Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has ordered dine-in restaurants to allow no more than 50 percent of their capacity at any given time in an effort to slow spread of the coronavirus. The order came Thursday, July 9, the day in which Arizona topped 110,000 cases and 2,000 deaths.
The rapidly growing number of coronavirus cases in Arizona led the Harvard Global Health Institute to say another closure of the state is warranted.
Ducey admitted the last month has been rough on Arizona.
“We have had a brutal June in Arizona," he told Azfamily.com. "No county in Arizona -- no matter how rural or how sparely populated -- has been spared. ... Everything we will do going forward will be to protect and promote public health in Arizona. ... When in doubt, we will err on the side of protecting lives and proceed with caution.”
Ducey said further sacrifices need to be made. He said the best way to slow down the virus was for Arizonans to stay home.
A previous stay-at-home order was allowed to expire May 15. Since the Memorial Day weekend, the number of coronavirus cases in Arizona has climbed from 18,700 on May 26 to 112,671 on July 9. That’s an increase of 600 percent. The number of deaths has increased 250 percent, from 807 to 2,038.
Ducey ordered bars, nightclubs, public swimming pools, gyms and theaters to close June 29. He also banned any gatherings of more than 50 people and pushed back the first day for in-person classes in the schools to Aug. 17.
Since Ducey made that executive order, there have been more than 30,000 new cases in Arizona. In published reports that state is running out of space in intensive care units and hospital beds in general.
The Harvard Global Health Institute has rated Arizona the nation’s top “hot spot” for the coronavirus. According to Azfamily.com, they have given the state a color ranking of red, which means another closure is warranted.
Dr. Shad Marvasti of the University of Arizona College of Medicine told Azfamily.com that the state’s coronavirus numbers mean the state should definitely shut down again.
New testing was announced July 9 on the Governor’s website. The Arizona Department of Health Services and Arizona State University are partnering to provide free saliva-base coronavirus tests at sites around the state. ADHS will be providing $12.7 million for testing up to 100,000 Arizonans. The tests are by appointment only. Go to azhealth.gov/testing.