Today, the Arizona Department of Health Services reported 4,057 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases in the state to 112,671.
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey held a press conference to address the continuing rise of COVID-19 cases in the state, and to announce a new Executive Order. The governor was joined by Arizona Department of Health Services’ (ADHS) Dr. Cara Christ and Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs director Major General McGuire.
“The decisions I am going to make are going to be reflective of Arizona, and Arizona exclusively. … So, there are continued sacrifices that are needed,” Gov. Ducey said at today’s press conference.
The governor continued, “There is nothing you can do that will help more than staying home.”
With that, Gov. Ducey announced additional actions to help slow the spread of COVID-19. He said that his Executive Order 2020-47 focuses on places of higher risk. Namely, restaurants.
Gov. Ducey said that today’s Order is going into effect with consultation with restaurant industry leaders and influencers within the industry.
The Order, states that “Every restaurant with indoor seating in the State of Arizona shall operate at less than 50 percent of the permitted fire code occupant load.”
In addition to ensuring at least six feet of separation between parties at different tables, unless the tables are separated by glass or plexiglass, the Order includes mandates that:
- Restaurants with outdoor dining must ensure six feet of physical distance between tables;
- Restaurants must eliminate any indoor standing room where patrons can congregate; and
- All buffets, cafeteria style and self-serve food bars at restaurants must be closed.
Gov. Ducey also stated that, with regards to reducing risk, “We are going to continue strengthening guidance in the State of Arizona. … In a pandemic, in an effort to protect lives, and to protect livelihoods, to have some balance out there in our economy that allows it to operate, we will be more prescriptive in our guidance going forward.”
The governor also announced that the state is going to dramatically expand testing. Via “Project Catapult,” a partnership between Sonora Quest Laboratories, PerkinElmer, Inc., and Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), the state has set a goal of 35,000 tests per day by the end of July and 60,000 tests completed per day by the end of August. Read more about the partnership here.
ADHS and Arizona State University (ASU) announced another new partnership today that will increase COVID-19 diagnostic testing in Arizona. ASU will launch several testing sites that will provide free saliva diagnostic testing for COVID-19 in high-need underserved communities around the state. The testing will begin this Saturday, July 11, in the West Valley. Additional sites and days will be added, with ongoing testing taking place over the next couple of months.
The governor stated that there was no need to pre-register for an appointment; however, a press release also issued by the governor’s office today states that “tests are by appointment only.” Residents can find more information on testing sites and registration requirements by visiting azhealth.gov/testing. Find more information about the partnership with ASU here.
Gov. Ducey closed his comments by stating, “We are going to be living with the virus for the foreseeable future.” He encouraged residents to continue to maintain physical distance and wear a mask when in public, and, as always, to wash their hands. |CST
For additional COVID-19 information and resources, visit the ADHS website.
Read Executive Order 2020-47 here.
Watch the July 9 press conference here.