TEMPE, AZ — Downtown Tempe has pushed back the start date for a public outdoor dining patio due to the rise in coronavirus cases in the community and across Arizona.
Downtown Eats would have allowed Tempe residents to bring takeout from nearby restaurants to Sixth Street Park to enjoy outdoor dining and drinking during select hours of the day. It will also provide extra support to Tempe’s small business community. The partnership between the Downtown Tempe Authority and the city of Tempe has not revealed a new start date.
“Right now, we have to do what we can to help curb the impacts of COVID-19 to ensure the health of our community,” Tempe Mayor Corey Woods said in a news release. “While we have implemented many creative approaches this year to help our local businesses prosper during these difficult times, we feel compelled to pause this particular effort while we watch regional case numbers. I hope we can move forward with this soon.”
Arizona, like the rest of the U.S., is seeing an uptick in coronavirus cases. Tuesday saw the highest number of daily cases since mid-July when the state was a national hotspot for the virus. According to the Arizona Department of Health Services data dashboard, Arizona reported 1,399 new cases and 12 deaths Wednesday. The bulk of those cases come from Maricopa County.
Outdoor dining is considered a lower risk activity by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention but the city is using an “abundance of caution,” according to the statement.
This article originally appeared on the Tempe Patch