Severity: Critical Alert

Transportation: Officials in Arizona, US, extend stay at home orders through May 15, plan to lift some business restrictions starting May 4.

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • Phoenix, Arizona
  • Tucson, Arizona
  • Flagstaff, Arizona
  • Lake Havasu City, Arizona
  • Yuma, Arizona
  • Bullhead City, Arizona
  • Prescott, Arizona
  • Show Low, Arizona
  • Fort Huachuca,Arizona
  • Mesa, Arizona
  • Sedona, Arizona

This alert began 30 Apr 2020 11:05 GMT and is scheduled to expire 15 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Arizona (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Movement and travel restrictions, significant transport and business disruptions

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey extended an order requiring residents to stay at home, except to perform essential tasks, until at least May 15, and issued guidelines for the reopening of some businesses starting May 4, as part of the state's efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The order, which was set to expire April 30, stipulates that residents may leave their homes only to obtain basic goods, attend to medical issues, care for a person in need, perform or access essential government services, go to work at an essential business, or engage in essential travel. People may also participate in outdoor recreational activities, provided they comply with social distancing requirement of at least 2 meters (6 feet) between individuals. Officials have also urged the population to limit the use of public transportation to the extent possible.

Essential businesses and services that can remain open include those in healthcare, essential infrastructure, food, government, media, security, transport, and financial institutions. Starting May 4, authorities will allow retail stores to offer their goods through delivery and pickup services. Starting May 8, retail stores may reopen their facilities to customers. All businesses allowed to operate must ensure proper distance between workers and between customers, and enhance sanitation. Businesses not allowed to reopen their facilities may operate with employees working from home.

An order requiring travelers arriving at an airport in Arizona from the states of New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut to self-quarantine for 14 days since the moment of their arrival, remains in place through at least May 15. Additional states and cities may be added to the order. The measure does not apply to airlines' employees, military personnel, or people arriving to participate in the response to COVID-19. Local authorities cannot impose orders that contradict the state government's mandates.

Significant transport and business disruptions are likely. Authorities will deploy additional security personnel to assist in enforcing the measures. Officials could amend the order in short notice, depending on the disease activity in the coming weeks.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by Arizona authorities are similar to actions adopted by other governments in the US and globally in recent weeks in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Strictly heed the instructions of authorities. Avoid all nonessential operations in areas impacted by the measures. Confirm appointments. Remain courteous and cooperative if approached and questioned by law enforcement officers.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

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