A variety of businesses in Arizona will be forced to close their doors for the next 30 days beginning at 8 p.m. Monday, June 29, Gov. Doug Ducey announced during a midday press conference.
The move was made to slow the spread of COVID-19 across the state, and includes bars, gyms, movie theaters, water parks and tubing.
“We simply cannot let up,” Ducey said. “This is time for us to put on a full court press as a state. We cant be under any illusion that this virus is going to go away on its own. Our expectation is that next week, our numbers will be worse. It will take several weeks for the mitigations that we put in place and are putting in place to take effect...Over time we will see reduction and not increases, that is the goal. It will not happen overnight, but it will happen. If every Arizonans will join in and follow these steps, we will slow the spread and save lives along the way.”
In addition to closing businesses, private pools will be required to limit capacity to 10 people and enforce social distancing—and public gatherings will be limited to 50 people. Municipal governments can approve larger gatherings as long as venues meet safety standards including social distancing.
Ducey also announced that Arizona schools will delay reopening until Aug. 17 at the earliest.
“With this targeted approach we know that we can pump the brakes in Arizona,” Ducey said. “We can pause and our aspirational goal is to get these establishments reopened in 30 days with enforcement by county health officials.”
Ducey and Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman initially closed Arizona’s schools March 16 with a goal of reopening March 27. That date was pushed back to April 10 and eventually through the end of the academic year by the end of March.
“The health and safety of all our students is our top priority, and we’ve worked hard to keep our school doors open—schools provide important services and many families rely on them for nutrition, access to health care and in order to do their own jobs,” Hoffman said in a March 15 address. “I am in close contact with school superintendents, teachers, and parents and will continue working closely in partnership with schools to ensure that our families' needs are met.”
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Arizona crossed the 74,000 threshold as of Monday, June 29, after the state reported 625 new cases this morning, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services. Pima County had seen 7,568 of the state's 74,533 confirmed cases. A total of 1,588 people have died after contracting the virus, including 268 in Pima County. And the total number of cases in Arizona has tripled since the beginning of the month. Arizona reported 20,123 cases June 1.
According to the state, Arizona has averaged 2,857 new cases every day.
“My heart and condolences go out to all the families of Arizonans who have lost loved ones through this crisis,” Ducey said. “We’re going to do everything we can to protect people in this state going forward. This is a dangerous virus and we need to slow it down and contain it.”