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FLORENCE — The town is canceling all special events through April, and is closing the Library & Community Center and the Fitness Center until further notice to help halt the spread of COVID-19.

The virus has not been detected in Florence, the town said in a news release late Monday. Citizens who aren’t feeling well should not seek help at one of the town’s fire stations; Fire Department staff have no ability to test for or treat the coronavirus, Town Manager Brent Billingsley said at Monday’s Town Council meeting.

Florence Hospital, a Campus of Mountain Vista Medical Center, is exploring its options for COVID-19 screenings. They are looking to offer remote testing for those who are recommended by their primary care physician.

The Arizona Poison Control System is now available to take COVID-19 calls from Arizona providers and the general public at 844-542-8201, Billingsley said.

The Dorothy Nolan Senior will be closed through March 30. No weekday lunches will be served at the Senior Center, but town staff are working to provide meals for pickup. Meals on Wheels, however, will continue. The town is suspending all of its other volunteer programs, including Give-a-Lift, Billingsley said.

Recreation programs are canceled through the end of the month, but all town parks will remain open, according to a town news release. Park restrooms will remain open and will receive cleaning and supply service as resources allow, the town said in a news release.

The town’s Medical Equipment Loan Program will continue to be offered, but patrons will need to contact Community Services at 520-868-7040 to arrange for pickup and drop-off.

The town plans to continue offering its intersession and after-school programs, Billingsley told the council. Florence Municipal Court will also continue to operate, pending other direction from the Arizona Supreme Court.

Cancellations of upcoming special events include the POWWOW farmer’s market and anticipated annual events such as the Road to Country Thunder and Easter Eggstraganza.

Town staff have also reached out to non-town-sponsored events — such as Country Thunder, Gallagher Memorial Softball Tournament, Rail 3 Ranch Rodeo and Third Friday Downtown — to confirm their awareness of the latest guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, Billingsley told the council.

The CDC updated its guidance Sunday to include “no gatherings of 50 or people or more” such as weddings, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events or conferences be held in the United States for the next eight weeks.

All town board, commission, committee and task force meetings are canceled until further notice, Billingsley said. Although no decision has been made, the Town Council may meet remotely via technology and may limit public involvement as necessary. This would mean canceling public hearings and removing call to the public from the agenda, according to the town’s news release.


Mark Cowling is the county reporter for PinalCentral and covers the town of Florence, San Tan Valley and the surrounding area. He can be reached at