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Citing coronavirus concerns Pima County officials could close Tanque Verde Swap Meet

Posted at 10:17 PM, Mar 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-23 01:17:13-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — "I would really hope that the Tanque Verde Swap Meet would close voluntarily. I think that's the right thing to do," said Pima County Supervisor, Richard Elias.

Viewers told KGUN9 the swap meet was packed on Saturday ,there were even a few customers and vendors there Sunday.

"Well I think this is about public health and that has to be our number one concern right now," Elias said.

It's for that reason, the public health concern, Elias said county leaders will take action this week.

"We'll definitely have the Health Department there tomorrow with them to figure out what they need to do, but likely we'll likely we'll have to close down that operation too."

Officials in communities around the country have encouraged social distancing, including communities in Southern Arizona.

"We have a group of more than 50 people meeting in more than one spot and that's contrary to what the CDC (Center for Disease Control) is suggesting and what we've put forth in our rules, Pima County, what Governor Ducey has put forth in his rules for the state as well," Elias said.

He told KGUN9 the swap meet and some other similar gatherings were simply overlooked when the county presented it's rules to curb the spread of COVID-19 last week.

"Well I think it happens, in these kind of emergency situations. so you do the best you can," Elias said.

"We do have a meeting on Thursday, and so likely we'll make some revisions to that order then and that might be one of them, that will probably be one of them."

Elias added the Board of Supervisors will also include rules for other outdoor venues, like farmer's markets.