ADHS

La Paz County has become one of the just four counties in the state to meet the benchmarks for minimal to moderate risk of transmitting the coronavirus. This means the county’s schools can re-open for at least part-time in-person classes. It also means some businesses can at least partially re-open.

Many businesses, including bars and nightclubs that didn’t sell food, bars and nightclubs that had dine-in services, indoor theaters, water parks, tubing centers and indoor gyms and fitness centers, were ordered closed earlier this year due to the pandemic. Restaurants could still offer drive-through and carry-out services, but bars had to close if they did not also serve food.

To qualify for minimal transmission of the coronavirus, a county had to have two weeks and a 12-day reporting period of less than 10 new cases per 100,000 residents, fewer than 5 percent of coronavirus tests coming back positive, and less than 5 percent of all hospital visits being for coronavirus illness or symptoms.

Here’s how the county’s new status affects businesses, according to the benchmarks set by the Arizona Department of Health Services:

Indoor gyms and fitness centers:  They may open to 50 percent occupancy with ADHS mitigation requirements until test positivity declines to 3 percent.

Indoor theaters, water parks and tubing centers:  They may open to 50 percent occupancy with ADHS mitigation requirements until test positivity declines to 3 percent.

Bars and nightclubs providing dine-in services:  They may open to 50 percent capacity only if converted to restaurant service per ADHS mitigation requirements until test positivity declines to 3 percent. Once that 3 percent is reached, they may have 50 percent occupancy operating as a bar with ADHS mitigation requirements.

Bars and nightclubs not operating as restaurants:  Closed until test positivity declines to 3 percent. Once 3 percent is reached, they may operate at 50 percent occupancy with ADHS mitigation requirements.

These benchmarks do not apply to businesses on Native American reservations as they are sovereign and can create their own benchmarks or are subject to federal regulations.

For more information, to the ADHS website, www.adhs.gov.

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