Q&A with Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on coronavirus, reopening economy

Apr 23, 2020, 10:39 AM | Updated: 11:18 am

PHOENIX – The next step in reopening Arizona’s economy during the coronavirus outbreak will happen only after health data shows it is safe to do so, Gov. Doug Ducey said Thursday.

“After April 30 [scheduled end of stay-at-home order)] when we get stats and data, that’s when we’ll begin to raise the dimmer switch,” Ducey told KTAR News 92.3’s The Mike Broomhead Show.

Last week more than 72,000 Arizonans filed for unemployment the first time, bringing the total to 226,793 since mid-March.

Ducey’s stay-at-home order went into effect March 31. He said Wednesday he would decide next week on whether to let the order expire, extend or modify it.

Ducey visited the KTAR News studio for an exclusive interview and answered these questions:

You determined elective surgeries will be starting again May 1. Will other businesses also be reopening then?

Ducey: “If you think of how we went into the pandemic and the things that were closed down along the way, that likely to me makes the most sense … how we’ll come out one step at a time.

“Business that could open first – everything on that list is something that I’m thinking about. I think there’s a way to do it … when these places do open.

“Social distancing is going to remain … and we’ll be able to open some of these things. [Dine-in service] is something we can look forward to in the very near future.”

“Waiters will be wearing masks. They might ask if you have a preference how you want your food delivered. … [barbers would] wear masks and by appointment only to begin.”

Of the three options you have with the “stay at home” order, which one are you leaning toward based on the data?

Ducey: “I’m looking for data trends that can help make decisions. John Wooden once said, ‘Be quick but don’t hurry.'”

What do you say to the people who came to the State Capitol to protest the continued closings?

Ducey: “I hear them, I understand how they feel – I feel the same way, I want what they want. I don’t want to lose the gains … in public health.

“I know the losses economically and I know we can rebuild those losses. I think we can be even stronger.”

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego says she’s not getting information from your office. How are you communicating with mayors?

Ducey: “We have a phone call every day. They’re welcome to call in, participate. We’re going to continue to be responsive.”


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Q&A with Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on coronavirus, reopening economy