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Former Arizona health director upset with lack of social distancing

(Twitter Photo/@Mickangello)

PHOENIX — The former director of the Arizona Department of Health Services said Tuesday he was upset seeing photos and videos from Memorial Day weekend that appeared to show a lack of social distancing at some metro Phoenix hot spots.

Will Humble, who served in the position from 2009-15, said viral clips from areas like Old Town Scottsdale and tubing on the Salt River rubbed him the wrong way.

One clip showed boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr., partying at a crowded Scottsdale nightclub.

Arizona is in the first phase of its coronavirus reopening plan, which calls for maximizing physical distancing from others and avoiding social settings where physical distancing isn’t practical.

“There were a lot of things that were super disappointing,” Humble told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Gaydos and Chad. “Old Town Scottsdale was a great example of that.”

Humble said the Salt River was “totally packed” and a “free-for-all” when he was there Sunday to go kayaking, a week after the tubing season started.

Humble added that he wasn’t sure how the rest of the state was adhering to the state’s guidelines and that clips that show people not following the rules usually are the ones that end up going viral.

“There were examples of things going very badly over the weekend,” Humble said. “If the rest of the state was like that, we’re in big trouble.”

Humble said that if Gov. Doug Ducey wants to crack down on places not adhering to guidelines, the governor needs to consider rescinding the section of the new order that strips cities of their powers.

Section 7 of Ducey’s new order says “no county, city or town may make or issue any order, rule or regulation that conflicts with or is in addition to the policy, directives or intent” of the order.

“Cities have elected officials that are elected to do a job,” Humble said. “Cities are where this type of regulation can actually happen.”

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