PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - While other states place new restrictions on businesses to fight against the coronavirus, that will not be the case in Arizona.

The state's top health official acknowledged Friday that she changed the guidelines, which are used to determine whether businesses should stay open during this pandemic. Those changes essentially guarantee that places like bars and restaurants will stay open for the duration of the pandemic, no matter how bad our numbers get.  

"There are other strategies that may come in before that, before we would recommend closing," Dr. Cara Christ, head of the Arizona Department of Health Services, said Friday when asked at what point she would recommend closing businesses.

Over the summer, the state set up benchmarks for businesses to safely reopen, but now, with cases rising, the state will not be using them.

Gov. Doug Ducey and Christ have said that businesses like bars and restaurants do not pose the same risks as gatherings in private settings do at this time.

Last week, the state health department provided data to back that claim. However, much of that information included studies from other states like New York and Mississippi.


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