PHOENIX – Gov. Doug Ducey said Thursday he does not intend to impose new restrictions on Arizonans – or even require them to wear masks – despite more people contracting COVID-19.
In fact, look for him to actually move in the opposite direction.
"We're seeing increasing cases,'' he said during a media briefing.
That was underscored by figures from his own Department of Health Services showing a record 1,291 patients in Arizona hospitals. And that doesn't count another 429 in intensive-care beds, a figure exceeded only by a peak of 438 just three days earlier.
And the number of COVID-19 patients seen in the emergency room his 848, trying a record set just two days ago.
All totaled Arizona has now logged 31,264 confirmed cases of the virus with 1,127 deaths.
But the governor is undeterred, rebuffing a question of whether he would consider reimposing some of the restrictions he first put in place in March like his stay-at-home order and restricting commercial activity to only essential businesses.
"It's not under discussion,'' he said. Instead, Ducey is focused on moving forward.
"We're going to continue our gradual and phased-in reopening,'' the governor said. "We will balance public health with public safety.''
State Health Director Cara Christ put a finer point on it, saying the measures that had previously been imposed were designed to ensure that Arizona had enough hospital capacity to deal with an outbreak.
"We know that it's in the community,'' she said.
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