Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey issues statewide stay-at-home order
PHOENIX — Gov. Doug Ducey is ordering all Arizona residents to remain in their homes for the next month except for essential needs to limit the spread of the coronavirus, which has infected more than 1,000 people in the state.
The “Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected” executive order is set to take effect Tuesday at 5 p.m. and remain in place at least until April 30.
“Our order takes a uniquely Arizona approach,” Ducey said during a press conference. “It’s a whole, holistic approach that prioritizes all of public health, placing a focus on staying home to slow the spread, staying healthy and active, and staying connected to provide the much needed support we can provide one another in these unprecedented times.”
On March 23, he issued an executive order that laid out what the state considers essential services.
Critics have argued that Ducey’s definition of “essential” — including golf courses and hair and nail salons — is too lax and doesn’t do enough to keep the coronavirus from spreading.
During Monday’s announcement, Ducey encouraged people to enjoy the outdoors as long as they are keeping clear of others.
“We do not want people to feel trapped or isolated in their homes. The weather is beautiful right now. Find ways to get out and enjoy it — with physical distancing,” he said.
He also emphasized that grocery stores and drug stores would remain open, and restaurants would be able to continue with delivery and takeout service as defined under a previous executive order.
The number of reported COVID-19 cases in the state climbed to 1,157, with 20 deaths, Monday morning, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.
The stay-at-home order follows suit with dozens of other states, including California, New York and Illinois, experiencing rising case numbers and death tolls.
Ducey said the decision was recommended by state health Director Dr. Cara Christ based on the latest data specific to the situation in Arizona.
After listing off previous steps taken, he said, “Today I am announcing that the time for further action is now.”
Earlier Monday, Ducey and Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman announced the decision to keep the state’s public district and charter schools closed for the remainder of the scheduled year.
On March 19, Ducey ordered restaurants in counties with confirmed COVID-19 cases to provide delivery and takeout service only, while gyms, theaters, bars and other places where groups gathered were shut down. Six counties had cases at the time, but each of Arizona’s 15 counties had at least one by Monday.
Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 2,405 deaths from more than 140,000 COVID-19 cases as of Monday.
According to data compiled and constantly updated by Johns Hopkins University, there were more than 775,000 cases and 36,000 deaths globally as of Monday afternoon.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.