Governor Ducey and state officials hold COVID-19 virtual town hall

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and three of his associates participated in a virtual town hall meeting, April 2, to further discuss his stay-at-home order issued due to the growing Coronavirus pandemic.

Joining Ducey was Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ, Department of Emergency and Military Affairs Director, Maj. Gen. Michael McGuire and Arizona Chief Operating Officer Daniel Ruiz. These professionals helped clarify different aspects of the executive order including unemployment, public safety, and public health.

Hosts’ Carey Pena and Ted Simons as well as the panel were sat six feet apart to follow social distancing and were broadcasting virtually to all citizens through the Valley’s radio and TV broadcasting stations, as well as YouTube.

When the executive order was first announced, Ducey added a list of all businesses that were considered essential in a news release. However, it left many people confused as to what would happen next. There were over 5000 questions submitted from the viewers and listeners all involving the new mandate.

One of the first problems brought up during the meeting, was the negative feedback from citizens regarding the essential services list.

The Governor said that he wants to “separate essential businesses from critical businesses.”

Ducey assured the viewers watching and stated that this order passed is not a shelter-in-place, which only happen for events such as an active shooter or natural disaster. It is simply an instruction urging the citizens of Arizona to practice social distancing procedures.

“I want to say thank you to the viewers at home who are staying at home. By doing that they are stopping the spread and for that I am grateful,” Ducey said.

At of the time of the town hall meeting, Arizona had over 1500 cases of the coronavirus and 30 deaths, but the number has kept growing.

As of April 8, ADHS has reported that there are now 2,726 COVID-19 cases in Arizona, and 80 deaths. Although the number of cases is at a relatively low number compared to other states in the U.S., 34,564 people have been tested.

“My team and I have been focused on increasing the testing capacity across the state… We need to prioritize those tests for our frontline workers, our doctors, our high-risk individuals, and our first responders,” Christ said.

Christ said that she acknowledges the peoples’ concern to get tested, however she wants those tests to go to the people who need it the most right now, until the state can acquire more.

According to Ducey, the state does not have enough tests to check everyone in Arizona as of April 2.

Ruiz, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), encourages everyone to stay inside and practice social distancing as much as they can. Ruiz offers help through the website arizonatogther.org. It includes all information regarding the Coronavirus in Arizona.