Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey extends legal protection for front-line healthcare workers, pauses some businesses and delays first day of school


Gage Skidmore (Flickr)

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey lifted restrictions on public gatherings Thursday.

Ole Olafson , Reporter

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey enacted three executive orders on Monday.

The first, Executive Order 2020-42, extends Executive Order 2020-27 The “Good Samaritan” Order until Dec. 31, 2020.

The “Good Samaritan” Order protects registered volunteer health professionals, emergency medical care technicians and field treatment centers from civil liability if they are acting in good faith, in support of the state’s public health emergency.  The order was set to expire on June 30.

Executive Order 2020-43 is titled “Pausing of Arizona’s Reopening Slowing the Spread of COVID-19”.

Part one of the order prohibits “organized public events” attended by more than 50 people.  Gatherings of more than 50 persons would have to be approved by the affected municipality and also include adequate safety measures, including physical distancing.

The second measure prohibits the Department of Liquor Licenses and Control from issuing “Special Event” licenses and “Festival/Fair” licenses until July 27.

Part three became effective at 8 p.m. yesterday.  It limits bars with a series 6 or 7 liquor license to pick-up, delivery and drive-thru operations only.  Indoor gyms and fitness clubs, indoor movie theaters, water parks and tubing operators will also have to pause business until at least July 27.

According to the order, pools at public accommodations such as hotels, and pools at privately owned facilities and housing complexes can continue to operate if they prohibit more than 10 people from congregating in and around the pool and provide signage reminding people to maintain social distance.

The fifth part of the order specifies the requirements that paused businesses from part three of the order must fulfill before reopening.  These include the submission of a form to Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) attesting that the business is in compliance with ADHS guidelines for COVID-19 business operations.  The order also stipulates that the form be posted in easy view of the public and states that ADHS will provide a listing of the businesses claiming compliance on their website.  The order provides authority to local governments to take immediate action against businesses that resume operations without submitting the proscribed form.

The order also gives law enforcement and any appropriate regulatory agency the authority to take enforcement actions against any business that operates contrary to ADHS guidelines for protection of the public from COVID-19.

The order will remain in effect until at least July 27.

Lastly, Executive Order 2020-44 “Protecting Public Health for Students and Teachers” delays the start of in-person classes in Arizona until Aug. 17.  Although, the order stipulates that schools can begin distance learning programs beginning on the date when they were initially scheduled to resume classes.  According to the order, students participating in distance learning until such a time as in-person classes can resume, will be considered as Arizona Online Instruction students for purposes of funding.