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.“


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.


Photo from inside a movie theater
Alamo Drafthouse files for bankruptcy, closes theaters in downtown Austin and New Braunfels

Most theaters will remain open under an asset purchase agreement to the company's senior lending partners.

Jason Martin
Gilbert Public Schools considers closing Houston Elementary, moving Neely Traditional Academy

The Gilbert Public Schools governing board studied the effects of school changes for the fall that would close one school and move another into its campus.

Marcie Taylor
End-of-year celebrations getting face-lift in Gilbert Public Schools

Desert Ridge and Mesquite high schools, which have held their graduations at Arizona State University’s Wells Fargo Arena in previous years, will have to bring their ceremonies back to their campus stadiums, said Marcie Taylor, secondary education executive director.

Gilbert Public Schools district office
Finances good for now, but Gilbert Public Schools could see $10.22M reduction for next year

Gilbert Public Schools officials presented the governing board March 2 with a healthier revised budget for this fiscal year, but a projection for next year shows a large cut could be looming.

People age 55 and up will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine appointments beginning at noon March 2. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Arizonans 55 and older will be eligible for vaccine appointments beginning March 2

People age 55 and up will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine appointments beginning at noon March 2.

Cafe Rio Mexican Grill
One restaurant now open, one coming in Gilbert

Here are two restaurants open or coming to Gilbert.

See a breakdown of COVID-19 cases, vaccinations and more local data. (Community Impact staff)
COVID-19: Gilbert cases up 62 in two days March 2

See a breakdown of COVID-19 cases, vaccinations and more local data.

COVID-19 vaccine appointments are available at Chandler-Gilbert Community College. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
COVID-19 vaccination appointments available beginning March 1 at Chandler-Gilbert Community College

COVID-19 vaccination appointments will be available beginning at 9 a.m. March 1 at Chandler-Gilbert Community College—the latest state-run vaccination site.

Denise Lopez
Denise Lopez appointed HD South chief

Denise Lopez replaces Kayla Kolar, who left in 2020 to become the executive director of House of Refuge, as HD South's president and CEO.

The new Cracker Barrel Old Country Store location in Gilbert had standing waits outside when it opened its doors Feb. 15. (Tom Blodgett/Community Impact Newspaper)
Cracker Barrel open in Gilbert; Harbor Freight to open March 6 in Chandler and more February news

Read the latest business and community news from February in Gilbert and Chandler.

Western Canal
Gilbert officials wanted to avoid land acquisitions along Western Canal, staff tells residents

When Gilbert staff first addressed the problem of a deteriorating sewer along the Western Canal, they hoped to avoid using eminent domain to acquire land to fix the problem, staff told residents Feb. 25.