In one of the most drastic rollbacks of reopenings yet, Arizona is closing bars, gyms, movie theaters and other businesses for 30 days amid a “brutal” increase in COVID-19 cases, Gov. Doug Ducey said Monday.
Water parks and tubing also must also close, Ducey said at a news conference, and events with more than 50 people are prohibited.
The pullback comes as the state has seen a surge in COVID-19 cases recently. There are now almost 75,000 reported infections, up from 46,689 cases 10 days ago.
“Our expectation is that next week, our numbers will be worse,” Ducey said. “It will take several weeks for the mitigations we are putting in place to take effect.”
The largest increase is from those between the ages of 20 and 44 who now make up 22% of hospitalizations in Arizona, Ducey said.
Sixteen other states have either pulled back on reopenings or have put them on pause as their cases jump. Bars were ordered to close back down in Texas and parts of California. In some of South Florida, beaches were directed to close again during the upcoming holiday weekend, and on-premises alcohol consumption has been suspended in bars statewide.
Just days before the 4th of July weekend, groups of more than 10 people will be prohibited from gathering at outdoor pools in Arizona, including those at apartment complexes and private facilities, Ducey said.
Arizona schools are also ordered to push back the start of the school year to August 17, he said.
To reopen, affected facilities must attest to public health regulations and post it for the public to see, the governor said.
The goal, he said, is to get the establishments back open in 30 days.
“We’re going to be monitoring the data along the way, and we’re going to do everything necessary to protect public health,” Ducey said.
Restaurants will be allowed to remain open with physical distancing guidelines in place.
Last week, Ducey said he wouldn’t require people to wear masks who attended President Donald Trump’s Phoenix rally on June 23. Monday, he encouraged all Arizonans to “mask up,” but did not issue a statewide mandate for people to wear them.