Ducey gives latest update as Arizona’s COVID-19 cases continue to rise

Mar 18, 2020, 4:30 PM | Updated: 4:32 pm
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)...
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX — The same day the number of coronavirus cases in Arizona increased to 27, Gov. Doug Ducey held a press conference at the Arizona State Health Laboratory, where he provided an update.

In addition to the proactive measures being taken by local governments and businesses across the state, the governor strongly encouraged individual citizens to pitch in as well.

Among the most productive steps Arizonans can take is donating blood.

“Blood levels are dangerously low at our blood banks,” Ducey said.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the governor said that 32 blood drives have been canceled, resulting in an estimated loss of more than 800 donations.

Ducey also encouraged Arizonans to donate to their local food banks.

Prior to the press conference, Ducey toured the state Emergency Operations Center, saying he was both impressed by and grateful for their dedication.

“Trained and experienced professionals working 24/7 to help coordinate emergency response around the state,” Ducey said.

“These professionals coordinate communications among all of Arizona’s 15 counties…  They ensure that Arizona is acting with one voice, and one clear line of direction as the situation changes, sometimes by the hour.”

Ducey then thanked all emergency management, public health officials and Director of Emergency Management Wendy Smith-Reeve for taking proactive action to combat COVID-19.

“COVID-19 has been an unprecedented challenge, and you are all rising to the occasion. Without a doubt, COVID-19 will test our limits, but it’s not going to break the state of Arizona.”

The governor continued by saying the state has been working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and will continue to follow their lead as recommendations and guidelines evolve.

Speaking to the financial hardships facing small businesses, Ducey referenced a letter he sent to the Small Business Administration earlier this week in which he requested an economic injury disaster loan declaration for Arizona.

In response to a question about his reluctance to issue a statewide mandate to shut down large gatherings, the governor said his decisions were being guided by the Arizona Department of Health Services, CDC recommendations and the National Institute of Health.

“What we want to do is put out responsible guidance for the entire state of Arizona,” Ducey said.

“We want to make decisions that protect public health first and foremost, but also take into account that we have a large state and things are different in Tombstone than they are in Tucson; they’re different in Gilbert than they are in Globe. I’m going to respect local leaders’ decisions.”

Arizona News

(Pexels Photo)...
Associated Press

Arizona couple who fought with cops after mask request sentenced

A Yuma couple has been sentenced to time behind bars on convictions stemming from a 2020 incident in which they fought with police after coughing on Walmart employees who asked them to wear masks during early months of the pandemic.
1 day ago
(Photo from

Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel out of rehab, plans to return to work

Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel is out of rehab with plans to return to work on Monday.
1 day ago
(Photo from Denny Riccelli)...

Tolleson high school teacher wins Gaydos and Chad’s teacher tribute

A high school teacher in Tolleson has been named KTAR News 92.3 FM's Gaydos and Chad Show's Pay Tribute to a teacher winner for August, presented by Your Valley Toyota Dealers.
1 day ago
(Arizona Department of Transportation Photo)...
Kevin Stone

US 60 east of metro Phoenix reopens with new Pinto Creek bridge in place

After a nearly weeklong closure in both directions, U.S. 60 east of metro Phoenix reopened Friday with a shiny new bridge in place.
1 day ago
(Google Maps Photo)...

2 Mesa high school students charged in separate threat incidents

Two high school students in Mesa were charged after making threats against their separate campuses Friday, police said.
1 day ago
Luis Mauricio Delgadillo Garcia (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)...

Phoenix police arrest suspect in killing of tow truck driver

A suspect has been arrested in the killing of a tow truck driver in west Phoenix earlier this month, authorities said Friday.
1 day ago
Ducey gives latest update as Arizona’s COVID-19 cases continue to rise