Arizona stay-at-home order to expire Friday, major league sports to resume play

Arizona to reopen following stay-at-home order
Updated: May. 12, 2020 at 4:23 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Arizona residents will finally be able to leave the house Friday after Gov. Doug Ducey announced the state’s stay-at-home order will expire at the end of the week. Gyms and pools will be able to reopen starting Wednesday and major league sports will be able to resume in the state play Friday.

“This is not a green light to speed. This is a green light to proceed in the current direction," Ducey said.

Ducey made the announcement in a press conference, where he outlined the state’s COVID-19 response. He said the state has seen a downward trend in positive COVID-19 cases and reported COVID-19- and flu-like illnesses.

Since the state started the COVID-19 testing blitz three weeks ago, Ducey said more people are being tested with a lower percentage of positive tests statewide. Right now, the percentage of positive tests is 6.5 percent, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services website.

In late April, Ducey gave the green light to retail stores, restaurants, salons and barbershops to resume services in May, with social distancing guidelines. His office gave a list of guidelines for stores and other businesses reopening this month, urge patrons and workers to wear masks and practice social distancing.

“We are safe to open retail, of course, while maintaining physical distancing and CDC guidelines,” Ducey said.

In his press conference, Ducey said Tuesday social distancing guidelines will be enforced but wouldn’t say who would be enforcing them. He said “positive peer pressure” should help people avoid large gatherings.

Ducey said Tuesday, moving forward, the state will mainly focus on the state’s vulnerable population, like patients and providers at long-term care facilities and officers and inmates in the state’s corrections facilities.

Right now, Dr. Cara Christ, the director of the state health department, said the state is already testing symptomatic inmates and officers at corrections facilities and plan to increase testing moving forward. The state is working with 147 long-term facilities to help ramp up testing for residents and staff, Christ said Tuesday.

Data from the Arizona Department of Corrections Rehabilitation and Reentry shows there have been 60 inmates with COVID-19, five deaths, 60 staff self-reported and 35 staff-certified recovered. There is no COVID-19 data available from the state regarding long-term care facilities.

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