Ongoing efforts to flatten the COVID-19 curve have given rise to questions about when and how Arizona plans to restart its economy. This week we spoke to Tucson Mayor Regina Romero about when she thinks the state’s stay at home order should end and her plan to help cushion the blow to the city’s economy.
“We are not seeing a decline in COVID-19 cases, we are not seeing widespread available testing and we are still not seeing the capacity ramping up for contact tracing, so unfortunately I do not see May 1 … for the community and businesses to open back up. And that’s based on the facts that we have in front of us,” Romero said. She said predicting when it would be safe to lift restrictions remains difficult because cases have yet to maintain a decreased trajectory for 14 days or longer.
On the topic of Tucson’s economy, Romero said sales taxes dropped 25% in March alone. The city recently put $1 million in a new resiliency fund for small businesses, nonprofits and workers. Her office is also assembling an economic development advisory council.
“With people that represent the University of Arizona, that represent workers, that represent restaurants, small businesses and experts in economic development so that we can start talking about what the city of Tucson can do in terms of policy to turn around the economy in the city,” Romero said.