Arizona unveils compliance measures for businesses set to reopen

Aug 26, 2020, 2:56 PM | Updated: 4:15 pm
(AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)...
(AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
(AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

PHOENIX — The Arizona Department of Health Services is providing ways for reporting violations at businesses allowed to reopen when COVID-19 benchmarks are met.

The department announced Wednesday it had entered into contracts with most local public health departments to investigate complaints and enforce requirements set forth as part of reopening plans.

AZDHS also said it would consider taking action against businesses that violate coronavirus prevention requirements.

Indoor gyms, bars/nightclubs, indoor theaters, water parks and tubing operators will likely Thursday get the green light to resume operations at the moderate level in the state’s three most populous counties — Maricopa, Pinal and Pima.

Four Arizona counties have already reached the moderate range for reopening.

“For businesses to remain open, compliance with public health requirements is critical,” the department said in a press release.

Individuals also have the option to file complaints against businesses they believe aren’t following requirements.

People can file complaints to local law enforcement, county health departments, online through the state health department or with the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control.

Arizona skyrocketed in coronavirus cases in June after the state reopened in mid-May.

Several pictures and videos shared to social media showed large gatherings at bars and nightclubs, which public health officials believe contributed to the sharp spike.

Discipline was minimal for offending establishments until a June 29 executive order from Gov. Doug Ducey indefinitely shut down operations at certain businesses deemed high risk for spreading COVID-19.

“While it’s promising news that more counties are progressing to the next stage of safely resuming business operations, Arizonans need to be vigilant and continue practicing proven COVID-19 prevention strategies,” the department said.

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