“Now is the time to educate, not dictate,” said Town of Prescott Valley Mayor Kell Palguta on Monday as the Town is encouraging residents and visitors to stay at least six feet apart, wash hands frequently, and wear face coverings when they cannot social distance.
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey announced last week on June 17 that local governments may implement mandatory mask and face-covering policies and determine enforcement measures. Prescott Valley and surrounding communities chose not to make masks mandatory, but rather to educate and encourage the public to follow guidelines for distancing, hand washing and masks.
“We are not dictating mandatory masks,” Palguta said, “But we are going to continue pushing education. With the additional blitz testing in our area and throughout Yavapai County, confirmed cases will be expected to rise. Currently the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Prescott Valley account for a very small percentage of our population.”
The Town is going forward with its 4th of July and Party on the Porch events, with continued messaging about safety. Those planning to attend the fireworks and entertainment in Mountain Valley Park on July 4 are strongly advised to plan for best practices to keep themselves and others safe, including masks and social distancing. Additionally, fireworks can be viewed from almost anywhere in the community.
Party on the Porch (POP) is a month-long event in which residents are encouraged to get to know their neighbors in creative ways such as socially distanced neighborhood gatherings, barbecues, music, neighborhood walks, fireworks watch parties, or just simply sitting and chatting. It’s also a great time to check in on neighbors that may be isolated at this time and need an errand run or to see a friendly face. Additionally, neighborhoods may request speakers from the Town or fire department to provide information at their gathering. See a POP toolkit at www.pvaz.net for ideas.
The Arizona Department of Health Services states that the best way to protect yourself from Covid-19 is to adhere to the following measures:
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. It is especially important to clean hands after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Stay at home when you are sick.
Avoid close contact (within 6 feet) with others.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) and immediately throw the tissue in the trash.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Wear cloth face coverings in public settings if they can be safely managed.
If you are at higher risk for severe illness, you should avoid attending large gatherings. People at higher risk for severe illness include adults 65 or older and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions.