Gov. Ducey ends Arizona’s COVID emergency declaration 2 years after pandemic start

Mar 30, 2022, 2:34 PM | Updated: 3:17 pm
(Facebook/Arizona Historical Society)...
(Facebook/Arizona Historical Society)
(Facebook/Arizona Historical Society)

PHOENIX — Gov. Doug Ducey on Wednesday terminated Arizona’s COVID-19 emergency declaration, two years after the pandemic altered lives across the globe.

Ducey said he ended the emergency declaration since cases, deaths and hospitalizations have plummeted to low levels in recent months.

“Thanks to the hard work of many ‒ health care workers, businesses, public and private sector employees ‒ COVID-19 is no longer an emergency in Arizona,” Ducey said in a press release.

“This virus isn’t completely gone, but because of the vaccine and other life-saving measures, today we are better positioned to manage and mitigate it.”

The declaration was issued March 11, 2020, and provided hospitals and health care facilities the flexibility to enhance their safety protocols and health officials with additional medical supplies.

At the time of issuance, Arizona had reported nine COVID-19 cases and zero deaths.

Wednesday’s most recent dashboard update from the Arizona Department of Health Services had the state at 2,007,180 cases and 29,268 deaths.

Access to COVID-19 vaccines in early 2021 helped accelerate Arizona’s progress ahead of Wednesday’s end to the declaration.

As of Wednesday, about 70% of Arizona’s population had been vaccinated, according to the ADHS dashboard.

The fierce spread of the contagious yet less deadly omicron variant during the winter months has also been attributed to lower infection and fatality numbers.

“The current COVID-19 outbreak period in Arizona has ended,” Arizona’s pandemic czar, Dr. Richard Carmona, said in the release. “COVID-19 is by no means completely through with us, however, and it’s reasonable to expect we will see increases in cases at times as the virus mutates to survive.

“We now have the experience and tools in place to address what may be to come while public health continues doing what we do best: infectious disease surveillance, prevention and control.”

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Gov. Ducey ends Arizona’s COVID emergency declaration 2 years after pandemic start