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New Tempe Mayor, council members, take oaths online amid coronavirus

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PHOENIX — The coronavirus pandemic has forced many interactions online in an effort to stop the spread of the virus.

Business meetings, graduation ceremonies and now the swearing-in of political officials have all taken place in the comfort of living rooms after Tempe’s new mayor and council members were sworn in virtually.

Tempe Mayor Corey Woods and councilmembers Doreen Garlid, Joel Navarro, Randy Keating all raised their right hand at home on Thursday to begin their four-year term.

“Tempe has the capacity to be a leader in a rapidly changing world… Let’s get to work, Tempe!,” Woods said.

The plan was to hold the ceremony in-person, according to a press release, but Gov. Doug Ducey’s executive order on Monday limiting the gathering of 50 people forced the city to call an audible on Tuesday.

In addition, Woods announced on Wednesday that he tested positive for the coronavirus.

The Arizona health department reported 3,536 new coronavirus cases and four deaths Sunday morning, bringing the state’s documented totals to 98,089 cases and 1,809 fatalities.

Woods said on Wednesday that Arizona’s case surge was one of the reasons he took the test and added he was fortunate to only have mild symptoms.

He won 57% of the votes in March to defeat two-term incumbent Mark Mitchell and became the first African-American mayor in the city’s history.

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