On Thursday, March 25, 2021, Governor Ducey announced a new phase of COVID-19 mitigation for Arizona and issued an Executive Order. The order does several things, including:
- Events with 50 people or more will no longer need the approval of local governments.
- The business guidance will transition from requirements to recommendations. Businesses may continue requiring masks, social distancing, and other requirements, but only if they choose to do so.
- Bars will be able to resume regular operations.
- Local mask mandates are eliminated, with the exception of government buildings and public transportation.
According to the Governor’s press release, the decision was made due to the increasing vaccination rates (over 3 million doses administered to date), ten weeks of declining case counts, and hospitalization rates at their lowest since September 2020.
The Arizona Medical Association acknowledges that throughout the state, we continue to see meaningful declines in cases and hospital occupancy, with the rate of vaccination continuing to rise. However, Arizona physicians want to remind everyone that while we are on the right path, we’re not out of the woods yet.
“Even with the relaxing of the restrictions, our responsibilities do not change,” stated Dr. Ross Goldberg, President of the Arizona Medical Association (ArMA). “Until we reach herd immunity, which is 70-85% of Arizonans fully vaccinated, we must continue to do what we know works to reduce the spread of COVID. That includes continuing to wear a mask in public and physically distancing from those outside your household. We have been pretty good at predicting surges in the past, and we ask everyone to do what they can to help us avoid another one. We are still responsible to each other.”
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