Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced May 12 that pools and gyms, while adhering to state and federal guidelines, could reopen beginning May 13 and that the state's "Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected" order will expire May 15.
The governor also announced spas and massage therapist businesses could reopen May 13. Ducey also announced that major league sports could resume after May 15 in Arizona in a limited reopening, without fans.
Ducey introduced a new executive order to replace the stay-at-home order called "Stay Healthy, Return Smarter, Return Stronger." The new order asks that vulnerable individuals remain at home and that all Arizonans should continue to physically distance.
"This does not mean a return to normal," Ducey said. "This is our next step out of this pandemic."
The order asks that individuals living with vulnerable individuals should avoid returning to work where social distancing is not practical and precautions should be taken to isolate from vulnerable residents. The order also indicates social settings where appropriate distancing is not practical should be avoided unless precautionary measures are observed and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines are followed.
Ducey said the state meets the federal guidelines to reopen, including increased testing and adequate hospital capacity. The Guidelines for Opening Up America Again is a three-phased approach based on the advice of public health experts. Arizona is in Phase 1 of reopening, according to Ducey.
"Arizona is prepared if things were to turn for the worst; that is not the situation in Arizona today," Ducey said.
But the governor asked people to remain cautious as the state continues to open more.
"This is not a green light to speed; this is a green light to proceed; and we are going to proceed with caution," Ducey said. "The objective is that we return stronger as a state."
Dr. Cara Christ, director for the Arizona Department of Health Services, said the state is looking to test all residents in Medicare-funded long-term care facilities. Christ said the state is actively working with 147 long-term care facilities to collect specimens for all unknown or previously negative COVID-19 tested residents and staff. The state is looking to increase testing at correctional facilities as well.
The Arizona Department of Health Services reported 11,736 confirmed COVID-19 cases May 12—an increase of 356 from the previous day. The state also reported 562 virus-related deaths across Arizona.
On May 4, Ducey announced that dine-in services could resume in restaurants May 11 and that barbershops, salons and other personal care services like nail salons could open May 8.
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.