Gov. Doug Ducey announced May 4 that barbers and salons can reopen in Arizona on May 8 and dine-in restaurants can open May 11—though businesses and restaurants will need to take safety precautions and adhere to social distancing measures when applicable.
"Arizona is headed in the right direction," Ducey said. "Get your hair cut, get something to eat and head home—it's the safest place for you."
The governor's office released guidance for barbers and cosmetologists and guidance for dine-in restaurants. Guidance for both industries includes employees wearing masks and operating with reduced occupancy and capacity based on the size of the business.
On April 29, Ducey extended Arizona's "Stay home, stay healthy, stay connected" order until May 15, but with modifications that allowed retail to partially reopen beginning May 4 by appointment and open further May 8.
"The expectation on the stay-at-home order is that it expires on the 15th," Ducey said.
Ducey also announced the state plans to ramp up testing at long-term care facilities and signed an executive order ensuring that people with family members in long-term care facilities would be notified immediately if their loved one, or someone in the facility, has tested positive for COVID-19.
Ducey said further guidance on gyms and public pools would be forthcoming.
"What we want to avoid is a second wave," Ducey said. "... We're making decisions with the confidence that we are going in the right direction and can continue to make decisions in time that will turn the light brighter with more economic momentum for our state."
The announcement came on a day when the Arizona Department of Health Services reported 8,919 confirmed COVID-19 cases statewide and 362 total COVID-19 deaths.
The governor said all the decisions made in Arizona have been "informed by data." Ducey said the state has the "green light" to reopen further as it has hit several metrics including a downward trajectory of influenza-like symptoms and COVID-19 symptoms reported in a 14-day period and a downward trajectory of positive tests, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services. Ducey said additionally the state health care system has built sufficient capacity including "treating all patients without crisis care" and expanding testing availability across the state.
"We have capacity in hospital beds, ICU beds and ventilators," Ducey said. "Arizona is prepared."
Ducey said during the press conference that Arizona would reopen the businesses shuttered due to COVID-19 slowly and in phases, noting that it would not be like turning on a light switch, but rather turning up a dimmer.
"The idea here is we want to return stronger as a state," Ducey said. "... We are turning that light dial responsibly and appropriately given the information and facts we have."