Early into my professional career, I received a valuable piece of advice from one of my mentors. He said, “Focus on the important, not the urgent.” Time and time again that one bit of advice has helped guide me through difficult situations.

The urgent is apparent to every one of us in light of this COVID-19 pandemic. There is an urgent need to take precautions to stay healthy. There is an urgent need to make child or dependent care arrangements. There is an urgent need to deal with financial matters. Even the day-to-day logistics of carrying out what should be routine, like going to the store to buy basic household products, has become an urgent matter.

While I do not want to downplay these very real concerns and needs, I want to provide some reassurance to the greater Payson community. Each one of us is in this coronavirus pandemic together. Together we can, and do, accomplish great things. First and foremost, please know that the Town of Payson is responding daily in accordance with our standard processes. These same processes have been in place for many years to care for our residents well before this health crisis ignited. Protecting each one of us amidst threatening circumstances is something that our first responders have been trained and equipped to handle. We have weathered wildfires, snowstorms, flooding, and we will weather this health concern, together. Town administration continues to collaborate with national, state, and county officials concerning our needs and available resources. We are linked arm in arm with other Payson area providers to ensure there are no unmet needs within our community. We are striving to put out as much information as possible as soon as it becomes available.

So while the urgent is readily apparent, know that town leaders are keenly focused on the important. We are putting community first. We are taking every recommended precaution to help contain the spread of the virus, while still trying to carry out all the essential functions of the town. Some services have been impacted because of the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). I apologize in advance for the inconvenience that poses. It is important that we protect the health and operational capacity of each of these departments, because all of our employees, even those outside of police and fire, play a very vital role in our emergency operations.

I ask for the community’s help to keep us focused on the important as well. Please heed the recommendations made by the health advisers so we can help reduce the impact of the spread of this virus in our town. By following these recommendations, you are helping to protect those who continue to provide essential services to us. Practice social distancing. Avoid gatherings of 10 or more people. Telework or work from home if you are able. Perform tiny acts of kindness as there are many folks that may have specific unmet needs during the coming weeks.

The Town of Payson has a dedicated phone line to get information about how you may be impacted by COVID-19 developments: 928-474-9260. Updates and recommendations are also included on local Cable Channel 4 and the town’s website www.paysonaz.gov and the town’s Facebook pages.

If you want to keep up to date electronically, Gila County Health and Emergency Management posts frequent updates at https://www.facebook.com/gilacohealthem/

State of Arizona Department of Health Services updates their website daily at www.azdhs.gov and also has a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/azdhs/

Health recommendations for flyers and printed material can be found at www.cdc.gov.

Thank you all for making Payson the best community in Arizona!

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