TUCSON (KVOA) - Before you make plans tonight, make sure you are at home before the clock strikes 10 p.m.
A mandatory curfew for the City of Tucson will then take effect. Mayor Regina Romero feels a mandatory curfew will help reduce COVID-19 cases.
"I know we're all very tired of all of the mitigation efforts that we've taken so far, but as we've heard there is a surge of cases in Pima County."
So what exactly does this curfew entail? News 4 Tucson's Allie Potter spoke with Tucson City Manager Michael Ortega via Zoom.
Q: Why is the curfew needed?
A: COVID is surging in our community through community-based transmission. We need to do everything we can to ensure that we protect each other - our caregivers, our families, our businesses- if we don't get a handle on this surge then things could get much worse for our community. The curfew encourages us to take this seriously and made the choices necessary to achieve this goal.
The idea is to reinforce the fact that it is safer to stay at home with your bubble than it is to be out gathering with other people. Obviously, the virus infects people during the day just as easily as it does at night. But any steps we can take to limit unnecessary exposure beyond our isolation bubbles and beyond our necessary activities, like our jobs, is a step we should take at a time when our hospitals are overwhelmed and our medical care providers are exhausted. The least we can do to try to help our care providers is to make reasonable decisions to limit our exposure to the virus.
Q: Who is enforcing the curfew?
A: The curfew will be enforced by the Tucson Police Department.
Q: What will happen if someone is out 10 p.m.-5 a.m.?
A: People who are out on the street at that time could be stopped by members of our Police Department to ensure that they are aware of the curfew. The officers have been directed to educate community members they encounter prior to citing them for violating the curfew but the actions that the officers choose to take is at their discretion based on the circumstance
Q: What is the fine?
A: A maximum of $300 but participation in a diversion program could be possible
Q: Who will give the citation?
A: The citation would be given by the police officer. The City Attorney may dispose or resolve any citation issued in connection with this proclamation through diversion or other processes under which the offender can avoid prosecution.
Ortega told Potter he hopes the community will do their best to get through this surge.
"Plan ahead so that you can be home by 10 P.M. The faster we can bring this surge down the better it will be for all of us. For our community's physical and economic health."
- All law enforcement, firefighters, paramedics or other medical personnel, and any other emergency response personnel
- Persons traveling directly to and from work
- Persons attending religious services
- Commercial trucking and delivery services
- Persons caring for a family member, friend, or animal
- Persons patronizing or operating a business that is an Essential Function*
- Persons seeking medical care or fleeing dangerous circumstances
- Persons engaging in Essential Activities* and travel for any of the above services or purposes
- Persons engaged in or traveling to perform or receive Essential Functions
- Persons who are homeless
More information on the City of Tucson curfew can be found here.