PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona’s governor ordered bars, nightclubs and water parks to close again for at least a month starting Monday night — a dramatic about-face as coronavirus cases surge in the Sunbelt.

Republican Gov. Doug Ducey also ordered public schools to delay the start of the classes at least until Aug. 17. Many districts planned to start the school year in late July or early August. His orders can be extended.

“We can’t be under any illusion that this virus is going to go away on its own,” Ducey said.

Arizona emerged from stay-at-home order in mid-May, but infections have since begun spiking. On Sunday, it reported 3,858 more confirmed coronavirus cases, the most in a single day for the state and the seventh time in recent days that the daily toll surpassed the 3,000 mark.

While Ducey has urged Arizonans to keep their distance from one another in public, he refused to issue a statewide order to wear masks and until recently resisted calls by some cities to allow them to require masks.

Most Arizona bars and nightclubs reopened when the stay-at-home order lifted, and scenes of packed clubs and bars were common. Pools at hotels and motels and municipal pools are also being shuttered, as are gyms, movie theaters and a popular tubing location on the Salt River east of metro Phoenix.

Arizona’s move comes as many states in the South and West are seeing a new surge of infections as businesses reopen and warmer weather draws people together. Places such as Texas, Florida and California are also backtracking, closing beaches and bars in some cases.

It also comes less than a week after President Donald Trump visited the Arizona-Mexico border and held a rally in Phoenix in which few people wore masks.

If the closure order isn’t extended and the businesses are allowed to reopen at the end of July, local health officials and law enforcement will be able to enforce strict social distancing and limit how many people can enter.

Private pools at apartment complexes can remain open, but they must limit gatherings to no more than 10 people.

The governor is also reestablishing a ban on gatherings of more than 50 people, and the state liquor department is ending the issuance of special-use alcohol permits.

A month ago, Ducey announced schools would reopen after the summer break, even as the state was seeing an uptick in metrics used to track the progression of the virus. At the time, he said he was announcing the decision to give parents and administrators time to plan ahead.

The state on Friday told hospitals to implement their crisis care plans — a move that shows hospitals are at or near capacity and are expected to go over-capacity.

Hospitals were required under orders issued early in the state’s pandemic response to plan to add 50% to their capacity when they go to crisis care levels. Extra regular and intensive care beds will be added — and some people may get lower standards of care or be discharged earlier than they normally would be.

If a hospital goes over capacity, they’ll have to end all non-emergency surgeries.

Statewide, hospitals were at 84% capacity Sunday. It’s unclear when hospitals are expected to reach 100%.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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(17) comments

bizowner

It’s probably spreading from all the improperly used disgusting masks everywhere, causing people to touch their face and nose 10x frequently than without it. Or maybe it’s because we’ve been kept inside and our immune system‘s are weak because of it. Regardless, is a PLANdemic...a convenient one for some.

comments

well said my friend well said ....

NitaCat

So glad someone sees this. The more you wear the useless mask, the more vulnerable you will become, the more you stay home the more vulnerable you become. The more you advertise this so-called "plandemic", the more it grows. Our country has suffered many great obstacles but never laid down and let this happen as it is today.

HavasuGuy

bizowner - Havasu's done it your way without the masks, how's that working out? If we would have had a leader in Washington DC setting a healthier example and encouraging mask use, our economy wouldn't be so at risk right now, and it's just starting.

I need to ask, is wearing a mask really that much of a bother to reduce of number of people who are dying? I looked up what you meant by PLANdemic, you conspiracy nuts are really way our there in right field. I guess you get it from that ChemTrails Kelly, right? Anyone that would subscribe to your conspiracy has got to have a screw loose...

BigBob

As if just dealing with COVID-19 on a daily basis is not bad enough, now our state has started health care rationing and it is truly frightening. Our “enlightened” state, home to millions of senior citizens, has decided to implement rules that will deny critical healthcare resources, such as ventilators, based on the likelihood of a patient living five years after surviving the coronavirus. For those of us classified as senior citizens this rule will result in our being denied care and even those of us with medical conditions other than COVID-19 can expect high rates of denied service compared to younger people. Essentially doctors’ following the rules that deprive patients necessary care will be immune from any legal liability for the death of the patient.

Proudindependent

Hope all you trumpers are paying attention, the absolute worse response to this medical emergency in the world.

comments

go Joe go Joe,,,

BigBob

Forty-one new cases of COVID-19 were reported Wednesday (17 June) by the Mohave County Department of Public Health, which also reported four deaths in its daily coronavirus situation report.

My reference to the Ides is a generalization of the time period. Now, prepare for the ides of July.

Two of the deaths were among the 41 new cases — they hadn’t been previously confirmed as testing positive for the disease — while the other two deaths were patients who had previously been counted as confirmed cases.

The deaths from previous cases were of a person age 30-39 in the Lake Havasu City area — the youngest COVID-19 patient to die in the county — and a person age 90 or older in the Bullhead City service area. The two deaths from new cases involved elderly patients, one in the 80-89 age range in the Kingman service area and the other in the 90-and-older range in Bullhead City.

shutthefrontdoor

To not disappoint all those out-of-state revellers, I guess we must keep the channel open, along with the beaches, launch ramps, park Ramada's, park restrooms and move forward with those firework galas. The almighty buck has spoken and shall not be compromised!, until the 5th of July!

HavasuGuy

I agree, you watch - the General Manager of the London Bridge Resort (and part time mayor, kinda) will order mandatory masks in Lake Havasu right after he pulls in the 4th of July profits for the people he really represents, the investors of the London Bridge Resort...

shutthefrontdoor

I read bars, gyms, pools ordered to close, what about restaurants? or did I miss something?

HavasuGuy

shut - restaurants are to remain open for now.

comments

Gavin closes Cali up ,,,so they all come here ,,,party 4th 2020 ...

BigBob

Gosh, who could have predicted this? After being right about the ides of June I will now say, Beware the ides of July.

Mr Lemons

BigHwyRover - Right about the 13th of June? I don't think so.

MOHAVE COUNTY, AZ (June 13, 2020) Late this afternoon, the Mohave County Health

Department (MCDPH) Nursing staff was notified of only one COVID-19 confirmed case. The

individual is in the Kingman service area and is a 50-59 year age range person, who is recovering at home and is linked to another confirmed case.

“Self-praise is the first sign of insecurity.” ― Avijeet Das

HavasuGuy

Lemons - always a (2 weeks) day late and a dollar short. You do know that today is the 30th of June, not the 13th, right?

HavasuGuy

Amazing! Unfortunately, only the dimwitted didn't see this coming and there's more to come...

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