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Benchmarks released for when gyms, bars, and theaters can reopen in Arizona

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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- The Arizona Department of Health Services released the state's benchmarks on Monday providing guidance for when some businesses can resume operations.

There are two components the state says must be met. The first is the quality of the establishment's implementation of COVID-19 mitigation strategies. The strategies must be tailored for specific types of business operations, and businesses must show the strategies are being used before reopening.

The second component is the level of spread within the community. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines community spread as:

  • Minimal spread: Evidence of isolated cases or limited community transmission, case investigations underway; no evidence of exposure in large communal setting.
  • Moderate spread: Sustained transmission with high likelihood or confirmed exposure within communal settings and potential for rapid increase in cases.
  • Substantial spread: Large scale, controlled community transmission, including communal settings (schools, workplaces, etc.)

Arizona health officials further define community spread levels consistent with the national standards set by the Coronavirus Task Force.

AZDHS community spread thresholds

Anthony Hugger, the owner of Sazerac in downtown Phoenix, said he’s only been open for takeout for a couple of weeks and is zeroing in on these new requirements, trying to figure out what this means for his business.

“We’ve been threatened to have our liquor licenses revoked, taken away, closed down -- I mean, it’s been brutal,” he said.

For Hugger, whose business is primarily a bar but also has a food cart, he found the guidance confusing.

“I don’t think they understand that it needs to be a little more clear cut because there’s a lot of us that want to do this the right way,” he said. “For those of us that do this correctly, everyday we’re closed hurts us more and more and more -- not only as a business, but as a community.”

Below are several graphs indicating the benchmarks businesses, gyms, and nightclubs must meet for 14 days with a 12-day reporting lag period to move to a lower community transmission category. 


Applying benchmarks to business operations
Requirements for indoor gyms and fitness centers
Requirements for bars and nightclubs providing dine-in services

For the full breakdown on the benchmarks, click below:

Click here to fill out form from AZDHS to attest that your business is in compliance with the COVID-19 benchmarks.


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