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What is the plan to reopen Arizona? Governor Doug Ducey has yet to give update

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Posted at 5:51 PM, Apr 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-21 22:40:56-04

PHOENIX — What is the plan to reopen Arizona? It's a question that has not been addressed publicly by Governor Doug Ducey since President Trump announced guidelines to reopen America.

Governor Doug Ducey held his last press conference one week ago where he announced more on the testing front, and antibody testing for healthcare workers.

But, since then, Arizonans have not heard what the plan to reopen Arizona will look like, or if the plan is changing.

Former Director of Arizona Division of Emergency Management and ABC15 analyst Wendy Smith-Reeve is a bit surprised there have been no briefings on the plan.

"There has been a lot going on in this past week, and as we’ve seen in other states, governors are typically engaging daily, so while it’s important to use multiple platforms for communicating, there’s nothing better than being face to face with the media to get your message across."

Governor Ducey has been providing updates in press releases, and on social media accounts like Twitter to show his latest actions, and what he's doing.

Arizona has also not revealed what the plans are for widespread testing, contact tracing, or other guidelines that must be met to start to reopen the economy.

"Being transparent means that you’re communicating frequently and that's the first thing that always breaks down in any kind of emergency event is communication both within the enterprise and with the public," said Smith-Reeve.

ABC15 spoke with the governor on Friday, after we went to find him for some answers on what's next, "what I’m saying is, let’s plan ahead, let’s prepare and then at the appropriate time and methodically, we will be going to pump more oxygen into this economy," he said at the time.

Tuesday afternoon, the governor's office got back to ABC15 saying that they plan to hold a briefing on Wednesday.

The governor's executive order for his stay at home order is set to expire in nine days, on April 30.

A spokesperson with the governor got back to us by email, "on the economy, as we approach April 30, we’re considering three options when it comes to the governor’s executive order: We can let the order expire. We can extend it as is. Or we can extend it with changes and modifications that reflect Arizona’s improving situation on the ground. The decision will be based on the data over the next week as well as the guidance and recommendations of public health officials."

We also received a response to the protest outside the governor's office on Monday to reopen Arizona.

"We appreciate the passion expressed by Arizonans yesterday, and share their desire to get back to normal as quickly as possible," said a spokesperson. "Governor Ducey is working closely with President Trump, Vice President Pence, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Dr. Deborah Birx, Dr. Cara Christ and state, local and federal health experts to implement the latest guidance from CDC and the White House. Every decision we make will continue to be informed by public health and a commitment to reenergizing our economy when it is responsible and safe to do so."

As for testing, the governor's office said they are working with the private-sector partners to ramp up testing across Arizona, but no details were provided.