Curfew stays, reopening the economy stays course, Ducey says

Gov. Doug Ducey said June 4 he will be keeping his emergency curfew in place through the weekend and will stay the course on the economy reopening from the shutdown in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ducey’s comments came in a wide-ranging news conference that covered protests the killings of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Dion Johnson in Phoenix, the pandemic and economy and wildfires in the state.

Ducey called the death of Floyd “an American tragedy.”

“In Arizona, we’re listening, and we’re looking at this as an American moment where change can happen for the better in our nation,” Ducey said.

Ducey said “a much smaller group” came out to riot and loot have come out to the protests, and he thanked law enforcement, health care professionals and first responders for their work.


“This has been a time where people want to be heard,” he said. “They have seen an injustice. They want to see change, and in Arizona we’ve been able to do it in a safe and peaceful way.”

When asked about removing the curfew early or extending it, Ducey said it will remain where it is for now.

“I want to say thank you to the citizens of Arizona, the peaceful protestors that want to have their voices heard,” Ducey said. “It’s loud, and we can hear what people want to say. It’s also been four consecutive nights of peace and quiet in Arizona. The curfew was put out through next Sunday, so let’s just see where we are.”

Department of Public Safety Director Heston Silbert said an investigation into Johnson’s death is ongoing. Johnson was killed during a traffic stop on Loop 101 in Phoenix on May 25.

Ducey said the curfew has been statewide because of incidents in Phoenix, Tucson, Yuma, Prescott, Prescott Valley and Mohave County. He said the past four nights under the curfew. have been peaceful.

Silbert paid homage to the protesters in the manner with which they have conducted themselves.

“I’m proud of our community, quite frankly,” Silbert said. “There are some people who I would say hijacked the cause and didn’t do honor to the death of George Floyd by looting and rioting. But I will tell you by far and away, everything I have seen from the citizens of Arizona, the manner in which they have protested has been a commentary to their character and really to our state.

“You see people out there, it’s 110 degrees outside, and they’re out there all day in the heat and they’re genuinely protesting. People don’t go stand in the heat by the thousands who don’t care.“

COVID-19

While COVID-19 cases are rising in Arizona, Ducey said that was to be expected and that the testing rates and availability of hospital beds and ventilators allow for the state to continue with its reopening.

“We are not in a crisis standards of care protocol right now,” Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ said. “So we continue to monitor. I don’t know that it will be a specific percentage that would trigger that, but it would be looking at the totality of the data.”

In speaking about the viral risks protestors take, Christ noted that the guidance continues to be for group of 10 or fewer to assemble but that people have a Constitutional right to assemble. She urged those at high risk to avoid large gatherings and those who attend to take precautions like frequent handwashing or use of hand sanitizer.

When pushed about the economy reopening, Ducey said the start is not escalating reopening from its current “phase one.”

“Phase one has not gone too far,” Ducey said. “We’ll continue to monitor what is happening, and what we’re going to do is make sure we have proper capacity to care and comfort people that need it, and today we do.”
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

High Tide Seafood Bar & Grill
High Tide Seafood Bar & Grill's steam-kettle cooking key to thriving in desert

Co-owner Chris Glass and Chef Eric Emlet found a nice, high-traffic spot and a concept—fresh, steam kettle-cooked seafood—and for six years have made a good go of it

The First Street Foundation's dataset includes a forecast models that anticipate the effects of climate change and sea level rise. (Screenshot via First Street Foundation)
Analysis: FEMA may be undercounting national total flood risk by as much as 70%

The new dataset includes an interactive Flood Factor dashboard that anyone can use to assess the risk of flooding over a 30-year period for any address.

Christian Brothers Automotive shop to open at Mesa Gateway

A new Mesa Gateway location for Christian Brothers Automotive Care is expected to open July 27 on the Gilbert border.

coronavirus, economy
City tax manager: Gilbert sales tax collections 'higher than we could have hoped for' in May

Gilbert’s sales tax collections for May approached $8 million, putting the town less than $1 million away from its budgeted total for 2019-20 with a month to go in the fiscal year.

In communities across the nation, Walmart Supercenter parking lots will be transformed into contact-free, drive-in movie theaters beginning in August. (Courtesy Walmart)
Walmart to bring drive-in movies to 160 stores nationwide in August, launch virtual summer camp

Families can also enjoy a virtual summer camp experience Walmart is launching July 8 with sessions led by celebrities, including Drew Barrymore, Neil Patrick Harris and LeBron James.

Higley USD
Higley USD governing board approves online curriculum purchase

The Higley USD governing board approved on July 1 the purchase of online curriculum students will use in the coming school year

School will start Aug. 5 as Chandler USD officials planned, but all students will be required to begin classes online, according to Superintendent Camille Casteel. (Community Impact staff)
Chandler USD to start school year online Aug. 5 for all students; parents given option of in-person transition when schools reopen

School will start Aug. 5 as Chandler USD officials planned, but all students will be required to begin classes online, according to Superintendent Camille Casteel.

Gilbert Public Schools
Gilbert Public Schools board approves Aug. 5 online start with eventual three-option plan

Gilbert Public Schools plans to return to school online Aug. 5 but will shift to families having three options for learning once in-person school is allowed to resume.

Gilbert Public Schools
Here are the details for Gilbert Public Schools' reopening plan

Gilbert Public Schools plans to return for fall with three options for parents: in person, online or a “flex” model that includes both forms.

Gilbert Water Tower
Gilbert cancels Fourth of July celebration, modifies other operations

The Gilbert Parks and Recreation Department has canceled its Fourth of July celebration and announced modifications to parks and pools operations in light of Gov. Doug Ducey’s executive order June 29 pausing openings and large gatherings

Mercy Gilbert Medical Center, Banner Gateway Medical Center
Banner, Dignity preparing for patient surges; situations at Gilbert hospitals unclear

While the state is preparing hospitals to enact coronavirus surge measures, the situation at the two Gilbert hospitals treating COVID-19 patients is less clear.

Nikki Stratton, Donald Stratton, USS Arizona
USS Arizona survivor's granddaughter likes Gilbert's bid to be city sponsor of submarine

A USS Arizona survivor’s granddaughter who will serve as sponsor to the battleship’s namesake submarine has endorsed the town of Gilbert’s efforts to be the sub’s municipal sponsor.