Gov. Ducey activates National Guard to help grocery stores

Order also closes all bars, gyms, theatres as well as dine-in services

Gov. Ducey activates National Guard to help grocery stores
Gov. Doug Ducey has activated the National Guard to help the grocery industry. (Source: Tayler Davis)

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Gov. Doug Ducey made some major moves Thursday to combat the spread of the coronavirus in Arizona.

He activated the National Guard to help out grocery stores and food banks with high demand. Ducey issued an executive order that stops all elective surgeries in the state to “free up medical resources and maintain the capacity for hospitals.”

The order also requires restaurants in counties with a confirmed case of the coronavirus to provide only dine-out options, closes bars, movie theaters and gyms. The city of Tucson, towns of Marana and Oro Valley and Pima County have already issued similar rules.

Restaurants will also be allowed to deliver alcohol to customers with a food purchase.

Ducey’s order also delays expiration dates on Arizona driver’s licenses.

According to the Arizona Department of Health Service’s website, Coconino, Graham, Maricopa, Navajo, Pima and Pinal counties have positive cases of coronavirus.

Ducey’s announcement received praise from officials in Phoenix. Councilman Sal DiCiccio said it was the “right approach” and added it didn’t make sense for Phoenix to take steps without working together with other cities, counties and the state government.

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego has said on Twitter that she is glad to see Ducey take these actions. “Cities led but now we can work collaboratively to #StopTheSpread,” she said in a tweet.

Democratic Sen. Kysten Sinema had urged Ducey to take action before and was happy he took action on Thursday. However, she said the executive order should apply throughout Arizona, not just the counties affected.

As of March 19, there are 45 reported cases of coronavirus in Arizona, officials said. There have been 330 people tested, with 175 tests ruled out and 130 tests still pending.

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