ducey

Gov. Doug Ducey: "This is an all-in effort."

Gov. Doug Ducey has ordered barber shops, beauty parlors, nail salons, tattoo parlors and several other businesses to close by 5 p.m. Saturday, April 4.

He also said parks should close basketball courts, playgrounds and other recreational amenities, but said that parks should remain open as much as possible.

While Ducey issued a stay-at-home on Monday, some local officials, including Tucson Mayor Regina Romero, have been calling on him to narrow his order to include the above businesses and others because they pose a risk of spreading COVID-19, the highly infectious novel coronavirus which is sweeping across Arizona and the rest of the United States.

“During these unprecedented times, providing clarity for small businesses and employers is an important measure to ensure we protect our citizens, slow the spread of COVID-19, and protect this critical part of our economy,” said Governor Doug Ducey. “As guidance from public health officials evolves, we will continue to release information and direction.”

Among the businesses that must close: barber shops; cosmetology, hairstyling, nail salons and aesthetic salons; tanning salons; tattoo parlors; spa, massage parlors and swap meets.

In the parks, Ducey called for the closing of basketball courts, splash pads, playgrounds and public restrooms.

He also said communal pools at hotels, condominiums, apartment complexes and parks should be closed by maintained by management.

The coronavirus had killed 41 people statewide, including 11 in Pima County, as of Friday, April 3, according to the morning report from the Arizona Department of Health Services. In Maricopa County, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has risen to 1,049. Pima County had 280 of the 1,769 cases of COVID-19 that had been confirmed in Arizona.

Arizona remains under stay-at-home order to discourage people from venturing out as the outbreak spreads. Because symptoms can take as long as two weeks to appear after exposure to the virus (and some people can remain entirely asymptomatic), health officials say community spread of the disease is far worse than the official numbers suggest. They have urged the public to avoid unnecessary trips and gatherings of more than 10 people.

Under the order, Arizonans are still able to shop for groceries, medical and household needs, and pet supplies. They can also go work, pick up a take-out meal from a restaurant, travel to take care of a family member, friend or pet, and can still go walking, hiking, biking and golfing, provided that they adhere to social distancing guidelines.

Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus has warned against people hosting house parties while the stay-at-home order is in effect, noting that house parties are not listed as an essential activity in Ducey’s order. Magnus said while police would typically give a warning to those who violate emergency orders, scofflaws could find themselves charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor.

“The worst consequence would be if you pass this virus on to someone who has a serious illness or dies as a result,” Magnus said. “That could be a family member, a friend, or someone you’ve never met. Although it’s especially dangerous for older people and people with certain underlying conditions, this coronavirus can have serious consequences for anyone, regardless of age or health. No matter who you are, you are not immune.”

With schools now closed through the end of the academic year, teachers have transitioned to online learning and districts across the region are delivering lunch and breakfast meals to kids via school buses or setting up central locations.

In the face of the spreading virus, Ducey has also halted to evictions for 120 days; halted all elective surgery to keep hospital beds available for COVID-19 patients; loosened regulations to make telemedicine more available and increase eligibility for AHCCCS, the state's Medicaid program; and activated the National Guard to assist in grocery stores as Arizonans clear the shelves.

While most parks and outdoor recreation areas remain open, many local jurisdictions had already closed playgrounds and ramadas to prevent kids and adults from mingling. Parking lots for some federal recreation areas—such as Sabino Canyon—have been closed.

Courts have rescheduled most hearings to avoid spreading the virus.

COVID-19 symptoms typically occur two to 14 days after exposure, and include headache, fever, cough, and shortness of breath, according to the CDC. However, some cases of the virus are entirely asymptomatic. Practices to avoid infection include social distancing (of at least six feet), washing your hands, avoiding unnecessary trips and not touching your face. COVID-19 can survive on cardboard for up to 24 hours, and on stainless steel and plastic surfaces up to three days. If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, speak with a healthcare provider for medical advice.

According to the CDC, people who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to recover at home. Stay at home and avoid public transportation, but stay in touch with your doctor. If you do leave your home, wear a facemask and clean your hands often. If you develop more severe symptoms (persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion, bluish lips) get medical attention immediately. Your local health authorities will give instructions on checking your symptoms and reporting information.

Have you caught COVID-19? Are you feeling ill? Is your small business struggling to make it? Have you lost your job as a result of the outbreak? Are you struggling to manage your kids while schools are closed? Tell us your COVID-19 stories. Send an email or photo to tucsoneditor@tucsonlocalmedia.com.

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