Some businesses can reopen Aug. 27 in Maricopa County—albeit in a limited capacity—after the countywide spread of COVID-19 was downgraded to moderate, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Gov. Doug Ducey previously ordered bars with a Series 6 liquor license, indoor gyms, movie theaters and water parks to close for a second time after Arizona saw a surge in coronavirus cases in June and into July.

Maricopa County was downgraded from substantial community spread to moderate community spread Aug. 27, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

"This is a credit to all of the things Arizonans have done to reduce the spread of COVID-19," a statement from ADHS read. "We’ve worn masks, physically distanced, washed our hands, and so much more. In short, we’ve made smart decisions for the common good. It’s important that we keep that up."

Of 3,332 polymerase chain reaction tests in Maricopa County reported on Aug. 27, 7.02%, or 234 tests, came back positive for the coronavirus. The PCR test determines an active case of COVID-19, and the other kind of testing data the state tracks is related to serology—or antibody—tests, which determine if a person has been infected in the past with the virus. The county also reported 27 new deaths Aug. 27, bringing the county's death toll to 2,894, according to data from the Maricopa County Department of Public Health.


"A critical component of keeping our trends going in the right direction is working with Arizona businesses to ensure compliance with requirements for safe operations," a news release read. "In preparation for more businesses like gyms, bars serving food, and indoor theaters to begin operating with reduced occupancy, ADHS and county public health and environmental health partners have been collaborating on mechanisms for inspection and enforcement if necessary. Over the past month, we’ve initiated agreements with most county health departments to investigate complaints when we learn that a business may not be operating according to the requirements outlined at azhealth.gov/businessCOVID19 for businesses paused by Executive Orders 2020-43 and 2020-52."