Virus Surges in Arizona, but the Rodeo Goes On

Since the governor began allowing local jurisdictions to set stricter limits than last month, a patchwork of rules has emerged, as well as clashes.

Maricopa County passed regulations requiring facial coatings in public. The staff at Antique Sugar, a vintage clothing boutique in Phoenix, abused the mask requirement so much that the store held up a sign outside: “We will be happy to discuss with you the effectiveness of the masks when it is over and you come sell your dead grandmother's clothes.


At a sophisticated golf course outside Scottsdale, a woman rejected a barista who said his masks were necessary and refused the mask he was offering. "It is people your age that are the most problem," she said, noting the increase in cases among young people.

In the early months of the pandemic, Mr. Ducey took modest steps that the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry applauded as "just right," but that some mayors and Democratic leaders have found very interrupted. Public schools were initially closed for two weeks, a period later extended. Bars, gyms, theaters and restaurant catering services initially closed only in counties with confirmed cases of coronavirus.

On March 23, with home stay requests planned across the country, Mr. Ducey declared Arizona, which had far fewer cases than the northeast, "not yet there". Your executive order listed companies that would not need to close, even in the event of additional restrictions, including salons and spas, golf courses, payday creditors and firearms dealers.


"My first reaction was, 'So what's closed?'" Said Wendy Smith-Reeve, who was Arizona's director of emergency management at the time.

Smith-Reeve left a few days later and in an interview offered a detailed assessment of the governor's early handling of the virus. She described a fragmented response that ignored the state's emergency management plan and ignored people harmed by the virus, including Arizona guards and prisoners. Ducey imposed a statewide order to stay home on March 31, extending the order to May 15, despite furious protests from some who called for the reopening of businesses. But on May 4, the day before Trump left for Phoenix to visit a Honeywell mask factory, Ducey announced that he would accelerate the phased reopening of the state.


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