Mayor Coral Evans was skeptical, especially regarding larger outdoor events, and said if the city is to allow such events to move forward, the council needs to outline what would occur if an event fails to keep attendees socially distant.
Whelan suggested those events could be shut down, but Evans said that would put the city, and city staff in particular, in a difficult position and a negative public light. Instead, she thought a fine or citation was a better route to take.
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If the city gave a permit to an event with assurances of social distancing and that distancing did not occur, the city could then issue a citation to the organizers, Evans said.
The majority of the council did not feel moving to stage three was wise, believing the city did not yet meet the metrics to move forward.
Those metrics are somewhat nebulous, but were developed with input from David Engelthaler, epidemiologist and a director of the Translational Genomics Research Institute in Flagstaff.
The city council would decide to move to stage three if several criteria are met, starting with a downward trajectory in the number of deaths, hospitalizations and new cases of COVID-19 over the course of four weeks.
For a community the size of Flagstaff, Engelthaler said examining the trends in the number of new cases rather than the daily count makes more sense because of how much the number of new cases can fluctuate day to day.