Following COVID-19 case increases and hospitalizations in Arizona, Governor Doug Ducey today announced enhanced actions to “contain the spread of the virus and protect Arizona’s most vulnerable residents.”

Additional actions announced today include:

  • Continuing to boost diagnostic testing, including expanding rapid testing capability;
  • Amplifying contact tracing in partnership with counties, including utilizing National Guard assets and providing additional resources to counties;
  • Increasing awareness of distancing and face-covering guidelines, including authorizing local governments to implement enhanced mitigation measures;
  • Continuing to focus on long-term care settings, including providing $10 million for additional PPE and face masks;
  • And enhancing guidance for establishments to limit congregating and enforce mitigation policies.

Read Gov. Ducey’s full announcement here.

In addition, Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) today released updated guidance allowing local governments to implement mask and face-covering policies and determine enforcement measures. The guidance allows local authorities to tailor mitigation efforts specific to the local public health need.

In response to this announcement, Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego made this statement on social media, “Today Governor Doug Ducey gave the power back to cities to implement our own health and safety measures to fight rising #COVID cases. This is the needed step to allow cities to protect residents. The Governor has stated that he believes that the ‘government closest to the people’ is the most effective. We agree, and we hope that the expertise of cities is considered as we continue our fight against a virus that has killed too many Arizonans.

“On our next agenda, Phoenix City Council will vote to mandate face masks for residents going to essential businesses and in public spaces. I fully support this measure. We will only overcome this virus by working together.”

The official City of Scottsdale Facebook page posted this statement today: “Scottsdale is evaluating the legal and enforcement considerations before determining whether a local emergency ordinance mandating masks in public will be created.”*

With regards to businesses, the updated guidance issued today by ADHS requires specific health measures be taken by establishments, including:

  • Physically distancing of 6 feet;
  • Providing employees with face-coverings and requiring usage;
  • Conducting symptom checks for all employees before shifts;
  • Requiring sick employees to stay home;
  • And increasing the frequency of employee hygiene, cleaning and disinfecting.

The governor’s office released detailed requirements for businesses as well as for restaurants and bars providing dine-in service.

State health official continue to encourage those who are at higher risk of severe illness to stay home whenever possible. Those who are out in public should practice social distancing by staying 6 feet apart whenever possible and wearing a cloth face covering. As always, hand washing and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces are important.

Find more information on safety measures and symptoms of the disease here. |CST

*Updated: 7:20pm; 6.17.2020

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