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Executive order: Bars, gyms closed in affected Arizona counties, Nat'l Guard activated for help

Posted at 5:28 PM, Mar 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-20 08:32:19-04

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.

FULL COVERAGE: Coronavirus in Arizona

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.

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Ducey said he has activated the National Guard to also assist at grocery stores and food banks while the facilities deal with heightened demand.

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.