PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- The Arizona Senate and House of Representatives have shut down for the entire week, due to COVID-19 concerns.
This is the latest confirmed information about the coronavirus in Arizona. This page will be continuously updated by the Arizona's Family digital staff.
Mike Philipsen, Director of Communications at the State Senate, confirmed to Arizona's Family on Sunday that the Senate would be shut down for the week.
The Speaker of the House sent out the following announcement to its members and staff:
Out of an abundance of caution for recent cases and concerns relating to COVID-19, the House building will be closed for one week, starting Monday, December 7. No one will have permission to work or meet in the building. All members and staff should perform all work and schedule meetings remotely.
President Donald Trump said Sunday his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani has tested positive for the coronavirus, making him the latest in Trump's inner circle to contract the disease that is now surging across the U.S.
The news of the shutdown came on the same day that President Donald Trump announced that his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, had tested positive for coronavirus.
Giuliani has traveled to several battleground states in recent weeks, including Arizona.
The former NYC mayor visited Phoenix last week, where he continued to push bogus conspiracies in a desperate bid to overturn the election results.
But that didn't stop some of the lawmakers, who were potentially exposed to the virus by Giuliani last week, from attending a Trump rally in Phoenix Monday afternoon.
"I think the sign on the highway says, if you feel sick stay home. I'm fine," said Rep. David Cook, who attended both the meeting with Trump's personal lawyer and the rally at the Capitol on Monday.
Cook, who wasn't wearing a mask until we interviewed him, felt no need to self-quarantine, even though the science shows someone with no symptoms can still spread the virus.
"I've already had it. You don't get COVID again, so we're good," said Rep. Anthony Kern, R-Peoria, who added that his wife had the virus in May.
On Sunday evening, the Trump Legal Team released the following statement (with the consent of Giuliani):
Mayor Giuliani tested negative twice immediately preceding his trip to Arizona, Michigan, and Georgia. The Mayor did not experience any symptoms or test positive for COVID-19 until more than 48 hours after his return.
No legislators in any state or members of the press are on the contact tracing list, under current CDC Guidelines..
Other team members who are defined as having had close contact will be following their physicians’ directives and CDC guidelines on self-isolation and testing.
President Trump, who confirmed Giuliani's positive test in a Sunday afternoon tweet, wished him a speedy recovery. “Get better soon Rudy, we will carry on!!!” Trump wrote.
Giuliani's diagnosis comes more than a month after Trump lost reelection and more than two months after Trump himself was stricken with the virus in early October. Since then, a flurry of administration officials and others in Trump's orbit have also been sickened, including White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Ben Carson, the secretary of housing and urban development.
Last month, Giuliani’s son, Andrew Giuliani, a special assistant to Trump, said he tested positive for coronavirus. “I am experiencing mild symptoms, and am following all appropriate protocols, including being in quarantine and conducting contact tracing,” the younger Giuliani said in a Nov. 20 tweet disclosing his COVID-19 positive test.
The week saw a total of four daily reports of over 5,000 additional coronavirus cases.
Trump spent the waning days of his campaign trying to persuade the American public that the virus was receding, and repeatedly claimed it would “disappear” after Nov. 3. Instead, the country is experiencing a record-breaking spike in infections.
Here in Arizona, our state reported the second-highest daily increase Saturday since the pandemic’s start. The additional 6,799 known COVID-19 cases reported Saturday.
During Wednesday's news conference, Gov. Ducey gave an update on COVID-19 vaccine distribution, and announced more money will be going to support Arizona hospitals and restaurants.
The Department of Health Services said on Twitter that people should wear masks “around anyone who isn’t a member of your household, even those you know and trust.”
Similarly, the department’s director, Dr. Cara Christ, said on Twitter that individuals “must take precautions as if we may be infected. And we must act as though anyone we are around may be infected.”
Gov. Doug Ducey has imposed restrictions that closed some establishments and requiring distancing and other precautions in others to stop the spread of the coronavirus, but he has eschewed ordering a statewide mask mandate, a new stay-home requirement or curfews. Many local governments have imposed masking requirements.
Arizona's health care leaders have been begging ADHS and the governor's office to take COVID-19 action. Last week, medical officers at eight Arizona hospital networks asked Dr. Cara Christ to take “swift action … to prevent Arizona hospitals from reaching crisis level of care, avoid preventable deaths from COVID and keep children in school.”
Representatives from Banner Health, Dignity Health, Health Choice Arizona, Honor Health, Mayo Clinic, Tucson Medical Center, Valleywise Health, and Yavapai Regional Medical Center sent a letter to the head of the Arizona Department of Health Services Tuesday.
Their request came just hours after ADHS announced more than 10,000 new coronavirus cases statewide. Although ADHS attributed that exceptionally high number to a lag in reporting over the Thanksgiving weekend, Arizona has seen what amounts to a section surge of COVID-19 in the past several weeks. Like the first surge over the summer, it’s putting a strain on hospitals.