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Ducey to end Arizona stay-at-home order Friday, enter phase 1 of reopening

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 — Gov. Doug Ducey on Tuesday announced Arizona’s “stay-at-home” executive order will be lifted after it expires Friday and that the state would enter the first phase of reopening.

Ducey pointed to a decrease in positive test result percentage, adequate hospital capacity and expanded testing numbers for reasons Arizona is ready to begin reopening.

The order will be replaced by new guidance that aligns with gating criteria issued by the White House and Centers For Disease Control and Prevention.

The new guidance aims to limit the risk of COVID-19 resurgence, protect vulnerable populations and guide the reopening of businesses with enhanced physical distancing and safety measures.

“Today we get the chance to turn that dial a little bit more to the right to brighten Arizona’s economy and to bring back some of the energy that was lost due to this pandemic,” Ducey said during a press conference.

The state has been under the stay-at-home order since the beginning of April in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus.

The order was originally supposed to expire on May 1, but the Republican governor extended it two weeks because he said data didn’t support Arizona entering phase one of reopening.

Since that announcement, Ducey has reopened barbershops and salons, and allowed dine-in service at Arizona restaurants to return on a limited basis.

Ducey also announced that gyms and pools would reopen beginning Wednesday.

In addition, the governor’s office told ABC15 after Tuesday’s press conference that movie theaters would be permitted to reopen Saturday.

Arizona had reported 11,736 COVID-19 cases and 562 deaths as of Tuesday morning.

Here’s a timeline of Arizona’s major steps over the course of the coronavirus pandemic:

  • 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.
  • May 8: Retail shops, hair salons and barbershops that followed new health guidelines were allowed to reopen under the revised stay-at-home order.
  • May 11: Restaurants adhering to guidelines were given the green light to resume dine-in service.

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

Arizona open and hiring: If you’re looking for job openings, visit ktar.com/arizonahiring.

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