Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on Nov. 18 said an end to Arizona’s state of emergency from the coronavirus pandemic is “not on the horizon” and instituted additional measures to combat the virus’s transmission.

"Arizona and our nation remain in a public health emergency, and getting back to normal is not in the cards right now," Ducey said.

Ducey did not issue a statewide mask mandate but noted 90% of the state is under some local mask mandate. He said he prefers local mandates to prevent further division in the state.

“There are two extreme and distinct camps out there,” he said. "One side wants to lock everything down. The other side thinks it's all a hoax. Both are loud and vocal. Most of the public isn't part of either camp—and by the way, neither am I. Masks work. Please wear them. They are required nearly everywhere in Arizona outside your home."

Ducey also noted other measures remain in place, including limiting restaurants and theaters to 50% capacity, gyms to 25% capacity and bars remaining closed unless they mitigate their operations to run as a restaurant.

Among other measures Ducey outlined:

  • Cara Christ, Arizona’s director of health services, is issuing guidelines for families to safely observe Thanksgiving.

  • Christ also is working with Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, Phoenix Mesa Gateway Airport and Tucson International Airport to implement on-site testing for arriving winter visitors with rapid results available. Additionally, the state will work with the airports to get the message to visitors on the state’s mitigation strategies and testing availability.

  • Ducey issued an executive order to ensure schools are implementing required mask policies on school grounds and school buses. “Kids have missed out on far too much learning due to this pandemic,” he said.

  • Ducey announced $25 million in funding to support and boost staffing at hospitals as well as providing bonuses to front-line health care workers who have worked through the pandemic.

  • Ducey committed the state to being ready to distribute vaccinations at they become available and issued an executive order to collect information on vaccinations, have appropriate follow-up doses at correct times and identify vulnerable populations.