'We have had a brutal June in Arizona': Gov. Doug Ducey limits indoor dining capacity due to COVID-19

Gov. Doug Ducey announced July 9 a new executive order limiting the capacity of indoor dining to less than 50% in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 throughout Arizona. (Community Impact staff)
Gov. Doug Ducey announced July 9 a new executive order limiting the capacity of indoor dining to less than 50% in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 throughout Arizona. (Community Impact staff)

Gov. Doug Ducey announced July 9 a new executive order limiting the capacity of indoor dining to less than 50% in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 throughout Arizona. (Community Impact staff)

Gov. Doug Ducey announced July 9 a new executive order limiting the capacity of indoor dining to less than 50% in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 throughout Arizona.

Ducey also announced an effort to further increase testing and speed up test processing.

"There really is nothing that you can do that will help more than staying home," Ducey said. "This idea of sacrificing is really a mindset. And if you see it as helping other Arizonans, helping our state, helping our country, helping our health care workers, putting our kids in a position where eventually they can return to school and that we can protect the maximum amount of people and protect the maximum amount of livelihoods."

The state had 112,671 COVID-19 cases—an increase of 4,057 from the previous day—and 75 newly reported deaths, bringing the number of statewide virus-related deaths to 2,058 on July 9, according to data from the Arizona Department of Health Services. Statewide, there have been 652,418 diagnostic tests completed to date and 13.9% have yielded a positive result, according to data from the state.

Ducey said during the press conference that Arizona saw a 50% increase in the overall number of cases since June 21.


"We have had a brutal June in Arizona," Ducey said. The governor also said the rate of positivity in the state is "too high" and that he will continue to take steps to "protect lives and livelihoods."

Ducey last held a press conference June 29 where he announced executive orders "pausing operations" of bars, gyms, movie theaters, waterparks and tubing and moved the start of the 2020-21 school year to Aug. 17.

The order pausing operations at businesses began June 29 at 8 p.m., according to the governor, and will continue for 30 days. The start date for the upcoming academic year was presented as a "target date" and will be revisited, Ducey said. The governor said that distance learning can begin before that Aug. 17 target date—he later called the date "aspirational."

Ducey also addressed the looming start of the 2020-21 school year July 9 and said he is working with local and state education leaders to make decisions for Arizona. The start of the school year has been the source of national debate this week after President Donald Trump tweeted that schools should reopen in the fall and threatened revoking federal funding to schools that did not comply.

"We're not going to play politics," Ducey said. "It's just not going to happen. We are going to do what is in the best interest of the state of Arizona. We share the goal that we would love to see our kids back inside a school. It's going to happen when it's safe."
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