Severity: Critical Alert

Transportation: Authorities in Arizona, US, extend restrictions currently in place until at least early August, due to increased COVID-19 activity.

  • Alert Begins: 24 Jul 2020 05:56 PM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 07 Aug 2020 11:59 PM UTC
  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Arizona (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Transport and business disruptions

Summary
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey issued an executive order to extend business and gathering restrictions currently in place until further notice, due to an increase in COVID-19 activity in the state. The orders will be revised every 14 days. According to the directives, organized events of more than 50 people are banned, even if social distancing measures are in place. Bars, indoor gyms and fitness centers, indoor movie theaters, water parks, and tubing operations must remain closed. Officials have also suspended the issuance of licenses for special events. Indoor services at restaurants must be limited at 50-percent capacity. Pools can remain open, but gatherings of more than 10 people in or around pools will be banned.

Other measures will remain in place. Retail stores and personal care businesses can continue operating, albeit following health and safety guidelines, which include ensuring social distancing measures, enhancing sanitation procedures, and providing the necessary protective equipment to employees. Essential businesses and services that have not been subject to disease-related closures include those in healthcare, essential infrastructure, food, government, media, security, transport, and financial industries.

State authorities have also allowed local officials to impose orders for residents to wear masks if they choose to. Officials in Tucson and Phoenix have imposed such measures.

All residents, especially those 65 years or older or those with underlying medical conditions, are advised to limit their time outside their homes and maintain an appropriate distance from people from outside their household.

Transport and business disruptions remain likely. Authorities will keep additional security personnel deployed to assist in enforcing the remaining measures. Officials could amend the order on short notice, depending on the disease activity in the coming weeks.

Background and Analysis
The increase in COVID-19 infections in recent weeks has forced the state to reimpose restrictions that had recently been eased. Similar measures have been taken in other states in recent days.

Advice
Strictly heed the instructions of authorities. 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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