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After Arizona's governor, Doug Ducey, let the stay-at-home order expire on May 15th, COVID-19 cases skyrocketed in the Grand Canyon State. There have been 178,000 cases confirmed and over 3,000 deaths in Arizona, many of which coming after the stay-at-home order expired in the middle of May. June 30th marked the highest number of daily cases so far, with 4,797 cases. After the stay-at-home order had been lifted, most businesses were able to reopen. Because of the recent surge in cases, Ducey decided to begin reversing the state's economic reopening, making Arizona one of seven states starting to undo their reopening plans. As part of his reversing, Ducey closed bars, gyms, movie theaters, water parks, etc., saying that his goal is to reopen these establishments after 30 days. Ducey has also prohibited gatherings of more than 50 people and cut restaurant capacity by half. Ducey has not required that Arizona residents wear masks, which is likely a contribution to the soaring case numbers. Many mayors have expressed concern with how Ducey has handled the steep increase in coronavirus cases, saying that they don't think he is doing enough to protect the Arizonans.
Arizona schools have delayed their in-person reopenings until at least August 17, rather than their usual start date of early August. However, many Arizona school board members feel that mid-August is still too early to restart in-person learning, urging for Ducey to delay it until October. Some Arizona schools have announced that they will not start their in-person learning right away, like Phoenix Union High School District, who issued a statement saying that their first quarter will consist solely of remote learning. The Arizona Department of Education created a guideline for Arizona schools, but they are not required to utilize any of the suggestions.
Written By Sarah Lessig
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