Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has announced that Arizona’s stay-at-home order will be extended until May 15 with some modifications, during a press conference Wednesday, April 29.
The order was originally set to expire April 30.
“I want to just express my gratitude, and appreciation for the cooperation, partnership and support of the people of Arizona and how grateful I am for the sacrifice,” Ducey said.
Some of these modifications include allowing retail that were not originally considered essential to reopen through means such as drive-thru, walk-up and window service starting May 4, according to the modified executive order. Effective Friday, May 8, retail businesses may allow service to customers inside of stores.
Ducey said that travel restrictions to hotspots such as New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will be extended to May 15.
Arizona Department of health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ and Department of Emergency and Military Affairs Director Maj. Gen. Michael McGuire were also seated with the governor.
Ducey also discussed the launch of the “Arizona Testing Blitz” an initiative between ADHS and healthcare partners such as Walgreens and Banner Health to increase testing. The goal of the blitz is to give 10,000-20,000 COVID-19 tests to Arizona residents Saturday’s for three straight weeks, starting May 2. Anyone who believes they have been exposed to COVID-19 can be tested.
According to data from ADHS, Arizona has 7,202 cases of COVID-19 as of April 29, an increase of 254 from the previous day. In total, 304 people have died.
Ducey also gave details on plans to gradually reopen the economy.
“I’m confident that if we’re responsible, and thoughtful and methodical, we will be the brightest light economically going forward,” Ducey said.
Along with this, Ducey provided details on a plan to be released next week to re-open dine-in restaurant service in May. It follows guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Valley restaurant industry, with the earliest possible opening date May 12. Bars are not being considered to re-open.
“When you do walk in to one of those open restaurants for dine-in, it will be a different experience,” Ducey said. “It will be a temporary experience, with food service workers and service workers wearing masks.”
Beyond that, Ducey encouraged people to continue to practice good hygiene by washing their hands, cover coughs and avoid touching their faces.
Prior to the press conference, Mayors Kate Gallego of Phoenix, Coral Evans of Flagstaff and Regina Romero of Tucson issued a joint statement, requesting Arizona follow CDC guidelines on reopening.
“We’ve seen other communities who have reopened too soon and paid the price in both public health and with a second economic shutdown,” the statement said. “We do not want that to happen to Arizona.”
Earlier in the day, President Donald Trump announced that he would be coming to Arizona during a roundtable discussion at the White House. Trump will be coming May 5 to visit a Honeywell location. Honeywell has been producing N-95 face masks and other medical supplies during the pandemic.
Other states have lifted stay-at-home orders or have partially reopened, such as Texas, Georgia and Florida.
*This story has been updated to repair a link to Gov. Ducey’s executive order.