Scottsdale Update - Dec. 29, 2020

We will not publish Scottsdale Update Friday, Jan. 1. Happy New Year to all!


COVID-19 by the numbers. Maricopa County has been tracking COVID-19 cases since Jan. 22. Review the latest numbers here.

Remember, a healthy Scottsdale starts with you. Stay home when you can, practice physical distancing, cover your nose and mouth and wash your hands frequently. Find downloadable graphics for social media and request a poster pack for your business or organization.

Every person in every age group is at risk of getting and spreading the virus. Most people will have mild symptoms or even no symptoms. But the virus spreads easily from person to person, and eventually it could spread to someone who will get really sick. People with chronic medical conditions and those 65 and older are considered the highest risk for serious illness. But we know that people outside those risk groups can be hospitalized and even die. Please take basic preventative measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 such as wearing masks, keeping six feet of distance from others and avoiding close contact with people outside your household. View the age group dashboard.

Federal agencies warn of emerging fraud schemes related to COVID-19 vaccines. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services are warning the public about several emerging fraud schemes related to COVID-19 vaccines. These agencies continue to work diligently with law enforcement partners and the private sector to identify cyber threats and fraud in all forms. Learn how to spot scams.

What is herd immunity and how many people need to get vaccinated to achieve it? Herd immunity is a term used to describe when enough people have protection — either from previous infection or vaccination — that it is unlikely a virus or bacteria can spread and cause disease. As a result, everyone within the community is protected even if some people don’t have protection themselves. The percentage of people who need to have protection in order to achieve herd immunity varies by disease. Experts do not know what percentage of people would need to get vaccinated to achieve herd immunity to COVID-19.

Can I still carry the virus even if I’ve been vaccinated. While the vaccine may prevent you from getting sick, it is unknown if you can still carry and transmit the virus to others. Until more is understood about how the vaccine works, you should continue to wear a mask and physically distance. Learn more.

Vaccine facts, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • COVID-19 vaccines will not give you COVID-19. None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently in development or in use in the United States contains the live virus that causes COVID-19. There are several different types of vaccines in development. However, the goal for each of them is to teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and are a sign that the body is building immunity. Learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work.

  • Receiving an mRNA vaccine will not alter your DNA. mRNA stands for messenger ribonucleic acid and can most easily be described as instructions for how to make a protein or even just a piece of a protein. mRNA is not able to alter or modify a person’s genetic makeup. COVID-19 vaccines that use mRNA work with the body’s natural defenses to safely develop protection (immunity) to disease. Learn more about how COVID-19 mRNA vaccines work.

  • COVID-19 vaccines will not cause you to test positive on COVID-19 viral tests. Neither the recently authorized and recommended vaccines nor the other COVID-19 vaccines currently in clinical trials in the United States cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection. ;If your body develops an immune response, which is the goal of vaccination, there is a possibility you may test positive on some antibody tests. Antibody tests indicate you had a previous infection and that you may have some level of protection against the virus. Experts are currently looking at how COVID-19 vaccination may affect antibody testing results.

The city’s COVID-19 page contains information about the city’s emergency orders, facilities and operations. Learn more here.

Follow us on Twitter @ScottsdaleAZgov and Facebook for city COVID-19 updates and other city information.

The city Call Center is available 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays to assist residents via phone – call 480-312-3111.

Visit to access city services online. 


Most city offices closed Jan. 1 and 18. Please note that trash and/or recycling collection for New Year’s moves from Friday, Jan. 1, to Saturday, Jan. 2, respectively. Collection does not change for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday Monday, Jan. 18.

Fire Department warns of consumer fireworks use. Most of us would like to welcome 2021 with a bang. These include firing guns – just don’t -- and using fireworks. Officials are concerned about fireworks starting fires and causing bodily injury. Nationally, fireworks cause an estimated 19,500 fires and hospital emergency rooms treat an estimated 9,100 people for fireworks related injuries. Use fireworks safely and responsibly. Follow these tips.

Scottsdale’s signature holiday celebration continues through December. Scottsdazzle continues this month with various holiday celebrations. Newly imagined events allow residents and visitors to safely revel in the magic of the holidays. Get information on all the Scottsdazzle happenings. Get a glimpse of Scottsdazzle by watching this!

Get your caboose to McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park’s Holiday Lights. Experience the magic of the holiday season – safely – on board the Paradise & Pacific Railroad as the park lights up Scottsdale with a winter wonderland. Holiday Lights runs most nights from 6:30-9 p.m. through Jan. 3, 2021. There are several big changes to this year’s event that will provide a safe and physically-distanced environment. Tickets for Holiday Lights are $15, with free admission for children two years old and younger. Watch this – you won’t want to miss it!

Register for virtual MLK Jr. Community Celebration. Due to COVID-19, the 2021 annual event will be held virtually Thursday, Jan. 14. This year’s featured speaker is Ken E. Nwadike, Jr., a peace activist, motivational speaker and video journalist known as the Free Hugs Guy. He founded the Free Hugs Project to spread love, inspire change and raise awareness of social issues. Get more information and learn how you can participate in the free program.

Scottsdale by the numbers; holiday help and cheer:

  • Scottsdale Fire Department donated 15,000 for needy families.

  • Senior centers’ Adopt-a-Senior program served 327 elderly residents.

  • Scottsdale Family Resource Center and Scottsdale Community College provided 29 children with gifts through the Angel Tree program.

  • Senior centers provided drive-thru holiday meals to 300 residents.

  • City employees and their families brought joy to 2,000 residents for the recent drive-by Holiday Howdy Parade. Staff from nearly a dozen city departments wove through five parade routes.

Public facilities improvements continue:

  • WestWorld is getting a new waterline around the polo field, the first step in beautifying the turf for future events. We’re also installing touchless door entry hardware at the Tony Nelssen Equestrian Center.

  • Indian School Park Tennis Center is undergoing a complete rebuild as part of the 2019 bond upgrades. Construction includes removing the old asphalt courts, building new post-tension concrete courts, and adding new fencing and LED lighting. The facility is expected to reopen Monday, Jan. 4.

  • To encourage outdoor recreation use during COVID-19, the basketball half-court at Horizon Park has been resurfaced.

This week's traffic restrictions in and around Scottsdale. Get the list.

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