F Magazine had an exclusive interview with the newly elected mayor of Tempe, Corey Woods, to discuss the pressing matters and relevant updates regarding the pandemic COVID-19 and how this impacts Arizona.
Corey Woods has tested positive for COVID-19 and announced his diagnosis last June 30, 2020. It is the same week when he was sworn to the office on July 2, 2020. According to him, he had contracted a minor case of the virus.
“I had body aches and fever for 24 hours. I had a complete loss of smell and some of my loss of taste too is pretty evident. I consider my case to be a mild case of the virus,” said the Mayor. However, Corey still emphasized that the pandemic is scary given the limited information that we have about this virus and needs to be taken seriously.
“There are a lot of people with underlying conditions and their immune systems might not be strong and might have a tougher time fighting the virus. This can really be a deadly virus. This is something that the people should remain vigilant about and that people should always wear their masks, practice physical distancing and do whatever we can to stop the spread of this virus” Corey added.
In addition to this, Woods is also worried about the economic damage and financial impacts of Coronavirus to the City and the community in a general perspective. With unemployment and small businesses taking a major financial hit, he is concerned about the struggle on the people’s lack of constant flow of income.
Woods asserted the mask mandate which is currently put into place not only in Tempe but also in all cities in Arizona. “Wear the mask for your own protection and security and also for the protection of other people around you. You can be asymptomatic and don’t know that you have the virus and wearing the mask is the least that we can do to stop the spread of the virus. You are required to wear a mask when you are at any public place, ensuring Social Distancing and also just telling people to stay home as much as possible because it is the safest place you can possibly be,” He said.
Woods is also the first African American elected mayor in Tempe. In this regard, Woods said he feels that this is a great accomplishment. “While I’m the mayor for all people regardless of what background, race, gender, ethnicity, religious affiliation they may have, but at the same time, I fully recognize that it is important for people many times to see someone who looks like them in a certain position. It gives them hope that they can achieve something similar,” Corey added.
According to Woods, it has been a very busy first month being the mayor. Aside from the Coronavirus pandemic, he also worked on resolving the issues with regards to the Tempe train derailment. Despite these current matters, Woods is excited to serve the City and work on upcoming major projects.
Finally, Corey also highlighted his passion for serving the people. He said, “I was instilled with a passion for public service that my parents and my brother gave me that’s why I ended up in this role. The fulfillment of their dream and all the work that they did during the civil rights movement provides me with this opportunity that I’m very proud to be that person and serve in this role.”