Following on the achievement of several public health benchmarks, today Governor Doug Ducey issued an executive order declaring numerous updates to Arizona’s COVID-19 mitigation strategy pertaining to events, businesses, and local ordinances.
Statistics and key data points that shaped these changes in Arizona:
- Declining cases over 10 weeks.
- Leader in mass distribution of the vaccine: 3,041,773 doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered to 1,927,278 individuals in Arizona, including 1,185,986 who have been fully vaccinated.
- Hospitalizations are at a record low since the end of September/beginning of October.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s research ranks Arizona a state leading the nation with administering the COVID-19 vaccine to vulnerable communities.
- Vaccine appointments opening to all Arizonans over the age of 16.
- President Biden’s statement promising that every American will have the opportunity to get vaccinated by May 1.
As announced by Governor Ducey, the following changes are in effect:
- Events with more than fifty people in attendance will no longer need local government approval; however, continuing to follow safe practices, physical distancing, and CDC recommendations at events (including youth sports).
- The business guidance requirements will convert to recommendations as the Governor is giving businesses the ability to dictate the wearing of masks and social distancing.
- While bars have already been operating as “dine-ins” at full capacity, full regular operations can now be resumed, and the bar owners the ability to dictate the wearing of masks and social distancing.
- In comparison to other states, a statewide mask mandate was never issued in Arizona but instead encouraged personal responsibility with an aggressive educational campaign. This approach resulted in the adoption of more widespread mask usage than states with mandates. Some local governments ordered “mandates,” but rarely were they enforced. Local mandates can now be phased out. With that said, wearing masks is still encouraged, especially in unvaccinated groups.
Read the Executive Order here: https://azgovernor.gov/sites/default/files/eo_2021-06.pdf