Precautions coming about in Flagstaff and region, some closings, so far no local infections

Cheng asked students to consider staying in Flagstaff or on campus for spring break

NAU, and CCC announces closures and redesigning most classes for online access. Thursday Mayor Coral Evans declared City Council chambers are no longer open to public, meetings will all be live streamed until further notice. And Lowell Observatory is closing it’s doors to the public as of today.

Currently there are no confirmed cases in Coconino County says county epidemiologist Matt Maurer. Some people have been tested but so far all samples submitted for testing at the Arizona State Public Health Laboratory were found to be negative for the virus. Maurer said there is one sample still awaiting results from a commercial tester

All Flagstaff’s City Council and Commission meetings will be livestreamed on the city’s website, but will not have a public audience, the city announced Thursday evening. Public comments can be submitted via email to and a staff member will read them at the meeting. Don’t forget to include your name, the agenda item, indicate if you wish the comment to be read aloud. Comments are limited to three minutes.

Currently, staff is cleaning public access areas including doors, handrails, countertops and restrooms multiple times a day, said Jessica Drum city spokesperson. In the evening, janitors have added an additional process for virus protection, including sanitizing all surfaces.

At CCC students will not attend class in person for the week of March 23-27. Online options are being developed over the next week. For now staff will work but have been asked to practice social distancing.

CCC events for the week are being canceled, and decisions on future events will be made Monday, March 23.

The CCC District Governing Board will meet as scheduled that day at 4 p.m. with an abbreviated agenda.

March 23, after spring break NAU will transition to online instruction for two weeks. The campus will remain open and operational, life will go on as usual. University housing, food services, and health services will operate as usual. Employees will report to work as usual. Events and public scheduling will be determined as things progress.

Wednesday, NAU President Rita Cheng asked students to consider staying in Flagstaff or on campus for spring break. All NAU students and faculty in programs in other countries have been asked to immediately return to the United States. Non-essential university-sponsored travel outside of Arizona and all faculty-led study abroad programs through May have been canceled. Instructions for faculty, staff and students will be released in the coming days.

“The outbreak of COVID-19 is fluid and continues to warrant the attention and flexibility of each of us as we work together to keep our students, faculty, staff, and communities safe and healthy,” Cheng said in a statement Thursday afternoon. “As students prepare for spring break, we are implementing a number of measures to ensure we continue to deliver the high-quality education our students need to keep them on track for graduation, as well as focus on the health and safety of our NAU community.”

CCC students will not attend class in person for the week of March 23-27, but participate in “alternative learning methods” that are currently being developed by faculty. All college staff will report to work and have been asked to practice social distancing.

Events for the week are being canceled and additional decisions on future events will be made Monday, March 23. The CCC District Governing Board will meet as scheduled that day at 4 p.m. with an abbreviated agenda.

Flagstaff Unified School District remains on a normal schedule, except two student trips planned for spring break were canceled for next week: Flagstaff High School band trip to Chicago and a Sinagua Middle School trip to Washington, D.C. Future event decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis and information on districtwide schedules for the following week will be shared during the break.

A message from the district, sent to families Thursday said,  “FUSD is aware that other educational entities in the community and nationally are changing their schedules based on their particular circumstances. We do not have any changes to our current schedule at this time and look forward to our scheduled Spring Break next week – March 16 through March 20.”

The  message to families from FUSD said “If FUSD is alerted that any type of community spread of COVID-19 is occurring in Coconino County, we will immediately follow all protocols set forth by the Coconino County Health and Human Services Department. In an abundance of caution, our administrative team is developing contingency plans for students and staff in case we need to alter our services in the future.”

FUSD encouraged students and staff to stay home if they are ill and not return to school until they have been free of fever — without taking a fever-reducing medication — for 72 hours. Anyone with a positive COVID-19 test must wait seven days after receiving a healthy test result before returning to school.

Lowell Observatory says in a statement released Thursday, “We are an institution of science, and we would be doing a disservice to our mission, our staff, our guests and our community to do less than what the data are clearly telling us,”

Lowell Observatory will be increasing their online presence and experience including sharing images of celestial objects that would normally be seen during telescope viewings, virtual tours of popular sites such as the Pluto Discovery Telescope or live streamed interviews with astronomers.

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