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Gov. Doug Ducey extended an executive order July 23 pausing operations on gyms, bars, nightclubs, movie theaters, water parks, and tubing. The order also continues to prohibit large public events and enables local law enforcement to take immediate enforcement action to ensure compliance with the order. No date has been set for the expiration of the extension of this order, but the extension will be reviewed for repeal or revision every two weeks.

The extension comes as Arizona has eight times as many cases as it had at the end of May. Gov. Ducey’s previous “stay at home” order was allowed to expire May 15.

“Over recent weeks, Arizona has made significant progress to contain the spread of COVID-19, but we cannot let up,” said Governor Ducey. “COVID-19 remains widespread in our communities, putting lives and public health at risk. We have to continue to press on and keep doing the things that are working: wearing a mask, staying physically distant, avoiding congregating and activities that lead to congregating, and staying home as much as possible.”

Today’s Executive Order extends provisions of Executive Order 2020-43, which was issued June 29. Those provisions include: 

Prohibiting Mass Gatherings Statewide

Even if appropriate physical distancing is possible, organized public events of more than 50 people are prohibited. The Executive Order enables local governing jurisdictions, such as the city, town or county, to approve events on the condition of meeting certain safety precautions, such as physical distancing.

Pausing Certain Business Operations

The following establishments shall continue to pause operations:

  • Bars with a series 6 or 7 liquor license from the Department of Liquor Licenses and Control (these entities may provide take-out and curbside service); 
  • Indoor gyms and fitness clubs or centers;
  • Indoor movie theaters;
  • Water parks;
  • And tubing operators.

Businesses seeking to resume operations once the pause has been lifted must demonstrate compliance with public health guidance as determined by the Arizona Department of Health Services. 

Suspending Special Event Liquor Licenses

Under the Executive Order, the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control shall continue to cease issuing special event licenses.

The June 29 Executive Order also delayed the start of in-person classes in the state’s schools until at least Aug. 17.

As of July 24, Arizona has topped 156,000 coronavirus cases, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services. Almost 105,000 of these cases were in Maricopa County, which includes most of metro Phoenix. There have been more than 3,100 deaths.

The rate of cases per 100,000 in Arizona is 2,174.2. Nationwide, the rate is 1,270.1. According to the World O Meters website, which tracks cases worldwide, only two states have higher rates of cases than Arizona:  New York (2,252.5) and Louisiana (2,231.4).

Pioneer reporter John Gutekunst contributed to this story.

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