PHOENIX — Gov. Doug Ducey announced major actions to continue combating the spread of coronavirus in Arizona, including closing bars, movie theaters, and gyms in any counties with confirmed cases of the virus.
In a series of tweets Thursday evening detailing the executive order, Ducey said he will also be requiring that restaurants provide only dine-out options in affected counties. The sweeping change so far would apply to Maricopa, Pinal, Coconino, Yavapai, Pima, Navajo, Graham, and Santa Cruz counties.
I’m issuing an Executive Order that requires restaurants in counties w/ confirmed cases of #COVID19 to provide dine-out options only, & closes bars, movie theaters and gyms. Restaurants will be allowed to deliver alcoholic beverages w/ food purchase 5/— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) March 20, 2020
Ducey said he has activated the National Guard to also assist at grocery stores and food banks while the facilities deal with heightened demand.
To ensure Arizonans have continued access to food, I’m activating the National Guard to assist grocery stores & food banks in the face of heightened demand. This will ensure grocery stores have the manpower needed to keep shelves stocked @AZNationalGuard 3/— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) March 19, 2020
The executive order also halts all elective surgeries in the state to free up medical resources and space at hospitals, while also reserving necessary protective equipment, as well as delaying expiration dates on driver licenses, so that older residents are not required to visit the MVD during the public health emergency.
According to a release from Ducey's office, the order goes into effect by close of business on Friday, March 20.
"This is an all-in effort," he said in a tweet.
Cities across Arizona had been declaring states of emergency this week as cases continued to be diagnosed. The declarations also included granting local officials powers to restrict establishments and free up resources to assist in fighting the spread.