Press Release - May 19, 2020
Mingus Mountain highlights need for Covid-19 Protection, Liability and Resources
Yavapai County is not immune from the community spread of Covid-19. The recent revelation of widespread infection among the clients and staff of Mingus Mountain Academy shows us our vulnerability in stark terms, and highlights issues we must address as a community.
As former Mingus Mtn. staff, RN and health professional Linda Lutes stated, "Many of the girls coming to Mingus Mountain are high-risk and from urban centers all over the country." The close quarters and frequent interaction in that lockdown facility create high risk of community infection. Mingus Mtn. workers return to our community daily, multiplying the threat.
This incident raises important questions. Were new intakes being tested for Covid-19? When was testing available for the staff and clients of the institution? Are the staff that were infected being traced and tracked so that those who interacted with them in the community can be tested?
If Mingus Mtn. was not testing new intakes, it implies possible negligence of their duty to protect their staff and clients as well as the larger Quad-City area. But is this entirely its responsibility? The incident raises a key question facing us as we continue to fight the economic and health impacts of the pandemic: who is responsible for providing support and covering the costs of testing, tracking and tracing?
Every business and institutional workplace must be able to establish consumer and employee confidence by showing they are doing all they can to limit the spread of the virus and protect both employees and clientele. Yavapai County can better maintain vigilance against the spread of Covid-19 with support for institutions and businesses to test, track, and trace.
Currently Governor Doug Ducey has not released CARES Act money intended for smaller cities and counties. So far only Pima and Maricopa Counties and the cities of Tucson, Phoenix and Mesa have received funding. The State of Arizona should be dispersing its funding from the CARES Act to counties and cities with populations under 500,000 so institutions like Mingus can get the help they need for testing, tracking and tracing.
CARES Act funding could provide vital support to Yavapai and other counties to assist institutions like Mingus Mountain in better protecting their clients and staff and our community.
The issue of legal liability for Covid-19 exposure is rising. We can protect our businesses from liability and protect employees and clients by using CARES Act monies to fund a robust testing, tracing and tracking program. Businesses and institutions that actively participate in pursuing maximum safety procedures should be rewarded with liability protections.
The Yavapai County Democratic Party calls on Governor Doug Ducey to release the CARES Act monies to all cities and counties in Arizona to more effectively combat the spread of Covid-19.
Donate to the Jerry Emmett Scholarship Fund
Jerry Emmett, star of the 2016 Democratic National Convention and founder of the DWPA, passed April 30, 2019 at 104 years old. She lived through the civil rights movement, the women’s liberation movement, and the women’s suffrage movement. She was born before the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which granted women the right to vote, was passed by Congress and ratified in 1920. Born in Iowa in 1914, she moved to Arizona as a child and has lived there since, working as a public-school teacher and raising a family through nearly a century’s worth of new governors and new presidents. She dedicated her life, fiercely and fashionably, to promoting the democratic process.
In her honor, The Democrats of Yavapai County, are asking for donations towards a $1,500 annual scholarship to a young Democrat attending an accredited college or university.
Thank you for your support of this worthy cause.
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