Arizona Governor Closes Bars, Gyms, Movie Theaters over Coronavirus Concerns

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey (C) listens as US President Donald Trump speaks during a tour of a Honeywell International plant that manufactures personal protective equipment in Phoenix, Arizona on May 5, 2020. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
Brendan Smialowski / AFP

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) announced Monday that there will be a delay in school reopenings and closed bars, gyms, movie theaters, and water parks after a recent surge of COVID-19 cases in the state.

The closures, which went into effect on Monday at 8 p.m., will remain in effect for 30 days and the situation will be re-evaluated at that time. Ducey outlined the orders at a press conference and on his Twitter page.

“Effective at 8:00 p.m. tonight, we are instituting a month-long pause on the operations of bars, gyms, movie theaters, waterparks and tubing rentals,” Ducey wrote in a tweet. “This will help relieve stress on our health care system and give time for new transmissions to slow.”

In addition to the month-long pause on certain businesses and activities, Ducey also prohibited gatherings of 50 or more people, telling residents in the state to celebrate Independence Day “responsibly” and insisting that they wear face masks when they go out into public.

“Effective today, organized events of more than 50 people are prohibited,” Ducey wrote in another tweet. “Arizonans should celebrate the 4th of July responsibly this weekend, including by staying home, avoiding larger gatherings, and wearing a mask if you do go out.”

In addition to the closures, Ducey also delayed the reopening of schools in the state until August 17, 2020, but insisted that distance learning can begin before that date.

Ducey said the school reopening “delay allows additional time for schools to implement safety precautions, including making available remote learning options.”

Also announced Monday was the addition of grants to long-term care facilities to purchase equipment so residents can talk with their families through video chat.

“Through the partnership, facilities will receive $10,000 for the purchase of electronic devices to facilitate video conferencing with residents and their families,” Ducey wrote in a separate tweet.

Ducey concluded his remarks on Twitter and at the press conference by warning residents of Arizona of the dangers of the virus, telling them to “stay home” and “wear a mask.”

“We must be clear-eyed. The next few weeks will be hard,” Ducey said. “But these steps combined with stepped-up compliance with public health guidance can make a difference, and we’re grateful to Arizonans for their cooperation. Stay home. Wear a mask.”

As of Monday, there have been nearly 74,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Arizona, with more than 1,500 deaths.

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