“We want our schools open and our teachers protected,” Ducey said.
Others who will be prioritized when a vaccine arrives in mid-to-late December will be health care workers, long-term care workers, the most vulnerable and law enforcement, Ducey said.
Ducey issued three executive orders, including one that will make the vaccination free to Arizonans. He said a full vaccination plan will come from Cara Christ—director of the Arizona Department of Health Services Director—later this week. Ducey said he is working with insurance companies for that to happen and that the vaccine will not be paid for with taxpayer dollars.
Another of the executive orders will allow restaurants to expand their outdoor seating past sidewalks and other public rights of way and will produce $1.2 in additional funding for restaurants to purchase outdoor heaters, furniture and barriers.
Ducey said the aim is to limit indoor seating and encourage outdoor dining.
The final executive order makes it so that organized public events of more than 50 people may only be approved by local cities, towns and counties if they have determined that safety precautions consistent with guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and ADHS are in place, and the event organizer has committed to implementing and enforcing these precautions.
Ducey also pledged an additional $60 million to health care organizations to hire more workers so they are staffed to handle the COVID-19 surge the state is experiencing.