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Tucson police: Stop partying during the coronavirus outbreak

Tucson police: Stop partying during the coronavirus outbreak

From the April's Tucson-area coronavirus coverage: 1,200+ Pima County cases, stay-home order extended series

Tucson police and city officials have a message for anybody who might be looking to celebrate their time in coronavirus quarantine — party's over.

Calling it thoughtless, Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus today warned of consequences for people who continue to throw house parties during the pandemic and the emergency orders that have been issued here and the state to limit crowds.

On Monday Ducey said people who can, should stay home except for essential activities, like buying food.

"Not surprisingly, house parties are not listed as an 'essential activity” in his order," Magnus said in a statement this morning. He says police are ready to enforce social distancing orders and that partiers could be charged with a misdemeanor.

Councilman Steve Kozachik, who represents much of the area near the University of Arizona campus, said Monday that he's been working with both city hall and Tucson Police to curb partying as the community attempts to quell the spread of COVID-19.

Tucson Mayor Regina Romero had taken several measures to limit outdoor activity and promote social distancing, including issuing a Friday proclamation encouraging Tucsonans to stay home "except as may be needed to address essential needs,'' like getting food and prescriptions, fresh air and going to work if employed in an essential function.

Despite that, Kozachik said he witnessed one party on his way back from work Saturday night. Then, he was alerted to a second party about 12 hours later by a local TV station.

“This needs to be done immediately," Kozachik said about people canceling parties and other large gatherings. "That is clearly a public health and safety violation while this community is struggling to get their head around the impact of an international pandemic.”

Contact reporter Justin Sayers atjsayers1@tucson.comor 573-4192. Twitter: @_JustinSayers. Facebook: JustinSSayers.

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