Scottsdale Update - Nov. 20, 2020


COVID-19 by the numbers. Maricopa County has been tracking COVID-19 cases since Jan. 22. Here are the most recent numbers for our county:

  • Total number of cases: 184,553; up 2,613 from yesterday

  • Total number of deaths: 3,850; up 15 from yesterday

  • Hospital admissions: 14,811; 8 percent of total cases   

  • Intensive care admissions: 1,542; 1 percent of total cases 

If you are going out in public, you could be exposed or could be exposing others -- even if not showing symptoms.

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.

Scottsdale Fashion Square shoppers see “Healthy Scottsdale” messaging. Scottsdale Fashion Square visitors are greeted by backlit ad panels and hand sanitizer kiosks throughout the center reminding them that “A Healthy Scottsdale Starts with You.” Ads and kiosks provide safety tips and direct shoppers to the city's website where they can find additional resources.

Learn about city facility safety upgrades. While many restrictions on gatherings and activities remain in place as part of statewide efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19, some special events in Scottsdale have been approved under guidelines established by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey.

Several facility upgrades are underway at WestWorld’s Tony Nelssen Equestrian Center. Bipolar ionization technology was installed within the facility’s air handling systems and ultraviolet lighting was added near restrooms and other areas where people tend to congregate.

Similar systems are being designed and will be installed at other city-owned facilities including the Police and Fire Headquarters, Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts and Scottsdale’s Museum of the West. Other facilities will follow – Police District 3, City Hall, One Civic Center and other city buildings with high employee and public use areas. Engineers will identify what types of technology to use, how much of it is appropriate in the building and where it should be placed.

Adding touchless sensor faucets and flush valves in place of manually operated bathroom fixtures also is in the works.

COVID-19 cases significantly increase. At yesterday’s press conference, Maricopa County Public Health Director Marcy Flanagan discussed the significant increase in new COVID-19 cases. She reminded us that all the little decisions we make – whether to go out to eat with a friend or connect with someone in person – all add up. She pleads for people to think long and hard about situations where you’re going to be around other people, and to do what you can to reduce your risk. View the dashboard.

Not all masks provide equal protection; learn what to buy and how to properly use. Look for masks made with at least two layers of fabric. They should cover your nose and mouth without large gaps and have ear loops or ties so you can adjust the fit. For people who wear glasses, look for a mask with a bendable border at the top so you can mold the mask to fit the bridge of your nose and prevent your glasses from fogging. Professional masks should be reserved for health care workers caring for patients on the front lines. It is important to always remove face coverings correctly and wash your hands after handling or touching a used mask. Masks should be washed as often as possible. Learn more.

You can still be contagious even if you test negative. One thing that makes COVID-19 different from some other infectious diseases is that people can be infectious without any symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 40 percent of infections are asymptomatic, and 50 percent of transmissions happen before symptoms begin. Additionally, symptoms can take up to two weeks to appear after being exposed, so you could get tested prior to having symptoms, test negative, and yet still have the virus. The average time for COVID-19 symptoms to appear after infection is five days. If you have been exposed, do not have COVID-19 symptoms, and test negative, you should still quarantine after the test in case symptoms occur within the 14-day period after exposure.

ICU hospital bed usage is increasing. Taking proven preventive measures to slow the spread of the virus isn’t just about you or your family. It’s about preventing our health care system from being overwhelmed so that people who need hospital care can get it. The number of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 is growing. View updated data on hospital bed capacity, ICU capacity and ventilator usage by visiting the Arizona Department of Health Services’ data dashboard.

Five tips for safe gatherings. Gathering with people we don’t live with – even close friends and family – may spread COVID-19. The more people we interact with at a gathering and the longer that interaction lasts, the higher the risk of becoming infected. If you do plan on gathering for the holidays, keep these five tips in mind:

  • Review your guest list: First, keep it small. Keeping it to your household is best; fewer than 10 people is good. Next, think about who you are inviting. Are any of them at risk of getting severely ill if they get COVID-19? Consider connecting with those folks virtually instead.

  • Do a health check: Find out if anyone on the guest list has had COVID-like symptoms such as cough, fever, or shortness of breath, in the last two weeks. Anyone with a fever or other symptoms, or anyone exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the past two weeks, should stay home.

  • Spread out: Set up seating so that people from different households can stay six feet apart. Sit outside rather than inside.

  • Keep it quick: Gather for less than two hours. Shorter periods of time give COVID-19 less chance to spread. Quicker gatherings also make it easier to keep hands and surfaces properly sanitized and to avoid slip-ups in mitigation measures like mask wearing or social distancing.

