Ak-Chin Community Council has declared a State of Emergency due to the growing public health threat posed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The Community has yet to report a positive COVID-19 case, but confirmed case numbers are growing quickly in Pinal County and across Arizona.
“This emergency declaration authorizes AK-Chin leaders to take all steps necessary to protect our people from this dangerous viral outbreak,” said Ak-Chin Chairman Robert Miguel. “We’ve activated our Emergency Operation Center to centralize the Tribe’s disease response efforts, and now have authorization to utilize all necessary resources, including equipment, manpower and more, to meet this historic challenge.
“COVID-19 is a fast-evolving threat. If required, we are prepared to quickly take additional actions to safeguard Community residents, visitors and employees.”
The emergency declaration authorizes Chairman Miguel and Community leaders to protect public health by:
- Activating the Emergency Operation Center to coordinate the Tribe’s response efforts;
- Allowing utilization of all necessary funds, resources and equipment to mitigate the outbreak;
- Ordering public facilities to be disinfected, as necessary;
- Identifying specific Tribal employees to receive specialized COVID-19 training;
- Coordinating and receiving technical assistance from local, state, federal and tribal authorities.
The emergency declaration is the Community Council’s latest action regarding COVID-19. Previously, the Council ordered closed until at least April 2 Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino & Resort and the Ultra-Star Multi-Tainment Center at Ak-Chin Circle. Additionally, all in-person, Community-sponsored events, programs and gatherings have been canceled until further notice, including the Recreation Center, Elder Center, Him-Dak EcoMuseum and more.
“Now is the time for calm, common sense action to reduce the spread of COVID-19,” Miguel said. “We ask that Ak-Chin members take extra care to avoid groups of people, stay home as much as possible, and be vigilant in washing hands and practicing good hygiene. Be especially mindful of elders, young children and other individuals who may be vulnerable to this disease. We’re all in this together.”