Governor Ducey declares a State of Emergency, Allowing Arizona to receive additional assistance and federal aid in preventing the spread of Coronavirus. President Trump also announced sweeping actions to try to prevent additional cases from coming into the country. And the World Health Organization (WHO) declares that Coronavirus is a global pandemic.
Governor Doug Ducey Issues Declaration Of Emergency, Executive Order To Combat Continued Spread Of COVID-19
Declaration And Order Proactively Provides Health Officials With Guidance And Tools To Combat Continued Spread.
PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey today issued a Declaration of Emergency and an Executive Order to provide health officials and administrators with tools and guidance necessary to combat the continued spread of COVID-19 and to reduce finan0cial burdens on Arizonans by lowering healthcare costs associated with the virus.
“There is no greater priority than the health and safety of Arizonans, and today’s efforts are a proactive approach to ensure the state has all the tools necessary to address the global spread of COVID-19,” said Governor Ducey. “While our state is not currently facing the number of cases we’ve seen in some other states, we are anticipating additional positive cases — and we’re not taking any chances. Arizonans should not panic — our approach will be calm and steady. This Emergency Declaration and Executive Order continue our effort to protect public health and save lives.”
The Emergency Declaration provides the following tools to address the spread of COVID-19:
- Establishes the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) as the entity responsible for coordinating all matters pertaining to the public health emergency response of the State.
- Allows ADHS to waive licensing requirements to provide healthcare officials with assistance in delivering services during times of heightened demand.
- It also allows the state to access $500,000 in emergency funds to aid in measures and resources to protect public health.
- Provides the state with emergency procurement authority to procure goods and services as needed to protect public health.
The Governor’s Executive Order is aimed at protecting Arizonans and populations at high-risk of serious complications from this virus. The order:
- Requires insurance companies and health plans to cover out of network providers, including out of plan laboratories and telemedicine providers.
- Waives all copays, coinsurance, and deductibles for consumers related to COVID-19 diagnostic testing and decreases co-pays for telemedicine visits.
- Implements consumer protections, including prohibiting price-gouging on COVID-19 of diagnosis and treatment-related services.
- Requires symptom checks of healthcare workers and visitors at skilled nursing facilities, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities.
“Arizona’s entire public health system has been working non-stop since we identified the first case of COVID-19 in January to mitigate the spread of this disease in Arizona. The emergency declaration and executive order that Governor Ducey signed today will give Arizona additional resources and authority to respond to this outbreak,” said Dr. Cara Christ, ADHS director. “Arizona will now have more tools to protect Arizona’s most vulnerable residents, support our healthcare infrastructure, and remove cost barriers for those who need access to COVID-19 testing and treatment associated with the virus. Every Arizonan has a role in stopping the spread of COVID-19.”
The Emergency Declaration and Executive Order are the latest steps Governor Ducey and state health officials have taken to address the global COVID-19 outbreak, including:
- On January 27, 2020, the state activated the Health Emergency Operations Center to track suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the local, national, and global level.
- On March 2, 2020, Arizona became one of the first states in the nation to be certified by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to test for COVID-19.
- On March 4, 2020, Arizona received $500,000 in federal funding to support COVID-19 Response, providing immediate access to resources for a limited number of states and local jurisdictions impacted by the outbreak.
- The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) is conducting regular briefings, webinars, and providing guidance to community stakeholders including, school administrators, healthcare providers, government officials, and business leaders.
View the Emergency Declaration here.
View the Executive Order here.
President Donald Trump addresses the nation and introduces strong measures in the fight against coronavirus.
Measures to be taken are what President Trump describes as, "Strong but necessary actions” that include:
- Suspending all travel from Europe for the next 30 days, in effect Friday at midnight
- Restrictions do not apply to the United Kingdom
- Insurance companies have agreed to waive all copayments for coronavirus patients and treatments
- Anti-viral medications available in record time
- $8.3B funding bill to help fight virus and expand testing capabilities
Additionally, the federal government is:
- Advising nursing homes to suspend non-medical visits
- Recommending avoidance of non-essential travel in crowded areas
- Issuing guidance on school closures, social distancing, reducing large gatherings
Noting that “Smart action today will prevent the spread of the virus tomorrow,” President Trump urges Americans to:
- Follow guidelines of local officials
- Practice good hygiene
- Wash your hands
- Clean often used services
- Cover your face and mouth if you sneeze or cough
- “Most of all, if you are sick or not feeling well, stay home.”
- Instructing SBA exercise available authority to offer economic loans, low interest
- Increase funding by additional $50B
- Defer tax payments without penalty, bringing $200M in liquidity
- Asking Congress to approve payroll tax relief
“I will never hesitate to take any necessary steps to protect the lives, health and safety of American people,” Trump stated.
"I will always put the well-being of Americans first.”
"We are all in this together,” Trump concluded. "We must put politics aside, stop partisanship."