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State of the city

Casa Grande Mayor Craig McFarland gives the state of the city address Wednesday March 11, 2020 at the Casa Grande Community Recreation Center.

CASA GRANDE — The city of Casa Grande may seek federal money in fighting the coronavirus. Mayor Craig McFarland at the end of Monday night’s regular City Council meeting stated the city was “actively evaluating a declaration of emergency to help fight the spread of COVID-19.”

The declaration would allow the city to seek access to federal emergency funds, McFarland explained.

McFarland said he and other mayors throughout the state had a conference call with U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema Monday. Sinema updated the mayors on several bills that are currently moving through Congress that would help businesses and individuals.

In order to apply for some of those funds, the city will need to officially declare an emergency, he said.

McFarland also encouraged residents to follow the U.S. Centers for Disease Control guidelines for at least the next 15 days to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

“It’s time to take a step back. We need to do something and pretty quickly,” he said. “Everyone needs to do their part.”

He urged residents, who can, to work from home. He also asked residents to avoid gathering in groups of larger than 10 people, avoid drinking or eating inside restaurants or bars, avoid visiting nursing or retirement homes or long-term care facilities and avoid making unnecessary shopping trips or travel, including social visits.

McFarland suggested using drive-thru windows or meal pickup or delivery services when looking to eat out. He also emphasized the importance of hand-washing, disinfecting frequently touched surfaces and covering a sneeze or cough properly.

“The city is already taking proactive measures to protect citizens,” he said.

The city has canceled all city-sponsored in-person events, programs and gatherings, McFarland said. It also closed on Tuesday the Community Recreation Center, the Len Colla Recreation Center, the Dorothy Powell Senior Center and both libraries. The home-delivered meals program at the senior center will continue but only as a take-out or home delivery option. The center was to also remain open for voters on Tuesday.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Casa Grande Valley would close on Tuesday, he said.

“It will be a burden for the community,” the mayor acknowledged, “please deal with it the best you can.”

City parks and the Dave White Golf Course will remain open, he said. However, all reservations for gatherings at park ramadas or other park sites have been canceled and the public will have limited access to the clubhouse at Dave White.

“We need to maintain a sense of urgency, so we can turn the tide on this,” McFarland said. “But we also need to remain calm.”

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