Gov. Doug Ducey declares statewide 'stay-at-home' executive order

Arizonans should stay home unless performing essential services or activities

Gov. Doug Ducey declared a statewide "stay-at-home" executive order to help limit the spread of COVID-19 after public health officials briefed him on Arizona-specific statistics related to the virus Monday. 

The order becomes effective Tuesday at 5 p.m. as businesses close and lasts until April 30 unless extended, the same date that President Donald Trump extended his social distancing guidelines to on Sunday. 

Arizonans are recommended to stay home but can still take part in what Ducey calls "essential activities" like going to work, grocery stores or pharmacies and participating in outdoor physical exercise while practicing physical distancing measures. 

"You can still be active, you just have to distance yourself from others," Ducey said. 

The Arizona Department of Health and Human Services reports, as of March 30, 1,157 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 20 deaths in Arizona.

A stay-at-home order is a measure that allows government officials to implement new rules in the wake of an emergency, something the order says "builds on actions the state has already taken, and further memorializes some already in effect, to slow the spread of COVID-19."

READ MORE: Gov. Doug Ducey closes some businesses, calls for National Guard to aid during coronavirus outbreak

"The time for further action is now," Ducey said at a press briefing Monday.

Ducey's declaration follows a letter signed by nine of Arizona's mayors calling on him to implement the measure. 

Soon after the announcement, Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego said in a tweet that the order wasn’t restrictive enough.

The announcement also comes hours after Ducey, along with Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman, made the decision to close all Arizona schools through the rest of the academic year.  

Ducey said that the executive order takes an "Arizona approach" as it prioritizes public health with a focus on asking citizens to stay home to slow the spread of the virus. 

He reminded small businesses and restaurants that they can remain open as long as they are providing take-out or delivery options only and asked those who take advantage of the service to leave generous tips.

Ducey criticized the phrase "shelter-in-place," reminding Arizonans that this is a "stay-at-home" order and they should still be active in their communities while keeping their distance from others. 

He said at the press briefing that he has been using technology to keep up with his family that lives in the state, recommending that others do the same.

Department of Health Services Director Cara Christ said that the state has received 75% of Arizona's strategic national supply of personal protective equipment and the department has directed $10 million from the public health emergency fund for hospitals to purchase ventilators.

"We are elevating our guidance," Christ said. "I don't make this recommendation lightly." 

Wendy Smith-Reeve, Arizona's director of emergency response, recently resigned citing frustration with Ducey's management of Arizona's COVID-19 response. The organization's former deputy director Anthony Cox has been named the acting director.

Shelter-in-place orders have already been declared statewide in 30 states, according to the New York Times. In some states, only specific regions have issued shelter-in-place orders.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting 140,904 COVID-19 cases and 2,405 deaths as of March 30. The World Health Organization reports that there are 697,244 cases worldwide and 33,257 deaths worldwide.


Reach the reporters at gmlieber@asu.edu and pjhanse1@asu.edu and follow @G_Mira_ and @piperjhansen on Twitter.

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