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Phoenix halts water shutoffs to give residents access amid coronavirus spread

Residents who are currently disconnected will be re-connected and will receive low-flow water service for sanitation and cooking.

PHOENIX — The City of Phoenix has halted water shutoffs for people who haven't paid their bills to ensure that residents have access to water for sanitation purposes. 

Mayor Kate Gallego said in a statement that the city's water department halted the shut-offs starting Thursday. 

Residents who are currently disconnected will be re-connected and will receive low-flow water service for sanitation and cooking.  

“Phoenix is working closely with the appropriate emergency response agencies to provide accurate and up-to-date information to our residents," Gallego said in a statement. 

"Our goal is to alleviate fear and give residents the needed tools to best protect themselves and others." 

City staff and custodial vendors have also increased cleaning efforts in all city facilities, targeting surfaces like elevator buttons, handrails, bathroom handles, fixtures and doors.

City officials are reviewing possible alternative options for upcoming public meetings and gatherings.

Staff members have "greatly restricted" work travel for the time being, and all staff who feel sick are asked to stay home. 

As of Thursday, nine people in Arizona have tested positive for COVID-19. Seven of the cases are presumptive positive, meaning the state has confirmed the diagnoses but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not yet.  

There were 115 people in Arizona tested for coronavirus as of Thursday, up from 100 on Wednesday. 

Twenty-four cases are still pending. 

The best way to prevent COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases is to:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Text "FACTS" to 602-444-1212 to get the latest coronavirus news sent straight to your phone. You can also sign up for our free app at 12News.com/App 

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