ARIZONA NEWS

Ducey says no decision coming on stay-at-home order until next week

Apr 22, 2020, 3:56 PM | Updated: 7:11 pm
In this April 20, 2020, photo, protesters rally at the state Capitol to 're-open' Arizona against t...

In this April 20, 2020, photo, protesters rally at the state Capitol to 're-open' Arizona against the governor's stay-at-home order due to the coronavirus in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said Wednesday he will not make a decision on the state’s expiring “stay-at-home” order intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus until next week.

The order, which went into effect March 31, is set to expire April 30, or next Thursday.

The Republican governor said he is waiting to make decisions on what comes next for the state to avoid potentially having to reverse them in the future.

Ducey added that there are three possible options when he makes a decision — let the order expire, extend it in its current form or modify it.

“We are going to develop Arizona solutions,” Ducey said in a press conference. “We are going to use the Arizona data that we have and I am going to get input and support from Arizona stakeholders as we do this.”

Pressure to reopen the state following the end of the stay-at-home order has intensified this week.

Hundreds of protesters gathered at the state capitol on Monday calling for Ducey to reopen the state and its economy as soon as possible.

In recent days, other states have announced plans to reopen and have begun loosening social distancing restrictions.

Ducey said decisions made in Arizona will continue to be driven by data.

Arizona has reported about 5,500 coronavirus cases and 229 deaths as of Wednesday morning.

“It’s going to be important that we focus on the fundamentals that allowed us to get to a position where Arizona today has its arms around the virus,” Ducey said. “It’s prepared us for what comes next.”

“So please keep doing what you are doing because you are doing a great job.”

Here’s a timeline of Arizona’s major steps as the state shut down in response to the coronavirus outbreak:

  • March 11: Ducey declared a state of emergency designed to provide hospitals and health care facilities the flexibility to enhance their safety protocols. The state had nine confirmed COVID-19 cases at the time.
  • March 16: Closure of the state’s public district and charter schools began. The initial announcement made the previous day by Ducey and Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman said the closure would last at least through March 27.
  • March 19: Ducey issued an order closing bars and restricting restaurants to takeout and delivery service in counties with confirmed coronavirus cases. Movie theaters, gyms and other businesses where people gathered were also ordered closed in those counties. Arizona had 44 reported cases spread over seven of its 15 counties at the time. Ducey also ordered that elective surgeries be delayed to free up resources and hospital space.
  • March 20: Ducey and Hoffman extended the K-12 schools closure at least through April 10, two weeks longer than the initial plan.
  • March 23: Ducey issued an executive order that listed the businesses deemed essential that would be exempt should a shutdown be enacted. The list was criticized for including barber shops, salons and golf courses.
  • March 30: Ducey and Hoffman announced that the remainder of the school year was being canceled. The state had 919 cases of COVID-19 and 17 deaths at the time.
  • March 31: Ducey’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected” executive order, announced the previous day, went into effect. It was initially set to last until at least April 30. It required Arizona residents to remain in their homes except for essential needs and to spend time outdoors while social distancing. The state had 1,157 coronavirus cases and 20 deaths when the order was announced.
  • April 4: Revisions to Ducey’s essential businesses list, which were announced the previous day, went into effect, shutting down salons, barber shops, tattoo parlors, spas and massage.

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Ducey says no decision coming on stay-at-home order until next week