Ducey’s ‘essential business’ COVID-19 order cuts out city, county gov’t

By: - March 24, 2020 4:06 pm
Doug Ducey has raised $313,000 from politcal committees

Governor Doug Ducey speaking with supporters of Donald Trump at a campaign rally with Governor Mike Pence at the Mesa Convention Center in November 2016. Photo courtesy Gage Skidmore

As cases of COVID-19 continue to increase rapidly in Arizona, Gov. Doug Ducey issued an executive order declaring which businesses are “essential.” The move simultaneously paves the way for the governor to declare a “stay at home” order like his counterparts in California and New York have done and blocks city governments from ordering certain types of businesses to close. 

Ducey’s executive order dictates that no “county, city or town may make or issue any order, rule, or regulation that restricts or prohibits any person from prohibiting” any of the duties that have been deemed essential in the order. 

That has been met with opposition from some city leaders, who say they were in the best position to determine whether certain businesses – for instance, beauty salons, which were deemed non-essential in California and New Jersey, but which Ducey said are essential – should stay open during the COVID-19 crisis.

“Cities have the most direct understanding of residents’ needs and this order hinders our ability to be responsive,” Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego said on Twitter in response to the order

The order also stipulates that any local order restricting people from leaving their homes must be “consistent with advice from the Arizona Department of Health Services” and any such restrictions should be coordinated with the state. 

Ducey’s order includes the normal list of essential operations such as healthcare facilities, governmental operations and infrastructure. 

However, the order also includes a list of all the businesses that are deemed essential. 

The list includes: 

  • Grocery stores 
  • Pharmacies 
  • Farmer’s markets
  • Supermarkets
  • Convenience Stores 
  • Food/Beverage Manufacturers 
  • Any outdoor recreation area
  • Golf courses
  • Food banks
  • Charitable organizations 
  • Media (Newspapers, Television, Radio)
  • Gas Stations
  • Auto-repair facilities
  • Banks 
  • Payday and car title lenders
  • Hardware stores
  • Plumbers, electricians, etc…
  • Post offices
  • Schools 
  • Laundry services 
  • Beauty and nail salons
  • Restaurants (dine-out only)
  • Airlines
  • Taxis
  • Home-based care providers 
  • Day care centers 
  • Hotels and Motels 
  • Funeral services 

The order also states that it is not meant to encourage any employer at any of these businesses to take the order as a way of discouraging an employee from working from home. 

As of March 24, there are 326 cases in Arizona and there have been 5 deaths related to COVID-19, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services

How you can tell if you might have been impacted

Symptoms of coronavirus resemble that of the flu. So, if you’re experiencing coughing, fever, difficulty breathing, or shortness of breath, you should consider getting checked out. Call your primary care physician or visit an urgent care center or emergency room — but call the health care provider before you go so they can be prepared for your arrival. The Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center is taking COVID-19 calls: 1-844-542-8201

How the coronavirus spreads

  • Through the air by coughing or sneezing
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it

How to prevent spreading the coronavirus

  • Cover coughs or sneezes with your elbow. Don’t use your hands.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Clean surfaces frequently, including counter tops, light switches, cell phones, remotes, and other frequently touched items.
  • Contain: If you are sick, stay home until you are feeling better. Once symptoms are gone experts recommend staying home an additional 72 hours.

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Jerod MacDonald-Evoy
Jerod MacDonald-Evoy

Reporter Jerod MacDonald-Evoy joined the Arizona Mirror from the Arizona Republic, where he spent 4 years covering everything from dark money in politics to Catholic priest sexual abuse scandals. He brings strong watchdog sensibilities and creative storytelling skills to the Arizona Mirror.