PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Gov. Ducey held his first press conference since his Stay-At-Home Order expired last Friday.
"As our economy gradually reopens, businesses are implementing the public health guidance. People are acting responsibly. And Arizona continues to trend in the right direction," Ducey said. He announced that Arizona remains in Phase One of reopening the state and returning to normalcy. [The White House released a breakdown of Phase One, Phase Two and Phase Three; click here to see it.]
The Governor's Office tweeted out that Arizonans still need to "act responsibly" as the state economy reopens in the first phase of his plan, "Stay Healthy, Return Smarter, Return Stronger."
Ducey is hoping to reopen schools in the fall, and soon get summer camps to open (as part of Phase Two). He says Arizona is headed in the right direction as COVID-like-illness and influenza-like symptomatic cases are continuing to decline.
According to Ducey, the number of positive COVID-19 tests is dropping.
Arizona Department of Health Services (AZDHS) has been working to expand testing at prisons for inmates and correctional officers. They have been working on a plan to make sure all residents and staff in long-term care and skilled nursing facilities can be tested as well as receive the assistance they need.
According to Ducey, the state is working to support Arizonans who are in need of assistance and access to unemployment. "Since April, over $770 million in unemployment benefits have been paid, in addition to over $355M in pandemic unemployment assistance."
Ducey acknowledged that there are long wait times when people call DES and encouraged those who need to get a hold of a representative to call in the early morning.
We’ve seen encouraging signs over the past week. As our economy gradually reopens, businesses are implementing the public health guidance. People are acting responsibly. And Arizona continues to trend in the right direction. #ReturnStronger 1/ pic.twitter.com/eHVEWh93Mo— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) May 20, 2020
On Wednesday, Ducey also announced that $300,000 in grant funding has gone to organizations providing Arizonans in need of rental assistance, tele-health, transportation and more. These funds went directly to Vincent de Paul and Open Hearts.
“Organizations across the state have stepped up to help Arizonans in need to ensure they have access to health services, can remain in their homes and much more. These dollars will support those organizations that have made helping fellow Arizonans their top priority. My thanks to St. Vincent de Paul and Open Hearts for all you do to support our communities, especially during COVID-19,” Ducey said.
For several weeks, UArizona has been testing in Pima County. Now the program's being rolled out statewide.
Ducey also announced $500,000 to help expand child care from the Arizona Coronavirus Relief Fund. "The funding will support extended hours and enrichment programs to meet the increased demand of child care for families while students distance learn and parents or guardians work. The organizations will continue to support students in their social and emotional development and help them stay on track academically."
In addition to the governor's press conference, the NCAA also announced Wednesday that they will resume football, men's and women's basketball and voluntary activities starting June 1 through June 30.