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Gov. Doug Ducey says approach to essential services could be modified

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said during a virtual town hall on Thursday that guidelines regarding his designation of essential services could be modified as the coronavirus outbreak continues to unfold.

The governor has come under criticism — including from Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego who referred to his essential services list as “laughable” — for including hair salons, nail salons and golf courses as “essential.”

Ducey said he was willing to taking further action to protect Arizonans “if there’s additional guidance that’s necessary.”

The governor said the goal of his March 23 executive order was to slow the spread of coronavirus by limiting large gatherings as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The list of “essential” services also includes healthcare operations, infrastructure operations, human services operations, various governmental functions and organizations that provide charitable and social services.

“Right now, there are no gatherings [in Arizona] where people can meet in large groups,” Ducey said.

As to whether or not his executive order adequately protects employees who work in hair or nail salons, Ducey said that his actions thus far have been primarily focused on prohibiting large crowds.

Ducey added that his plans for the state and its response to COVID-19 do not currently extend past May.

“I’m looking 60 days out,” he said.

Arizona Department of Health Services Director Cara Christ said during the town hall that more than 23,000 Arizonans have been tested for the coronavirus.

AZDHS reported a total of 1,598 coronavirus cases and 32 deaths on Thursday morning.

For all articles, information and updates on the coronavirus from KTAR News, visit ktar.com/coronavirus.

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