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Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey extends stay-at-home order until May 15

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

PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced during a Wednesday press conference that the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected” executive order will be modified and extended until May 15.

Beginning on May 4, businesses involving the sale of goods which were not previously classified as essential may return to selling their goods in a limited capacity, according to Ducey’s amended executive order.

Such businesses can begin selling their goods via drive-thru, pick up, delivery or window service.

(Arizona Together presentation)

Effective May 8, those businesses can begin offering their goods via in-store purchases as long as social distancing protocols requiring six feet of space between patrons is enforced.

“We are putting public safety and public health first,” Ducey said.

“I am following … the health guidance and we realize that every decision that’s been made affects the citizens of Arizona.”

(Arizona Together presentation)

Ducey said that restrictions travel restrictions applying to travelers flying into Arizona from coronavirus hotspots will also be extended until May 15.

On April 7, Ducey signed an executive order requiring that those flying into Arizona from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut self-quarantine upon arrival for 14 days.

“We have avoided what has happened in so many parts of our globe and our country,” Ducey said.

“Your cooperation is working. I am confident that we can say that we have seen the spread has been slow, and these have been hard fought gains.”

Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ and Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs Director Major General Michael T. McGuire also appeared with Ducey at the briefing.

Ducey’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected” order, went into effect March 31, and was set to expire at midnight Thursday.

It required Arizona residents to remain in their homes except for essential needs and to spend time outdoors while following social-distancing guidelines.

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

The mayors of three major Arizona cities, who’d urged Ducey to continue following guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, applauded his decision to extend the order.

“Our preference is to have the current stay-at-home order remain in place without modifications; however, we agree it’s critical to extend stay-at-home guidelines until at least May 15 and show a steadier trendline before further reopening happens,” Phoenix’s Kate Gallego, Tucson’s Regina Romero and Flagstaff’s Coral Evans said in a joint statement.

“The decision the governor made was certainly not an easy one, but it was the right one.”

Here’s a timeline of Arizona’s major steps as the state responded to the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19:

  • 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.
  • April 22: Ducey announced that the ban on elective surgeries for hospitals and health care providers meeting certain preparedness criteria will be lifted May 1.
  • April 29: Ducey announced that the stay-at-home order would be extended until May 15, with some modifications.

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