PHOENIX — Gov. Doug Ducey has given further details on plans to reopen some businesses around Arizona as the state began a phased approach.
ABC15 has live coverage of the briefing on air and online. Bookmark our live video page here to watch live or watch in the player below.
"I think there may be a light at the end of this tunnel," said Governor Ducey.
During a Monday afternoon press conference, Ducey said barbershops and salons can begin reopening with restrictions on Friday, May 8. The new modifications reportedly include limited occupancy inside the businesses and additional safety protocols.
The governor also said that restaurant dining rooms can also begin opening on Monday, May 11 with similar restrictions limiting party size and general capacity, as well as other sanitary measures inside the eateries.
It has felt like an eternity since we dined inside a restaurant or waited at a crowded barbershop.
The reopening brings normalcy, and much needed revenue for businesses struggling to stay afloat during the shutdown.
Things will be far from normal though. The restaurant 'experience' will be very different, and some consumers will be reluctant to go out for weeks and months into the future.
Gyms and pools have not yet been given a set time for reopening.
GYMS & POOLS will have to wait for now, but Gov Ducey says they’re talking with the industry and shooting for an announcement sometime this month. pic.twitter.com/dhE7DszJXM— Zach Crenshaw (@ZachCrenshaw) May 4, 2020
Ducey's latest order also calls for increased testing at long-term care facilities. When a patient is diagnosed with COVID-19 or dies from COVID-19, residents of the facility, next of kin and guardians must be notified within 24 hours of the positive diagnosis. Regular updates on the patient's activities must also be reported.
In addition, AZDHS must also provide technical assistance to long-term care facilities to facilitate the communication of information to patients, their family and guardians.
Ducey's latest order also calls for increased testing at prisons.
Arizona is still way behind other states in testing.
"We need more testing. We want more testing," reiterated Ducey Monday.
Arizona's pro-business governor though, says he likes what the data is showing him so far.
He hopes his decision to reopen some industries jumpstarts the economy, but fails to have the same effect on the spread of COVID-19.
"Arizona is headed in the right direction," said Ducey. "Get your haircut. Get something to eat. And head home. That's where it's safest."
Arizona's reopening officially began on Monday with the phased opening of retailers now able to sell goods as long as they adhere to specific safety guidelines and social distancing.
There's some confusion about what reopening means for bars. The governor's top aides tell ABC15 there is some "grey area."
Bars that serve food and can social distance their customers will be allowed to reopen. Smaller dive bars, with limited capacity and no food service will not be exempt.
Unlike other leaders, Governor Ducey is not putting a capacity on restaurants. So if a restaurant can safely distance customers the CDC-recommended six feet, and still fill their dining space to 100% capacity, they will be allowed to under the guidelines.