Gov. Doug Ducey adds measures to mitigate coronavirus transmission

Doug Ducey
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced Nov. 18 some new measures to mitigate the transmission of the coronavirus. (Screenshot via YouTube)

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced Nov. 18 some new measures to mitigate the transmission of the coronavirus. (Screenshot via YouTube)

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.

By Tom Blodgett
Raised in Arizona, Tom Blodgett has spent 30 years in journalism in Arizona and is the editor of the Gilbert edition of Community Impact Newspaper. He is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he now serves as an instructional professional in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and editorial adviser to The State Press, the university's independent student media outlet.

MOST RECENT Modern Cocktail Kitchen
Gilbert's Modern Cocktail Kitchen prepares to open after COVID-19 delay

The rooftop bar in the Heritage District originally planned to open in April but postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Four business changes to know in Gilbert

Here are four business changes to know in Gilbert.

Higley USD governing board election winners, Michelle Anderson, Kristina Reese, Tiffany Shultz
Kristina Reese re-elected to Higley USD board; Michelle Anderson, Tiffany Shultz also joining

The Higley USD governing board vice president is officially returning to the board, and two new members will join her in 2021.

The county has adjusted the COVID-19 risk levels for local school districts. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Maricopa County updates COVID-19 school dashboard; Chandler, Gilbert, Higley all considered 'substantial risk'

The county has adjusted the COVID-19 risk levels for local school districts.

Gilbert utilities
Help available to residents as Gilbert turns toward normal utility operations

Residents need to be prepared to catch up on their accounts or face the possibility of disconnection

Here is what you need to know today about coronavirus in Gilbert. (Community Impact Newspaper)
COVID-19: Cases in Gilbert have risen more than 16% in seven days

Here are the COVID-19 data updates to know today.

Gilbert Regional Park sand volleyball courts
Gilbert weekend events: Live theater, Grand Slam volleyball

Here are a couple things Gilbert residents can do this weekend.

The Chandler USD governing board met Nov. 18 to discuss virtual learning and COVID-19. (Alexa D'Angelo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Chandler USD responds to rising COVID-19 cases and more top local news

Read the most popular stories from Chandler and Gilbert from the past week.

Gilbert Regional Park
Town planning for future phases at Gilbert Regional Park

With the opening of Phase 1B of Gilbert Regional Park in October, the town has now spent more than $32.6 million since September 2018 to offer more amenities at the park and tap its potential for residents and tourists, officials said.

More than 1,800 students have had to quarantine after coming in contact with a COVID-19-positive person in Chandler USD. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
'We really need parents' help': Chandler USD grapples with how to handle statewide COVID-19 surge

Chandler USD discussed how to handle the increasing number of COVID-19 cases across the district and throughout the state and county at a meeting Nov. 18.

Higley USD
Higley USD governing board to hold special meeting Dec. 2 to consider return to remote learning if needed

The Higley USD governing board will hold a special meeting Dec. 2 to consider the parameters under which it could return to remote learning if necessary because of the coronavirus pandemic.