Dr. Cara Christ and Gov. Doug Ducey

FILE - In this Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020 file photo Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ speaks as Republican Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey listens during a news conference, in Phoenix. Arizona expects to get enough doses of a new coronavirus vaccine by the end of the year to inoculate more than 383,000 health care workers and long-term care facility residents, Dr. Christ said Friday, Dec. 4, 2020. 

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Arizona health officials reported Thursday morning that the state has now reached "substantial" spread levels in all categories.

This means that there are more than 100 cases per 100,000 people, a higher than 10% positivity rate and more than 10% of hospital visits are for COVID-like illnesses.

The guidelines are used by health officials to put forth guidance to schools and businesses on whether they should stay open. The recommendation for schools is that all classes be virtual.

For businesses however, Dr. Cara Christ with the Arizona Department of Health Services, said Friday that she changed those guidelines. 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 these 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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