Someone intent on sending a health message — or simply seeking to make others giggle — outfitted Bullhead City’s highly visible public statues with protective masks. Bravo the Bull, at the intersection of Highway 95 and Laughlin Ranch Boulevard, has horns to hold his mask on. However, Poki the Tortoise, stationed in front of the Bullhead Area Chamber of Commerce building, doesn’t have any ears so it’s a mystery how his was staying put. City officials had nothing to do with the prank. Neither did Western Arizona Regional Medical Center. The masks weren’t for medical use but appeared to be the type used by landscapers and other physical laborers.

BULLHEAD CITY — For the most part, Bullhead City residents are heeding the warning of health care professionals and elected officials. They are staying at home. And when they are out in the public, many are taking additional precautions, including wearing face coverings.

City Manager Toby Cotter analyzed statistical information to show that residents are doing a good job of staying at home.

“Looking only at statistics, it is clear that residents and tourists are staying home,” Cotter said. “Traffic counts, business closures, park facility closures, the governor’s executive orders and continued announcements advising people to stay home are working.”

Cotter said people might see a full parking lot at Walmart or Smith’s and say everyone is out and about, but traffic counts show a different story.

Traffic counts on Highway 95 are less than half of what normally would be on the highway. On March 1, 2019, there were 33,787 cars on Highway 95 as counted at one intersection on the north side of the community. On March 1 of this year, there were 27,406 vehicles passing that same intersection. On March 29, the vehicle count at the same intersection was just 11,712 cars. On Saturday, April 4 there were just 14,687 as compared to more than 30,000-plus cars on Highway 95 on a Saturday.

Google also has been analyzing it’s users in the Bullhead City area. From Feb. 16 through Sunday, March 29, retail and recreation is down 36%. Trips to work are down 37%. Trips to grocery stores and pharmacies were down 13%.

Ridership is down 31% from a year ago on the city’s Bullhead Area Transit System buses. In March of 2019, there were 13,759 BATS rides. There were 9,444 BATS rides in March of 2020. Before many of the area businesses closed, a typical day would be like Wednesday, March 4, with 651 passengers. On Wednesday, April 1, there were 238 riders.

“The governor’s orders and Mohave County Public Health experts tell all Bullhead City residents to continue to stay home at least through April to slow the spread of COVID-19,” Cotter said. “We can’t wait to see our residents and tourists enjoying normal life again in Bullhead City. But, now is not that time. Please stay home in April so we can have a much better summer.”

The city continues to remind residents and visitors that parties are not allowed in city parks. No ramada reservations are allowed. All special events and tournaments scheduled in the parks have been canceled through April. Physical distancing also applies at all city beaches. Any groups of 10 or more at a city beach will be asked to break up the group or leave the park.

Cotter also said the business community, by and large, has been cooperative with the gover’s executive orders. There have been a few exceptions.

t“Not everyone agrees with the listing of businesses allowed to stay open, we but follow the executive orders,” he said. “Police officers have responded in a few instances over the past few weeks and the business owners have complied with the order.”

But he noted that many of the affected businesses already had closed or modified operations before being ordered to do so.

“Bullhead City businesses have been exceptional with compliance,” he said. “When bars and health clubs were ordered closed, we had very few issues. We had very few issues with salons and others last Friday.

“I want to thank all of our businesses that have worked with us. The communication between City Hall and the business community has been great. The last thing we want to do is shut down a business. Gov. Ducey’s executive orders have been clear and we have followed through with our communication to our business owners. We look forward to the day when the governor allows these businesses to reopen.”

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