Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey Q&A on further reopening of state economy
PHOENIX – As more Arizonans go back to dining out and in-person shopping during the coronavirus outbreak, Gov. Doug Ducey said a second executive order to stay at home probably wouldn’t be needed.
“I don’t believe [another executive order] is going to be necessary. We know so much more about this virus today than we did 12 weeks ago,” Ducey said Thursday on KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News.
The stay-at-home order expired May 15 at 11:59 p.m. That order had limited restaurants to takeout and delivery orders only and closed public pools and gyms, among other restrictions.
“We’re trending in the right direction,” Ducey said.
That order was replaced by the “Stay Healthy, Return Smarter, Return Stronger” plan.
Health officials have warned of the likelihood a second wave of the coronavirus hitting Arizona later this year.
“We’re safe out there. We’ve been responsible … I want to encourage people to get out and about, to take a loved one to dinner, to go retail shopping,” Ducey said.
“If you don’t have an underlying health condition, it’s safe out there.”
Ducey visited the KTAR News studio for an exclusive interview:
What will Phase 2 in reopening the state look like?
“We’re right on the cusp of it. [Party-size] goes from groups of 10 to 50; Phase 3 is ‘Play ball, let’s go to a Diamondbacks game.'”
What is the plan for reopening schools for the upcoming academic calendar?
Ducey: “We’re making plans for summer school and making plans for fall. … We want to see kids in the classroom.
“We’ve gotten our arms around this distance learning. It’s not the preferred way to do it … [but for students and teachers with underlying health concerns] we’ll be able to provide that.”
“Everyone is eager to restart school.”
Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane said recently he was “disturbed” by online photos and videos of overcrowded bars, clubs and resort pools in his city. Should local leaders be given more power to enforce social-distancing standards?
Ducey: “By and large, people have been unbelievably responsible. We wouldn’t see these downward trends in terms of hospitalizations and capacity in ICU rooms and available ventilators if people weren’t responsible through the whole stay-at-home stage.
“I applaud Mayor Lane for speaking out.”
Is stronger intervention from law enforcement a viable option?
Ducey: “Our law enforcement has been terrific. They’ve used education and communication. There’s teeth [to enforcing guidelines] if necessary. It hasn’t been necessary.”
President Donald Trump seems to be considering moving August’s Republican convention from North Carolina. Could Arizona step in to host?
Ducey: “If the president wants to relocate it … if he wants to bring it here … we’ve pulled off a lot more in Arizona. I’m confident we could do whatever came our way.”