Governor says plan is working and state will continue to 'proceed with caution'

Gov. Doug Ducey said in a press conference Wednesday, May 20 that the state will "continue to proceed with caution." (Community Impact staff)
Gov. Doug Ducey said in a press conference Wednesday, May 20 that the state will "continue to proceed with caution." (Community Impact staff)

Gov. Doug Ducey said in a press conference Wednesday, May 20 that the state will "continue to proceed with caution." (Community Impact staff)

Gov. Doug Ducey said in a press conference May 20 that the state is seeing results and will continue to proceed with caution as the state and economy reopen after being shut down for weeks due to the coronavirus.

"We've had some very good results," Ducey said. "Our plan is working, and we are proceeding with caution, and that's because of the responsible behavior we've had from the people of Arizona. I know that there has been a lot that's been asked. There's been a lot of sacrifice been given, but we are starting to see some positive results."

On May 20, the Arizona Department of Health Services reported 331 new cases and 43 new deaths, bringing the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases across the state to 14,897 and the death toll to 747.

"In Arizona, our economic decisions have been on later timing because we simply were not hit like we saw on the Eastern Seaboard," Ducey said. "We've had a lighter touch in the restrictions on our economy, and now we're seeing that coming back. But every decision we make will be informed with data."

Ducey said the state meets the federal guidelines to reopen, including a downward trajectory of COVID-19-like symptoms, 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 "safely and squarely" in Phase 1 of reopening, Ducey said.

"What the people of Arizona are doing is working," Ducey said. "We have slowed the spread of COVID-19. We have hospital capacity. We're ramping up the testing blitz. We are seeing the symptoms dropping, and businesses can continue to open. We want to continue to practice social distancing. That's what going to be important going forward so we can continue to return smarter and return stronger."

The press conference came a week after the governor announced pools and gyms could reopen and less than a week after the state's stay-at-home order expired.

"What I have seen has been that Arizonans have been mostly calm with this new opening of our economy," Ducey said.

Ducey said the state is hopeful in opening summer camps and youth activities and opening schools for the fall semester. He did not give dates for possible opening of summer camps or youth activities.