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Arizona to close bars, gyms, theaters again; delay start of school

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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Gov. Doug Ducey announced two new executive orders on Monday in the state's efforts to curb the surge in coronavirus cases in Arizona. 

ONE MONTH PAUSE

One of the executive orders is a "one-month pause" that will force the closure of bars, gyms, movie theaters, water parks, and tubing rentals effective at 8 p.m. Monday (June 29).

Gov. Ducey said this closure will help relieve stress on the healthcare system and give time for new transmission to slow, but some businesses are fighting back.

A spokeswoman with the Great Wolf Lodge said late Monday that the water park is not required to abide by the governor's order because it is located on the sovereign land of the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community, and will remain open under further notice. "If there are changes to the Great Wolf Lodge operations in Arizona, guests will be notified with ample time," she said.

Mountainside Fitness CEO Tom Hatten said he plans to keep his gyms open and is filing a lawsuit against the governor.

SOCIAL GATHERINGS

The order also prohibits gatherings of 50 or more people, even if there is social distancing. Gov. Ducey said enforcement will be led by local authorities and public health officials. Groups of more of than 10 will also be prohibited at community, apartment and private pools.

"This is a global pandemic, and it’s affecting all of our states and Arizona is not alone right now in terms of where we are on record cases and record hospitalizations," Gov. Ducey said. 

Starting immediately, the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control will cease issuing special event licenses between June 29 and July 27. 

SCHOOL DELAYED

The second order will delay in-person school until at least Aug. 17, Gov. Ducey announced. 

Due to the surge in COVID-19 cases during the month of June, Gov. Ducey said the decision was made to push back the opening day for schools after consulting with Arizona Superintendent Kathy Hoffman and other school leaders. Gov. Ducey said the target day for opening schools will continue to be monitored and is still subject to change based on COVID-19 trends.  

"In Arizona, we are seeing an increase higher than most other states in the country. Only four states are on the decline," Gov. Ducey said in reference to a graphic showing case increases in 29 states. "I ask for patience. Our numbers continue to increase, and are going in the wrong direction. You're safer at home. If you can stay home, stay home."

Late Monday, the Phoenix Union High School District said they plan to move forward with their Aug. 3 reopening date with "full remote learning."

MONDAY COVID-19 NUMBERS

The announcement comes on the same day the Arizona Department of Health Services reported 625 new cases in the state Monday morning with no new deaths. However, AZDHS said one of their lab partners did not report their numbers to the department on time, but that the numbers would be reflected in Tuesday's update.

CRISIS STANDARDS OF CARE

Dr. Cara Christ, the Director for the Arizona Department of Health Services, said 'Crisis Standards of Care' would also be activated at Arizona hospitals. This activates tactics to address space, staff and resource constraints as necessary for the hospital's current situation.

It will also prepare hospitals for surges and anticipate fully staffing hospitals. All surgeries will cease except for non-emergent, essential surgeries and procedures that do not impair the care of other patients.

The lab that failed to report in time, Sonora Quest Laboratories, released COVID-19 statistics around 2 p.m. Monday that were missing from this morning's update. On June 28, Sonora Quest Labs reported a total of 2,454 patients with a COVID-19 diagnostic positive result.

 

Copyright 2020 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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