Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has ended the coronavirus pandemic-related state of emergency, his office announced Wednesday.
The state of emergency was issued more than two years ago, on March 11, 2020, in response to the virus that was beginning to spread in the community.
The move was one of the first major steps the state took toward slowing the spread of the coronavirus, which has since taken nearly 30,000 lives in Arizona, according to state data.
Governor Ducey's decision to end the emergency is backed by Dr. Richard Carmona, 17th U.S. Surgeon General and special adviser to Governor Ducey on publc health preparedness.
"The current COVID-19 outbreak period in Arizona has ended. COVID-19 is by no mean completely through with us, however, and it's reasonable to expect we will see increases in cases at times as the virus mutates to survive," Dr. Carmona said. "We do not have the experience and tools in place to address what may be to come while public health continues doing what we do best: infectious disease surveillance, prevention and control."
Although the emergency declaration has ended, the announcement says the governor and ADHS encourage Arizonans to get vaccinated and to continue to take preventative measures including staying home when sick and continuous testing.
Last week, Ducey signed legislation to ensure medical licenses issued under his coronavirus executive orders stay valid until the end of the year, following the end of the emergency.
Other health and safety measures continue to be lifted in our state and across the country as cases decline.
Arizona universities recently lifted their mask mandates, The Transportation Security Administration mask rule will soon expire, and places like Los Angeles are considering ending vaccine verification mandates. Federal COVID-19 funding also ended earlier this month.
Arizona Department of Health Services has also moved to a weekly coronavirus data report instead of daily reports.