Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on Monday ordered residents to stay at home except for essential work, errands, and exercise, hours after nine mayors in the state “fervently” urged him to do more to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Ducey’s executive order, which takes effect Tuesday at 5 p.m. and is scheduled to last until at least April 30, came after a week of criticism by city officials who said the Republican governor wasn’t acting quickly enough and had limited local governments’ flexibility to protect their citizens.
His order was less comprehensive than the ones issued in many other states. Parks, barber shops, and golf courses are considered essential operations and can stay open.
“Essential services during Covid-19 are not golf and beauty salons,” Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego (D) said in a Facebook post. “They are first responders, grocers, pharmacists and few others.”
She called the order “insufficient” unless the governor narrows his list of essential services.
Tucson Mayor Regina Romero (D) said on Twitter that Ducey’s stay-at-home order “falls short of doing all we can” to slow the spread of COVID-19, the fatal disease caused by coronavirus.
Under Ducey’s order, residents are directed to only leave their properties for activities such as grocery shopping, seeking medical care, work, and exercising outside.
Ducey said he signed it based on the recommendation of Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ. Health experts provided Arizona-specific data to guide him, he said.
“Arizona is in a different position than other places that have been hit first and hit harder,” Ducey said. The state had 1,157 coronavirus cases and 20 deaths as of Monday.
Last Friday, Romero ordered non-essential businesses in Tucson to close and urged people to stay home as much as possible. She also advised hair and nail salons and other “personal hygiene” services to close “because those businesses are not in fact critical or essential during this pandemic emergency,” according to her proclamation.
Flagstaff Mayor Coral Evans (D) last Thursday ordered the closure of hair and nail salons, beauty parlors, and similar businesses. State Sen. Vince Leach (R) said he plans to ask the Arizona attorney general to overturn Evans’ proclamation.
An executive order Ducey signed last week had prevented local governments from restricting essential businesses within their borders.
Ducey said statewide definitions of essential businesses aim to prevent a patchwork of rules in large metropolitan areas with many mayors.
“I want to make certain that our state is speaking with one voice, that there’s clarity out there and not confusion,” Ducey said.
Outside activities like golfing are useful for people to stay healthy, as long as they’re practiced with social distancing, Ducey said Monday during a news conference. People will need an outlet and “need to do it in a safe way,” he said.
Like the Arizona mayors, city and county executives in Texas have imposed tighter restrictions than were imposed statewide.
Officials in Dallas and San Antonio, and in the Austin and Houston metropolitan areas, last week directed residents to stay home for all but essential work or errands.
The rules, which differ by location, direct people to remain in their own houses as much as possible. Essential activities generally include seeking medical care, buying groceries, and exercising outside.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has said he would “applaud” stricter standards set at the local level.
With assistance from Paul Stinson
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