Capacity requirements lifted for Arizona businesses

But other restrictions remain
Published: Mar. 5, 2021 at 6:43 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Arizona Governor Doug Ducey issued an executive order lifting capacity restrictions for restaurants, gyms, theaters and other businesses.

The state has seen seven straight weeks of declines in cases. Percent positivity, it says, is below 4% so now is a good time to crack open the door a little bit more.

“This is not a return to normal,” said Dr. Cara Christ, the Arizona State Health Director. “We’re not out of the woods yet.”

Under the order, all the business establishments will need to maintain the mitigation standards imposed by the state, which includes social distancing, mask wearing, sanitation practices and hand washing.

In essence, it means businesses will still need to space their tables and patrons six feet apart which will be the limiting factor for customers.

For some, it might mean squeezing a few more customers or gym members into their space. Bars will remain closed until the percent positivity drops below three per cent.

“We still have enforcement authority as well as our local jurisdictions to enforce mask use, the physical distancing,” said Dr. Christ. “All of those strategies that are required of those establishments.”

Besides the dropping case number and hospitalizations, the state says it discovered it wasn’t those establishments most responsible for the summer and winter spikes in cases.

“It wasn’t necessarily the establishments or occupancy limits that have an impact,” she said. “It was those people gathering in small private settings, where people were letting their masking and physical distancing down.”

It’s a reminder we can’t let down, Dr. Christ said.

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