The following letter was sent from Benson Mayor Toney King:
The City of Benson is constantly monitoring the developments concerning the coronavirus (COVID-19). In an effort to have people not gather in groups that put our employees, citizens and the surrounding community at risk, we encourage you to contact the City via phone and/or email. Utility payments may be made by phone or by dropping off payments in the drop box in our parking lot. Permitting is another function that can be done online (for questions and assistance, please contact us by phone).
Furthermore, the CDC issued a recommendation on Sunday to cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 or more people for the next eight weeks. That recommendation was then reiterated by Governor Ducey, who also ordered the closure of all Arizona K-12 public schools until at least March 27. Today the White House announced guidelines to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people.
This recommendation is made in an attempt to reduce introduction of the virus into new communities and to slow the spread of infection in communities already affected by the virus," the CDC says on its website.
Although there have been no confirmed cases of COVIA-19 in Cochise County at this time, the City of Benson is supporting common sense efforts to prevent and limit its spread. Our citizens' health and safety are in the forefront of our minds as we take proactive measures locally.
Changes the City is implementing at this time are:
• Library - reduced services at the library. Patrons will be distanced from each other while using public computers and will be limited to one session per day. Patrons are encouraged to take advantage of the online library catalog to check out digital materials like eBooks and digital audiobooks. The online catalog is available at www.cochiselibrary.org. Patrons can also download the free Libby app from their app store to easily access the catalog on their smart phones. Story time has been cancelled until April 22, 2020 (as with all other services, this is subject to change as circumstance change).
• Police Department - will not offer fingerprinting service to the public.
• Event cancellations or postponements - All city-sponsored events will be cancelled for the recommended 8-week period. This will include the BINGO program, which is attended by those most vulnerable.
• The City of Benson has revoked all permits for special events occurring at City facilities during the recommended 8-week period with anticipated attendance of 50 or more people.
• Additional guidance was received regarding restaurants, dining establishments, and bars; the CDC guidelines have not included local-mandated closures, and we continue to recommend following the guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS).
• ADHS strongly recommends that dining establishments in areas of known community spread discourage dine-in traffic and instead provide curbside pick-up or drive-through service.
• If dine-in options are provided, social distancing measures should be implemented, providing space for customers to be placed at least 6 feet apart, and limiting space for customers to congregate in areas of the restaurant. Restaurants should also establish a procedure that allows their employees to be distanced from one another.
• Restaurants should establish protocols that allow customers to have food delivered to their cars. Restaurants should maintain high hygiene standards and require frequent handwashing between each customer interaction and should institute symptom checks for workers before they are allowed to enter the establishment.
• Restaurants not in an area of community spread are strongly encouraged to develop plans to implement these recommendations should community spread be identified in their community
As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation evolves, the City of Benson's response to it must also evolve. We will continue to assess the situation as it develops and will adjust our response as appropriate. Please use the above recommended resources for information and please check back for other changes in the service the City may implement.
We continue to remain vigilant and encourage preparedness over panic; knowledge (and good hygiene!) is power.
It is our understanding that Governor Ducey has prepared and submitted an application requesting a Disaster Declaration from SBA. New Mexico, Nevada, Utah were approved today and California was approved earlier.
After the Governor's Declaration Request is approved business owners should apply online in the Disaster Loan Application Portal at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/. The electronic loan application will be screened by the Disaster Processing Center when it is received. Below are the requirements so business owners can prepare.
CONUS DISASTER BUSINESS LOAN APPLICATION Filing Requirements:
FOR ALL APPLICATIONS THE FOLLOWING ITEMS MUST BE SUBMITTED:
• Loan application (SBA Form 5), completed and signed (this is electronic/online in the portal)
• Tax Information Authorization (IRS Form 4506-T), completed and signed by each applicant, each principal owning 20 percent or more of the applicant business, each general partner or managing member; and, for any owner who has more than 50 percent ownership in an affiliate business. Affiliates include, but are not limited to, business parents, subsidiaries, and/or other businesses with common ownership or management Complete copies, including all schedules, of the most recently filed Federal income tax returns for the Personal Financial Statement (SBA Form 413) completed, signed, and dated by the applicant, each principal owning 20 percent or more of the applicant business, and each general partner or managing member Schedule of Liabilities listing all fixed debts (SBA Form 2202 may be used)
All of these forms are available in the Disaster Loan Application Portal.