home order is following new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which obtains recommendations from public health officials who are tracking coronavirus data in Arizona.

The governor’s order is increasing “physical distancing, while encouraging social connectedness among citizens,” Ducey’s office adds. The stay-at-home order goes into effect at 5 p.m. today, March 31.

“For us, there’s no real change,” Assistant Town Manager/Human Resources Director Karen Smith added.

Prescott Valley has been keeping its public buildings, such as the Civic Center and the library, closed to the general public, as most staff can work from home, which is also known as telework.

“Those that can’t [telework] have gone to work,” Smith said.

Prescott Valley Public Library Director Casey Van Haren said she and her staff are staying the course.

“[We will continue] taking necessary precautions of social distancing, quarantining materials and giving staff the ability to telework,” she added in an email to the Courier.

For town employees, they are getting by with flexible scheduling and social distancing at the desks that face each other, Smith added.

On Wednesday, April 1, public emergency health leave under the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act will go into effect for those employees who are either ill or who are taking care of a family member who is sick.

This emergency paid leave, which covers a maximum of 80 hours, can be coupled with 12 weeks of paid leave coverage under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The Town of Prescott Valley includes emergency responders in its paid leave package, Smith said.

The Town of Prescott Valley has also “heightened custodian schedules,” Smith said. Custodians are constantly disinfecting and cleaning the town’s buildings for those who still need to work at the complex off of Skoog Boulevard.

Prescott Valley’s public parks will remain open, Smith added, so users can walk and run in those parks’ open spaces, provided they are practicing social distancing guidelines. However, the parks’ playgrounds and restrooms will continue to be closed because the town does not have the manpower or the supplies to keep them maintained, Smith said.

Under Ducey’s Executive Order, Arizonans are supposed to limit their time away from their residences or property, except:

• To conduct or participate in essential activities, and/or;

• For employment, to volunteer or participate in essential functions; or

• To utilize any services or products provided by essential business services; and

• For employment if, as a sole proprietor or family owned business, work is conducted in a separate office space from your home and the business is not open to serve the public.

Doug Cook is a reporter for The Daily Courier. Follow him on Twitter at @dougout_dc. Email him at dcook@prescottaz.com or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2039.

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