Gov. Doug Ducey has ordered bars, gyms, theaters and places were people congregate to close as of close of business on Friday, March 20. Restaurants will still be able to offer take-out or delivery—and now they can also deliver beer, wine and alcohol.
The order applies to any county with cases of COVID-19, the fast-spreading and deadly novel coronavirus that is killing hundreds of thousands of people across the globe.
Ducey said the order was aimed at "proactively limiting the spread of COVID-19.”
“These latest actions are based on the facts and on data, and come after careful consultation with public health experts from every county in Arizona, our hospitals, local elected officials, and private sector partners," Ducey said in a prepared statement. "They reflect guidance from the CDC and the latest recommendations from our Department of Health Services, while going even further to bolster our efforts with additional manpower and resources. This is an all-in effort. We are determined to take all necessary precautions to address this outbreak and will continue to act with urgency to protect public health.”
Ducey's actions come on the same day that Pima County and the towns of Oro Valley and Marana took the same steps with restaurants, bars, gyms and other gathering places. Tucson Mayor Regina Romero took similar steps on Tuesday.
According to the Governor's Office press release, Ducey also:
• Ordered the National Guard to help grocery stores to restock their shelves as more and more Arizonans seek to stock up on staples. The National Guard will also help food banks, which are struggling to find volunteers.
• Ordered a halt to all elective surgeries throughout the state to free up medical resources and maintain the capacity for hospitals and providers to continue offering vital services.
• Delayed the expiration date on Arizona driver licenses so that people over 65 will not have to visit the MVD for a renewal, nor will commercial vehicle drivers have to take a break from their duties to renew their their licenses.
As of today, Arizona Department of Health Services report, 14 people in Pima County have tested tested positive for COVID-19. In Arizona, a total of 44 people have tested positive. Among state tests, 130 cases are still pending and 175 have been ruled out. Private labs are testing people for COVID-19. Statewide numbers updated here.
According to the CDC, COVID-19 symptoms typically occur two to 14 days after exposure, and include fever, cough and shortness of breath. 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 and symptoms, call your healthcare provider for medical advice.
For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.