Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey made the decision to reclose a number of venues in the state for at least a month as confirmed cases of COVID-19 surge.
Ducey’s order goes into effect at 8 p.m. local time on Monday and will include a mandatory shutdown of gyms, clubs, movie theaters, water parks, and bars. The move comes as the state has had steady daily increases in new infections for the past few weeks.
As of Monday evening, Arizona has had almost 75,000 cases and nearly 1,600 deaths. The state also reported more than 3,000 new cases in five days of the last week. In addition to closing down bars and gyms, the Republican governor also ordered that the start date for schools be pushed back until at least Aug. 17; however, that date can be further extended, according to the Associated Press. Ducey also announced that the state will return to disallowing gatherings of more than 50 people.
Arizona is not the only state changing policies as more people become ill. Last week, Florida announced that it was suspending on-premise consumption of alcohol, effectively shuttering bars across the state. Texas also did the same. Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, said the state will restrict outdoor patronage at restaurants and that the businesses would be limited to takeout as cases there spike.
“As we experience an increase in both positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, we are focused on strategies that slow the spread of this virus while also allowing Texans to continue earning a paycheck to support their families,” Abbott said last Thursday. “The last thing we want to do as a state is go backwards and close down businesses. This temporary pause will help our state corral the spread until we can safely enter the next phase of opening our state for business.”
Across the entire country, there have been some 2.5 million confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 126,000 deaths, according to the latest tally by Johns Hopkins University. The United States has the most confirmed cases in the world, and the European Union, which has far lower per capita infection levels, is expected to ban U.S. travelers when the bloc reopens.