Fact Finders: Confusion over closures? Enforcement for Gov. Ducey’s executive order

Fact Finders: Confusion over closures? Enforcement for Gov. Ducey’s executive order

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Governor Doug Ducey’s order for the closure of some businesses has seemed to cause more compliance confusion over the last week.

Gov. Ducey ordered all bars, nightclubs, gyms, movie theaters, water parks and tubing operations to close for at least 30 days on Monday. The executive order went into effect at 8 p.m. on June 29.

KOLD News 13 has received several questions, concerns and complaints from viewers since the order went into effect. Some business owners didn’t know if they fell into a category that had to close while others wondered how some businesses were still operating.

The governor’s office said the intent for the order is to be “interpreted broadly to minimize opportunities to spread COVID-19.”

In a statement, a spokesperson said the order was clear regarding gyms, which included indoor fitness clubs and centers, regardless of the size or capacity.

[ Gyms ordered to close, not all are ]

One viewer asked how “Cactus Springs” the water attraction at Funtastiks in Tucson, was allowed to operate after the governor ordered the closure of water parks.

According to an employee, the attraction is registered as a splash pad.

The Pima County Health Department said staff had contact with a representative from this business earlier this week. Based on the intended use of their facility, it was recommended that they should be closed as part of the order.

While a department spokesperson said their permit is categorized as a splash pad in the system, it is classified that way only to distinguish it from a pool or spa, the only other two categories.

“Just like our process for the Pima County ordinances around restaurants, pools, hotels, and face coverings – we provided education, explained the applicability of the order, and made our recommendation.”

As for enforcement, Gov. Ducey said that will be up to local law enforcement a leaders. In a statement, his office said the governor spoke with law enforcement and local leaders across the state about the expectation of enforcement and compliance.

In a Facebook post this week, Pima County Sheriff Mark Napier said his department will focus on education rather than citations.

A spokesperson for the Tucson Police Department said their focus is on education.

According to the governor’s office, cities, towns and counties have different regulatory authority and may use it to enforce the provisions of the executive order. Such authority may include fines, closure and criminal citations.

On July 2, the Arizona Department of Health Services issued a ‘Demand for Compliance’ to two Phoenix-area gyms that have remained open, despite the order. If the gyms don’t respond by Friday, the department says it will attempt to take legal action.

Copyright 2020 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.