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How South Tucson endures the impact of social distancing

Posted at 10:21 PM, Mar 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-25 01:21:38-04

SOUTH TUCSON, Ariz. — South Tucson isn't a large community. it only covers a little more than a square mile.

Along 4th Avenue, you'll find most of it's businesses feeling the pinch of social distancing.

"Our businesses are definitely going to be impacted, there's no doubt about that," South Tucson Police Chief, Manuel Amado said.

Where businesses rely on customers for income, communities rely on those businesses to fill in part of their budgets, with their sales taxes.

In South Tucson Chief Amado, who also serves as the city's Safety Director, said no COVID-19 cases have been reported though the city is still experiencing economic effects of the virus.

"The restaurants are very much the city's lifeline," Amado said.

Amado said some restaurants are still serving take out but the impact of complying with state and county health guidelines will be felt by it's handful of businesses and that could affect the city's budget.

"I think we have a pretty good reserve right now, that'll help us operate at least until the end of the year."

One major boost to the restaurants in the city would have been "Cyclovia," since canceled in response the COVID-19 outbreak.

"Cyclovia was actually going to come through The City of South Tucson," Amado said.

"It was going to go up 4th Avenue, so our restaurants were really looking forward to that."

Amado added that the city's essential services are still operational, but the size of it's staff, especially on the police force, poses a problem if the unthinkable were to happen.

"If we had to quarantine even a couple of officers that would really impact us, heavily, because of our low staffing levels."

Amado said residents don't need to be worried about safe streets, he said police departments in the county have talked about filling in wherever there's a need for officers.