ducey presser

Gov. Doug Ducey issues remarks during a Monday news conference.

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Gov. Doug Ducey has issued an executive order urging Arizonans to stay home. The order went into effect at 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

"Stay home, stay healthy and stay connected," he said.

Watch raw video of entire news conference here:

CONTINUING COVERAGE: Coronavirus in Arizona

During a news conference Monday, he asked folks to stay home except to conduct essential business. This comes hours after Ducey received a letter signed by several Arizona mayors, urging him to declare a shelter-in-place order for our state.

Gov. Ducey says Arizonans should limit their time away from home and if they do go out, to ensure social distancing. "Arizonans are staying home because it's the right thing to do," Ducey said.

Ducey didn't change the list of essential services and stressed that grocery stores and pharmacies will not close. He urged people to only buy one week of groceries and not hoard so that way supplies can be replenished.

He also said that restaurants will continue to offer takeout and delivery, and to please patronize your local businesses, tipping as much as you are able.

The governor said he took the action after the state's top health official said it was necessary to slow the spread of the COVID-19 disease caused by the virus. Dr. Cara Christ, who oversees the Department of Health Services, said the rate of cases begin seen in emergency rooms has been steadily rising, as the percentage of positive tests had increased from 2% of samples to about 7%, a rise that triggered her recommendation for people to stay at home.

Ducey said he intentionally issued a “stay-at-home” order rather than calling for a “shelter-in-place" order to reduce fear.

“When you use words like shelter in place, that’s what happens during a nuclear attack, that’s what happens when there’s an active shooter,” Ducey said. “We want people to stay at home. It will have the same type of effect.”

Monday's order urges Arizona residents to remain at home except for employment or to conduct or participate in "essential activities."  

Those essential activities include:

  • Obtaining necessary supplies and services for family, household members and pets, such as groceries, food and supplies for household consumption and use, supplies and equipment needed to work from home, assignments for completion of distance learning and products necessary to maintain safety, sanitation and essential maintenance of the home, residence. 

  • Engaging in activities essential for health and safety, including things such as seeking medical, behavioral health or emergency services and obtaining medical supplies or medication. 

  • Caring for a family member, friend, or pet in another household or residence, which includes but is not limited to transportation for essential health and safety activities and to obtain necessary supplies and services for the other household. 

  • Engaging in outdoor exercise activities, such as walking, hiking, running, biking or golfing, but only if appropriate physical distancing practices are used.

  • Attending work in or conducting essential services which includes but is not limited to transporting children to child care services for attending work in an essential service.

  • Engaging in constitutionally protected activities such as speech and religion, the democratic process to include voting any legal or court process provided that such is conducted in a manner that provides appropriate physical distancing to the extent feasible.

He strongly recommended Arizonans to get outside. "The weather is beautiful outside right now," Ducey said. "Find a way to get out and enjoy it with social distancing."

Ducey cautioned that this won't be an easy time. "This is going to be a tough month or two," he said, but he is urging everyone to use technology, like Facetime, to keep in touch. Here is a list of suggestions he gave that folks can use to stay connected.

  • Maintaining ongoing connections and communication with current social supports and structures such as family, friends, neighbors and other social groups;

  • Educating fellow Arizonans on the negative health impacts of social isolation;

  • Developing habits and activities that increase resilience, such as physical activity, virtual social gatherings, assisting neighbors, implementing or participating in connection campaigns for at risk populations, and participating in volunteer activities.

You can read Gov. Ducey's full order HERE.

Reaction to stay-at-home order

Earlier Monday, the mayors of nine cities — including Phoenix and Tucson — sent a letter to Ducey imploring him to issue the stay-at-home order.

Ducey had for weeks resisted making such a call. He prohibited mayors from forcing the closure of businesses on a lengthy list of enterprises deemed essential, from hospitals and grocery stores to golf courses and parks.

After Ducey's executive order was signed, several mayors said it didn't go far enough. Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego said the order was "insufficient" because it didn't narrow down his list of essential services.

"Essential services during #COVID19 are not golf and beauty salons. They are first responders, grocers, pharmacists, and few others," Gallego said in her tweet.

Tucson Mayor Regina Romero said Ducey's order was a "step in the right direction" but also wanted more action to restrict essential services.

Helping Navajo Nation

During the same news conference on Monday, the governor and state health officials announced the latest efforts to combat COVID-19 as the number of state deaths reached 20 and confirmed cases reached 1,157.

A medical station was set up overnight in Chinle to assist the needs of the Navajo Nation as leaders work to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The National Guard established a Federal Medical Station in Chinle overnight to assist the needs of the Navajo Nation. Major General Michael McGuire said two Blackhawk helicopters were dispatched on Monday with additional resources to head to Apache County.

 

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