PHOENIX (3TV/CBS5) -- "This virus is everywhere."

Gov. Doug Ducey addressed the public Thursday about the growing number of COVID-19 cases in our state. "COVID-19 is widespread in Arizona," he acknowledged. It's growing, and it's growing fast."

Ducey was wearing a mask as he walked into Thursday afternoon's news conference, but he took it off to speak. His words come following days of record numbers of COVID-19 cases in Arizona. "We are getting hit hard right now," he said.

Ducey says we need to slow the virus. And he says the best way to help do this is to wear masks. "That will make a real difference in slowing the spread of this virus." He says social distancing, washing hands, and staying home when sick will also help.

"We're going to remain vigilant, flexible and humble," Ducey says. "We want to save lives and protect livelihoods." He says the situation is "manageable," but that "we do need to change the direction of these numbers."

"Our time of getting hit is right now: June, July and August," he says. "This is Arizona's first wave and this will not be our last wave."

He also says it's important to observe mandates about masks and social distancing, and "take enforcement actions" when violations occur. He mentioned Riot House, a bar in Old Town Scottsdale that was charged this week for not observing social distancing policies.

But he says that Riot House is not the only place on the radar, and he said others need to be held accountable. "They're not alone," he said, as he released a list of businesses on which Department of Liquor Department is cracking down. The department sent final notices to comply to the following bars:Those businesses are:

  • Riot House (charged with a misdemeanor)
  • Bottled Blonde
  • Pattie’s
  • Casa Amigos
  • El Jefe
  • International
  • Maya Day Club
  • Hi-Fi

Gov. Ducey says our state has done many things right in the fight against this pandemic. But he says there is much more to be done. "We're not there yet," he says, and urged people to proceed with caution. He also says if you can stay home, then stay home."

"You are safer at home," he says. "Arizonans are safer at home and you can stay healthy at home."

Ducey also addressed the growing number of younger people testing positive. "It doesn't matter who you are or how old you are, you can catch this," he says.

Looking ahead, Ducey says there are plans in place to increase testing around Arizona, create greater efficiency around testing and find ways to get quicker test results results. “Nobody should have to wait hours and hours for testing," he says.

Dr. Cara Christ with the Arizona State Department of Health says they’re increasing test collection sites, especially in Maryvale and West Phoenix, and will work with community providers. She also says they’re increasing testing statewide with 62 additional sites added this week.


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