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Tempe Mayor issues emergency proclamation requiring restaurants to document opening procedures

C.A.S.A Restaurant in Tempe
Posted at 7:43 PM, May 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-13 08:58:58-04

TEMPE, AZ — Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell announced Tuesday an emergency proclamation that requires restaurants to document their safety procedures as they fully reopen for business.

The proclamation comes one day after photos of people eating and drinking at C.A.S.A. Tempe, a popular restaurant along Mill Avenue, went viral, leading some people to question if the bar was following social distancing guidelines.

Tempe police were called to the restaurant on Monday night and officers found that the restaurant and its guests were adhering to those guidelines, though officers did recommend a couple tables needed to be separated further. No citations were issued, a spokesperson for Tempe police said.

“This did not meet my expectations for what it looks like to re-open safely and responsibly,” Mitchell said in a statement Tuesday night about his proclamation. “This is an opportunity to work together and educate people on what is being required of them during the COVID-19 pandemic so that we can all remain safe.”

Related: Arizona restaurants welcome diners on first day of reopening

The City of Tempe said Mitchell’s proclamation, issued on Tuesday, requires businesses with security plans on file with the city to document how they plan to follow guidance issued to accompany Ducey’s executive order.

Mitchell said the restaurants must explain how the establishment will plan on “implementing physical distancing policies, limiting the number of persons in the establishment; and following protocols and guidance offered by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as amended from time to time; US. Department of Labor Division of Occupational Safety and Health; and Arizona Department of Health Services.”

According to Mitchell, Tempe police can lawfully ask for a copy of the information if they are contacted about concerns surrounding social distancing and health.

If an establishment is unable to provide the document, it could constitute a class one misdemeanor.

Mitchell has served as Tempe's mayor since 2012, but recently lost his election bid. Mayor-elect Corey Woods, who served on the city council from 2008 to 2016, will be sworn in as Tempe's new mayor in July.