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Ducey orders Arizona to 'Stay at Home' for coronavirus outbreak

Under a "Stay at Home" order issued Monday afternoon, Arizona residents should only be in public to conduct essential business or carry out essential activities. Some businesses must close under the order, which takes effect at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Arizonans must "Stay at Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected," Gov. Doug Ducey ordered Monday, citing the increasing coronavirus outbreak. While it does not explicitly declare so, it effectively orders the closure of non-essential businesses to the public, across the state. The order requires physical distancing at any business that remains open.

Violating the order is a class 1 misdemeanor, but those breaking the regulations released by Ducey will be first notified and given an opportunity to comply.

The order, signed Monday, requires Arizonans to:

"limit their time away from their place of residence or property, except:

  • To conduct or participate in essential activities, and/or;
  • For employment, to volunteer or participate in essential functions; or
  • To utilize any services or products provided by essential business services;
  • And for employment if as a sole proprietor or family owned business, work is conducted in a separate office space from your home and the business is not open to serve the public.

"All persons my leave their place of residence only for essential activities, to participate in or receive essential government functions, or to participate in or fulfill essential functions," Ducey said.

From Ducey's order:

Under this policy, 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.

All businesses that remain open are mandated to practice physical distancing measures, including keeping all workers and customers at least six feet apart.

Read more: Ducey's full 'Stay at Home' executive order

"Keeping Arizonans safe and healthy as we slow the spread of COVID-19 remains our top priority," said Ducey.

The order limits public transportation use to those performing essential activities or functions under the order, and mandates "to the extent possible" that riders remain six feet from each other and drivers.

Under the order, residents are not required to present any documentation or proof that they are performing essential functions.

Homeless people are specifically exempted from the order, but are "strongly urged to obtain shelter as soon as possible." Anyone whose residence is unsafe, or becomes unsafe, such as victims of domestic violence, "are permitted and urged to leave their home and stay at a safe alternative location."

The order limits cities, counties and towns from issuing any orders that are more restrictive than the regulations released by Ducey on Monday.

Businesses that are "non-essential" under Ducey's prior executive order may continue to operate, but only those activities that do no require in-person, on-site transactions.

"It's a positive first step, but without changing the essential services list, we're falling short of doing all that we can," Tucson Mayor Regina Romero said of Ducey's order Monday.

Romero pushed for the governor to narrow the list of essential services, removing some business like personal grooming services that still can remain open.

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"We need to limit these services so they can close, and cut the spread of COVID-19," she said.

"We just don't want to be at the point that our hospitals are overloaded to make that call. Every hour that we wait will cost lives, every hour we wait the spread continues," Romero said.

What's closed & not closed in Arizona

Last Monday, Gov. Doug Ducey listed dozens of business types that are deemed "essential" during any government-ordered closures, either by the state or local jurisdictions.

Healthcare, pharmacies, utilities and Internet services, grocery stores and gas stations, the press, banks and hardware stores and more are listed as "essential services" during the coronavirus outbreak.

Under Ducey's order, counties and municipalities cannot restrict services announced as essential more than state authorities determine.

Also included on Ducey's list are restaurants doing take-out/delivery business, meaning counties and cities are unable to reach an independent decision to end retail sales of prepared food.

Other businesses included as "essential" under Ducey's order are: liquor stores, gun stores, taxis and Uber/Lyft drivers, day care for employees of essential service businesses, building trades and maintenance workers, golf courses and outdoor recreation such as parks, and funeral-related businesses.

Romero closed Tucson businesses Friday

Friday evening, after it became apparent that Ducey was not yet ready to issue a statewide order, Romero ordered non-essential businesses to close, and advised residents to remain at home as much as possible.

Businesses that were not on the state list of "essential services'"must close in Tucson due to the continuing spread of coronavirus, Mayor Romero ordered, further advising residents to remain at home and that nail salons and barber shops should shut down.

"We have to go through this to save lives," Romero told a group of reporters during a phone interview Friday evening. "Tucsonans have been very responsive and responsible."

Mayors pushed move in letter

"The ever-increasing numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths serve as a stark indicator of what is to come if we do not take action now," Romero and the leaders of Phoenix, Flagstaff and other cities wrote to Gov. Doug Ducey on Monday, pushing him to issue a "Stay at Home" order across the state.

"We understand that public health officials in Arizona have already recommended the governor issue a Stay-At-Home Arizona order immediately and we would like to know why the governor has not followed that recommendation," the mayors wrote Monday.

"Arizona must not squander the opportunity to learn from the unfolding events in our sister states and immediately formalize a statewide Stay-At-Home order to ensure that we pursue every avenue to #flattenthecurve of this devastating pandemic," wrote the municipal leaders.

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Paul Ingram/TucsonSentinel.com

Ducey at a press conference in Tucson earlier in the month.

Stay home.

From the Pima County Health Department:

If you are sick – stay home. Most people, even those who have COVID-19, have mild illness and are able to recover at home without medical care. Stay in touch with your healthcare provider and contact them if your symptoms become more severe.

If you are well – protect yourself. Wash your hands often, especially after being in and touching things in public spaces, after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.

Not ordered to close

Although individual business owners are free to decide to close, Ducey's proclamation last Monday declared these business types "essential," barring the city and other jurisdictions from ordered them to shut down during the pandemic:

  • Health care and public health operations, including hospitals, public health entities, distributors of personal protective equipment and biotechnology companies;
  • Human services operations, including those that provide services for the elderly, those with developmental disabilities, foster and adoption children and the homeless;
  • Infrastructure operations, including food production, utility operators, construction and internet providers;
  • Government functions, including first responders, emergency management personnel, 911 operators, child protection staff, welfare providers and more;
  • Business operations, including grocery and medicine providers, outdoor recreation;
  • Organizations that provide charitable and social services, including religious and secular non-profit organizations and food banks;
  • Media organizations, including newspaper, television, radio and other media services;
  • Gas stations and other transportation-related businesses;
  • Financial institutions, including banks and credit unions;
  • Hardware and supply stores;
  • Critical trades, including plumbers, electricians, cleaning, sanitation, HVAC and security staff;
  • Mail, post, shipping and logistics;
  • Education institutions, including public and private K-12 schools, universities and research entities;
  • Laundry services;
  • Restaurants for consumption off-premises;
  • Supplies distributors that enable telework and work from home and those that supply essential businesses;
  • Transportation, including airlines, taxis, and ride-sharing;
  • Home-based and care services, including for seniors and those with developmental disabilities;
  • Residential facilities and shelters, including those for children, seniors or at-risk populations;
  • Professional services, including legal, real estate and accounting services;
  • Day care centers for employees exempted though the order;
  • Manufacturers, distribution and producers of supply chain-critical products;
  • Hotels and motels;
  • And funeral services.

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