STATEMENT FROM THE SOUTHERN ARIZONA ARTS & CULTURAL ALLIANCE (SAACA) ON CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) & FAQ
Like most of you, the Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance has been watching the news about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Although the CDC considers the immediate health risk from COVID19 to be low, SAACA’s highest priority is the health and well-being of our artists, performers, exhibitors, sponsors, staff, volunteers, CATALYST guests, and all who attend SAACA events. At this time, our upcoming festivals and events in the Southern Arizona community and at our CATALYST Arts & Maker Space at the Tucson Mall are scheduled to take place as planned. Specifically, we are moving forward with our Sahuarita Creative Arts Festival on March 14 & 15 at Sahuarita Town Hall Municipal Complex (375 W. Sahuarita Center Way Sahuarita, AZ 85629) and Spring Festival of the Arts at the Oro Valley Marketplace (12155 N Oracle Rd, Oro Valley, AZ 85737) on March 28 & 29.
On March 9, 2020, city officials said they are not recommending any public events be cancelled, but they do urge everyone to take extra precautions. We are coordinating with our Town partners in Sahuarita and Oro Valley (respectively) and keeping abreast of developments with county and state health authorities about the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). We will continue to follow and implement updated recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local health authorities as necessary. SAACA will continue to monitor the situation and take the necessary precautions to protect the health of participants and attendees to the best of our ability. We request that everyone in our community help us in this effort by following the guidance for preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the following pages, particularly when attending our events.
As we continue to watch and prepare for the coming weeks, we will be following the local response and welcome your questions, comments and concerns. Please reach out to email@example.com.
We hope the FAQ below assists you in preparation for both you and your loved ones, and your community.
SAACA FAQs about COVID-19:
SAACA is providing the following FAQs related to COVID-19 to all SAACA staff, volunteers, partners, festival participants, SAACA members and event attendees. The information reflected in the FAQs primarily comes from the CDC and other state and local health agencies.
WHAT IS COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.
IS SAACA STILL HOLDING THEIR UPCOMING COMMUNITY FESTIVALS?
While this is an evolving topic, SAACA is currently planning to hold all scheduled festivals and events in the Southern Arizona community. SAACA will closely monitor updated recommendations from the CDC and state and local health authorities as it relates to hosting large events, and add appropriate safeguards in coordination with site venues, host cities and towns and local health response teams to address COVID19 concerns. SAACA will, as always, take concerted steps to maintain the first-rate delivery of artistic experiences for all artists, performers, food vendors, exhibitors, SAACA members and event attendees.
HOW IS SAACA HANDLING COVID-19?
SAACA is closely monitoring COVID-19 by among other things, analyzing updated recommendations from the CDC and state and local health officials (including the CDC’s interim guidance related to Mass Gatherings/Large Community Events) found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019ncov/community/large-events/mass-gatherings-ready-for-covid-19.html). SAACA will continue to implement prevention measures and best practices recommended by these groups, many of which are reflected in the FAQ below. Information and guidance regarding COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving situation and SAACA will continue to monitor and implement recommended practices to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19.
WHAT PREVENTATIVE STEPS IS SAACA TAKING AT UPCOMING ART FESTIVALS?
SAACA does not have a large potency of travelling artists at either of our two major upcoming art festivals, the Sahuarita Creative Arts Festival (March 14 & 15) and Spring Festival of the Arts (March 28 & 29), as they both feature predominately in-state artisans. Effective immediately, SAACA will be instituting new handwashing protocols and additional handwashing stations, signage and no-contact implementations at the festivals (nearly 90% of our festival activities do not require direct contact) and cancelling any onsite activities that do have them.
HOW DOES COVID-19 SPREAD?
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) and/or through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. It is also possible for a person to get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19?
Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure and include:
• Shortness of breath
• A small percentage of patients have experienced diarrhea, difficulty breathing, and/or pneumonia
Older people (over 60) and those with chronic illness are at increased risk for severe complications.
HOW WIDESPREAD IS COVID-19 IN THE UNITED STATES?
While there are various news outlets reporting different statistics, as of March 10, 2020, the CDC website is reporting that there are 423 confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 in the United States, and 19 COVID-19 related deaths. This includes 46 people who were aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, three people repatriated from Wuhan China, and 164 cases originating in the United States. There are 35 states who have reported COVID-19 cases, including 6 in the state of Arizona. In addition, Pima County reported its first presumptive diagnosis of COVID-19 on March 9, 2020. According to the CDC, for most of the American public, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low. For up to date information from the CDC regarding the prevalence of COVID-19 in the United States, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-in-us.html.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU ARE DISPLAYING SYMPTOMS ASSOCIATED WITH THE CORONAVIRUS?
If you are displaying symptoms, you should stay at home and contact your primary care physician. In addition, for SAACA staff, please contact your direct supervisor. For festival artists, volunteers, and event attendees, please do not participate and/or attend SAACA events while symptomatic. If you have the COVID-19 or think you may have been exposed to COVID-19 you should contact your healthcare provider immediately and follow their recommendations.
WHAT STEPS SHOULD YOU BE TAKING TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF COVID-19?
There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being CONTINUED exposed to this virus. The CDC and other medical experts recommend everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
• Stay home and practice social-distancing/self-quarantine when you are sick.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you don’t have a tissue, use the inside of your elbow instead of your hand.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces such as workstations, countertops, doorknobs, athletic equipment, facilities and locker rooms using cleaning agents appropriate for the particular area.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
• If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
• Visit the CDC’s coughing and sneezing etiquette (https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/hygiene/etiquette/coughing_sneezing.html) and clean hands webpages (https://www.cdc. gov/handwashing/index.html) for more information.
• Although there are currently no travel restrictions domestically in the United States, please review the CDC’s travel health notices (https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel) for the latest guidance and recommendations on traveling inside or outside of the country.
• Make sure you are up to date with all routine vaccinations, including the flu vaccine.
• Be mindful of your physical interactions with others (e.g. handshakes, hugs, etc.) and limit such interactions as you deem appropriate.
The CDC does not recommend that people who are well/healthy wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.
ADDITIONAL AND UPDATED INFORMATION FROM THE CDC, ARIZONA DEPARMENT OF HEALTH AND THE PIMA COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT TO COVID-19 CAN BE FOUND AT THE LINKS BELOW:
• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
• Arizona Department of Health: https://www.azdhs.gov/preparedness/epidemiology-disease-control/infectious-diseaseepidemiology/index.php#novel-coronavirus-home
• Pima County Health Department: https://webcms.pima.gov/cms/One.aspx?portalId=169&pageId=527452
• Tucson Sentinel article about Pima County’s first presumptive diagnosis and statements from county and local officials: http://www.tucsonsentinel.com/local/report/030920_coronavirus_tucson/pima-county-residentpresumptively-diagnosed-with-coronavirus-officials-urge-common-sense-response/