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Tumamoc Hill to close starting Wednesday in response to pandemic
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Tumamoc Hill to close starting Wednesday in response to pandemic

From the Tucson-area coronavirus coverage from January to March: Nearly 1,300 cases in Arizona, stay-at-home order series
Tumamoc Hill

An estimated 60 stewards are needed for the guardianes de Tumamoc program. Applications will be accepted until Dec. 16.

Tumamoc Hill will close to the public starting Wednesday in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the director of Tumamoc said. 

Ben Wilder, director of Tumamoc Hill, said the number of people visiting Tumamoc Hill, more than 1,500 on each of the past three days, is far more than the recommended public gathering size the Center for Disease Control has recommended in order to reduce spread of COVID-19. 

"We know how much Tumamoc means to our community," Wilder said. "It is a place for escape, connection, friendship and health. The current moment dictates that to maintain each of these qualities, the right thing to do is the hardest. Please respect this decision and do not hike Tumamoc Hill, a sensitive cultural and ecological environment, from any approach, until we formally reopen."

Joaquin Ruiz, University of Arizona vice president for global environmental futures, said the university is taking the precautions necessary to safeguard the community. 

"As a core gathering site for so many Tucsonans, Tumamoc Hill also unfortunately has the potential to be a prime vector for spread," Ruiz said. 

The Tumamoc Hill website and Instagram feed @desert.laboratory will provide updates including when the hill will reopen to the public.

Contact reporter Stephanie Casanova at scasanova@tucson.com. On Twitter: @CasanovaReports

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