Arizona Governor, Doug Ducey issues stay-at-home orders – amid increasing pressure from healthcare workers, public petition and nine mayors


Brenda Kochevar

Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected

Brenda Kochevar, Reporter

Under pressure from Arizona citizens, on Monday, Governor Doug Ducey issued an Executive Order “Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected” effective March 31, 2020, at 5:00 p.m. 

This Executive Order remains in effect until April 30, 2020, unless extended.

Arizona was one of the remaining 10 states without a stay-at-home order in place until Monday’s announcement. 

On March 23, Ducey issued Executive Order “Prohibiting The Closure of Essential Services” which prohibited any county, city or town in Arizona from issuing any stay-at-home orders.

Also on March 23, Julie Ann Heathcott M.D. of Scottsdale created a “Lockdown Arizona” petition to Governor Doug Ducey. It states the need for a lockdown due to the lack of social distancing in Arizona and the need to prevent more deaths.

In one week, the petition gathered almost 200,000 signatures.

Forbes reported that on Monday, Ducey received a letter calling for a stay-at-home order from nine Democratic Arizona mayors.

The nine mayors were from El Mirage, Flagstaff, Fountain Hills, Guadalupe,  Phoenix, Superior, Tolleson, Tuscon, and Winslow.

The Office of Governor Doug Ducey issued the following news release from The “Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected” Executive Order on Monday:

“Keeping Arizonans safe and healthy as we slow the spread of COVID-19 remains our top priority,” said Governor Ducey. “Arizona citizens and businesses are already responsibly responding to this crisis. This order builds on the state’s efforts to protect public health by reminding Arizonans to maintain healthy habits and find alternative ways to stay connected with friends and loved ones while spending time at home. Slowing the spread of COVID-19 will ensure we build capacity in our healthcare system, and help protect the lives of those we love most. It’s important to emphasize that there are no plans to shut down grocery stores. People should continue to buy what you need for a week’s worth of groceries. I’m grateful to everyone making adjustments to fight this virus and protect others. Arizona will get through this, and we’ll do it together.”

The Executive Order “Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected” in conjunction with previous orders is to slow the spread of COVID-19 and to protect the citizens of Arizona while encouraging physical distancing and social connectedness.

The order states that all persons stay-at-home unless engaging in Essential Activities, employed in Essential Functions, or in need of services or products supplied by Essential Businesses.

Essential Activities while practicing physical distancing include shopping for groceries or supplies need to work from home; attending medical appointments; caring for family members, friends, and pets; exercising outdoors such as biking, golfing, hiking, running, walking; transporting children to day care; and more.

When practicing physical distancing, the order states a minimum distance of six feet from the next person as per guidance from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.

The use of public transportation is not recommended unless absolutely necessary.

Essential services include an extensive list consisting of healthcare and public health agencies, human services agencies, infrastructure operations, government, and businesses.

A breakdown of some of these essential services are: healthcare workers; first responders; centers and services for the elderly, children and homeless; grocery stores and pharmacies; animal shelters and veterinary care; outdoor recreation including golf courses; food banks; media organizations; gas stations and auto repair shops; financial institutions; hardware stores; critical trades such as electricians, exterminators, and plumbers; mail services; restaurants with take-out only; suppliers for work from home or for Essential Businesses; home-based care; legal services; day care centers for workers in Essential Businesses; hotels; and funeral services.

The Arizona Department of Health Services (AZDHS) COVID-19 statistics for Arizona on March 31:

  • Number of Cases 1,289
  • Number of Deaths 24
  • Cases by Gender – 51% Male – 49% Female
  • Gila County has 1 case
  • Maricopa County has 788 cases
  • Pima County has 202 cases
  • Pinal County has 62 cases
  • Remaining cases are spread throughout Arizona

The AZDHS COVID-19 Cases by Age Group:

  • Less than 5 years 1 case
  • 5 – 19 years 33 cases
  • 20 – 44 years 471 cases
  • 45-54 years 249 cases
  • 55 – 64 years 229 cases
  • 65 years and older 301 cases
  • Null 5 cases