  • Consider the children: It’s tough for kids to stay apart. If possible, have them wear masks (if they’re older than 2) and avoid sharing toys or food.

What is a close contact?

  • People who are within 6 feet of a person with COVID-19 while infectious for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.

  • People who had physical contact with a person with COVID-19 while infectious.

Maricopa County Public Health’s definition is based on recently updated CDC guidance.

What is an exposure? An exposure is having close contact with someone who is showing COVID-19 symptoms for at least 15 minutes, or an infected person who shows no symptoms but later tests positive for the coronavirus. This is considered exposure whether or not either person was wearing a mask. Anyone who has been exposed to COVID-19 should follow quarantine guidance, staying home for at least fourteen days from their most recent exposure to a COVID-19-positive person.

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 Thursday, Nov. 26 and Friday Nov. 27, for Thanksgiving. The city will not collect garbage or recycling Thursday, Nov. 26. All collection moves one day later than normal. Thursday collection takes place Friday; Friday collection moves to Saturday.

Scottsdale’s signature holiday celebration returns next week. Mark your calendars for Friday, Nov. 27, as Scottsdazzle kicks off its monthlong holiday celebration. Begin the season with Scottsdazzle Stroll – a community event at the Scottsdale Waterfront that welcomes guests to take a stroll along the canal, view magical holiday décor and listen to lively holiday tunes. This is just one of the 16 reimagined events that allow residents and visitors to safely revel in the magic of the holidays. Get information on all the Scottsdazzle happenings.

Chug into the holidays with 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., Nov. 27-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.

Scottsdale seeks input on 70th Street biking. Scottsdale Transportation is conducting a Neighborhood Bikeway Study for the 70th Street Corridor between Continental Drive/Roosevelt Road to the south and Main Street to the north. This 2.5-mile corridor will connect Tempe to Old Town Scottsdale, link the corridor to nearby biking routes and serve neighborhoods along 70th Street. Get details and participate here by Monday, Nov. 30.

Not all Earth Day 2020 plans were washed out by the pandemic. While the city canceled several events for the April 50th anniversary of Earth Day 2020, there were meaningful activities that did take place:

  • A group of gifted high school students completed a GPS tree inventory of Horizon Park.

  • Scottsdale Environmental Advisory Commissioners judged a tree themed art competition for kindergarten-12th grade students.

  • More than 100 trees were planted to replace storm damaged ones along Indian School and Scottsdale roads.

  • Scottsdale Video Network, Water Conservation and Community Services staff produced a program on how to select and plant a desert tree. Watch “Grow Strong & Healthy Trees in the Desert.”

  • 109 trees were planted and inventoried to reduce ASU’s carbon footprint. The city agreed to plant at least 100 trees to allow ASU to purchase the associated carbon credits.  The city will be reimbursed $125 for each tree planted to offset planting and maintenance costs. The new trees replaced ones damaged by a previous monsoon storm.

Library staff present new virtual programming. Civic Center and Mustang libraries staff are launching a new variety show, “Books and More,” which airs at 1 p.m. Tuesdays on the library’s YouTube channel. Look for other shows that highlight the various programs and services each library offers, along with great reading recommendations.

Scottsdale by the numbers:

  • The October 2020 GAIN event brought neighbors together in a physically-distanced environment.

    • Five parade routes covered 91 miles across the city.

    • Vehicles from 11 city departments joined the fun.

    • Approximately 1,300 residents came out with chairs, signs and flags to celebrate what GAIN stands for … Getting Arizona Involved in Neighborhoods.

  • Virtual Neighborhood College attracts a crowd. More than 450 participants virtually attended six classes for Neighborhood College’s fall session. Topics followed two tracks: homeowner’s association law for boards of directors and stories of Scottsdale history. Registration for spring 2021 will open soon.

Valley Metro recognizes city employee as “Outstanding Commuter- Bicyclist or Walker" for its clean air awards. Senior Transportation Planner Greg Davies bicycles 24 miles round trip to work each day. He is on track to reach his goal of riding 6,000 miles in 2020. Since the beginning of this year, Davies has reduced greenhouse gas by 3,000 pounds. He mentors and encourages other employees to ride their bikes to and from work by finding them safe routes. He lends a hand with bike troubles and monitors ;the city’s employee bike lockers and storage to ensure everything is in safe and working order. Valley Metro also recognized three other employees: Linda Harrington-Schofield (van pool), Erin Riley (multiuse commuter) and the City of Scottsdale (The Most Livable City). Learn more.

"Scottsdale Shares" program assists with holiday donations. Scottsdale Shares provides one point of contact for residents, businesses and organizations seeking to assist those in need through donations or volunteer activities.

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


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