Ducey shuts down bars, nightclubs, gyms for 30 days as virus cases surge

Jun 29, 2020, 3:29 PM | Updated: 4:27 pm
(AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)...
(AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
(AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

PHOENIX — Gov. Doug Ducey on Monday ordered bars, nightclubs, gyms, movie theaters and water parks to close for at least 30 days amid a surge of coronavirus cases in the state.

Ducey’s executive order will go into effect at 8 p.m.

“Arizonans have been by and large terrific, fantastic and responsible,” Ducey said. “But we have found some situations and categories where we need to take more aggressive actions and that’s what are we going to do today.”

Ducey said gatherings of 50 people or more would be prohibited as a result. Arizona remains in Phase One of reopening, which recommends limiting gatherings to no more than 10 people.

The Republican governor clarified that political rallies, protests and churches aren’t subject to the new order.

“The Constitution remains the supreme law of the land in Arizona,” Ducey said.

Ducey said the goal of the order was to limit large gatherings, especially at locations where they’ve been happening across the state since its reopening.

Before Monday, enforcement had been lax on bars and other establishments that have held large social gatherings.

The toughest action taken was Thursday, when eight Scottsdale businesses were sent final notices to comply by the Department of Liquor Licenses after not adhering to Ducey’s reopening order.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema called out Ducey over the weekend for not taking additional action to stop the spread of the virus.

Social media posts from Memorial Day weekend in May showed partygoers in close proximity in Old Town Scottsdale bars, tubing and other metro Phoenix hot spots.

A Twitter post from this past weekend showed a packed club on Mill Avenue in Tempe.

“I think we also saw the photos and videos of some of the things that were happening around the state this weekend,” Ducey said. “And the result of that has been an increase in the spread.”

The state had reported four consecutive days of at least 3,000 cases, but the Arizona Department of Health Services said its Monday morning COVID-19 report was incomplete because a lab partner did not meet the daily data submission deadline.

Monday’s incomplete daily report showed just 625 new coronavirus cases with no new deaths, putting the state’s documented totals at 74,533 cases and 1,588 deaths.

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Ducey shuts down bars, nightclubs, gyms for 30 days as virus cases surge