>>Sherri Collins: Hello.
Because of all of you within the community providing us with feedback on how we can improve access to information related to COVID-19, we have improved our website and the information page to be full of information in one place.
We've partnered with different organizations around the state to make sure that their information is clearly posted on our website.
If you have any questions or recommendations, feel free to contact us.
Welcome! Here you'll find:
Message from Governor Ducey
Hi, this is Governor Doug Ducey. Arizona is doing everything in our power to increase access to testing, provide medical supplies and stop the spread of COVID-19. We need everyone’s help. At ArizonaTogether.org, you can donate to people in need, find ways to volunteer, discover resources for you, your family or your business and access the latest information. Visit ArizonaTogether.org and get involved. Thank you.
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This is the third in a series of blog posts on the Arizona Center for Disability Law’s website about school reopenings during COVID-19. If you haven’t had a chance to read the first two posts in the series, check them out: Post 1 and Post 2.
Today’s post will provide information for families about the different schooling options that exist for students with disabilities during COVID-19.
At this time, all Arizona families have access to the same school choice options they would normally have, in addition to some additional options that may be provided by their specific school district or charter school. The information below is general information about the options that exist to help you make an informed decision about how your child will learn in the fall.
1. Public School District
Parents can choose to enroll their child in their local public school district or to pursue open enrollment to enroll their child in a public school district other than the one in which they reside.
Students with IEPs who are enrolled in public school districts are entitled to receive the special education and related services listed in their IEPs. The public school district of enrollment is responsible for providing those services. Although school districts will not be providing in-person learning at the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year, students with IEPs are entitled to receive the services in their IEPs during remote learning to the extent safe and feasible. Students with disabilities who cannot receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE) through distance learning are entitled to receive in-person services through on-site learning opportunities. See our previous post on executive orders for more information.
During distance learning, your child is entitled to continue to receive educational services in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) appropriate to meet his/her needs. Your child’s LRE placement does not need to be changed for your child to receive FAPE in a remote setting. Instead, the school district should strive to serve students in a remote setting that mirrors their in-person LRE. For example, if your child’s LRE is a Level A (80% or more of the school day spent in a regular classroom alongside non-disabled peers) then during remote learning your child should also spend at least 80% of the school day using regular education learning platforms and virtually interacting with non-disabled peers. For more information about LRE and placement during remote learning, see this resource from the Arizona Department of Education.
When it is safe to offer in-person learning, many school districts will be offering families a choice between continuing remote learning or beginning in-person learning. To plan for staffing and space needs, most districts are asking families to commit to one learning model or the other for a set amount of time (for example, committing to remote learning until the end of the semester in December 2020, and then deciding whether to continue with remote learning or switch to in-person learning for the spring 2021 semester). If you choose to have your child return to in-person learning, your child’s IEP will need to be followed in the classroom just as it was before the pandemic.
When it is safe for schools to begin offering in-person learning, if you indicate that you would prefer for your child to continue with remote learning, the school may want to have an IEP meeting for your child to determine whether FAPE can be provided in a remote setting. It is possible, based on guidance being issued by the Arizona Department of Education, that your child’s IEP team may determine that your child can only be provided FAPE in an in-person setting. The school may then state that it will only follow your child’s IEP if you choose to send your child to school in-person, and will not attempt to follow your child’s IEP if you elect to continue remote learning for your child. If you disagree with this or any other decision made by your child’s IEP team, you can engage in dispute resolution. Such an ultimatum from your child’s IEP team may be challenged, especially if your child has a documented medical condition that makes returning to in-person school especially high-risk.
If you believe that, for disability-related reasons, your child’s LRE has changed, you can request that the IEP team consider amending your child’s IEP to reflect a home-based instruction placement. If the LRE is changed to home-based instruction, the District must follow your child’s IEP by providing services to your child in your home. IDEA requires all qualifying students to be provided the amount of services necessary to provide FAPE, regardless of their LRE.
ACDL has noticed that students whose LRE is home-based instruction are typically provided far fewer hours of services than students in in-person settings, because the cost of providing home-based services to an individual student is much higher than the cost of providing services to a classroom full of students. Generally, students are offered four hours of home-based instruction per week. This probably has less to do with an individualized determination about how much home-based instruction is needed for a child to receive FAPE, and more to do with the cost of providing home-based services. In Arizona, to count as a full-time student for school funding purposes, a school must provide a minimum of four hours per week of home-based instruction to a student. Choosing home-based instruction may mean that your child will be offered about four hours of services per week. If you disagree with the amount of services being offered to your child in a home-based instruction placement, you can use dispute resolution. For more information about home-based instruction, see this resource from the Arizona Department of Education.
2. Public Charter School
Parents can choose to enroll their child in a public charter school. Public charter schools are free to attend, do not serve a specific geographic area, and cannot discriminate in enrollment on the basis of disability. Because some charter schools are in high demand, they may operate on a lottery system for enrollment. If you are interested in sending your child to a charter school, make sure you understand how the charter’s enrollment process works.
Public charter schools are subject to IDEA and orders from the Arizona Governor’s Office, just like public school districts. Like public school districts, most public charter schools will be offering remote learning only for the first part of the school year and may begin to offer in-person learning options later in the year. Like public school districts, public charter schools must provide qualifying students with the services detailed in their IEPs.
Each option discussed above relating to public school districts also applies to public charter schools. Some public charter schools have been operating in an online-only format since before the pandemic, and are self-described as online schools. Even these online schools are required to follow IDEA and provide students with the services in their IEPs.
3. Homeschooling/Private School/ESA
In light of COVID-19, many families are considering removing their children from the public school system all together to pursue homeschooling, enrollment in a private school, and/or applying for an Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) to help pay for private school or homeschool services/programs.
Homeschooling and private school have always been options available to Arizona families. It is important to note that children who are homeschooled or who are parentally placed in a private school are not entitled to receive the services in their IEPs as they would if they were enrolled in a public school district or charter school. By choosing to homeschool or place your child in private school, you are opting out of the public school system, and therefore the IDEA will no longer apply to your child in the same way.
Students who are homeschooled or who are parentally placed at a private school remain entitled to be evaluated for special education eligibility by a public school district. If the child is parentally placed at a private school, the public school district responsible for evaluating the child is the school district in which the private school is geographically located. If the child is homeschooled, the public school district responsible for evaluating the child is the school district in which the child’s residence is geographically located. School districts must set aside a “proportionate share of federal funds” to serve private school and homeschool students through something called a “service plan,” but this is not the same as being entitled to all services that would be in a child’s IEP, and the student and parents do not have the same procedural safeguards and dispute resolution options available to them that a public school student would have.
As you are deciding which school option is best for your child this fall, consider reaching out to leaders at your child’s current school, such as your child’s special education case manager, the district/charter special education director, or the district/charter superintendent for more information about what options will exist for your child in that school system in the fall.
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(GOVERNOR DUCEY) >> GOOD AFTERNOON, EVERYONE. GOOD TO SEE EVERYONE TODAY.
I WANT TO BEGIN BY JUST SAYING THANK YOU TO ALL THE GOOD PEOPLE OF ARIZONA. IT'S BEEN AN INCREDIBLY DIFFICULT SEVERAL MONTHS. I THINK EVEN INCREASINGLY SO OVER THE LAST COUPLE OF WEEKS. SO I WANT TO SAY THANK YOU TO ALL THE PEACEFUL PROTESTORS, ALL THE LAW ENFORCEMENT LEADERS, ALL THE COPS AND DEPUTIES AND OUR HEALTHCARE WORKERS WHO HAVE ALL BEEN WORKING OVERTIME. THANK YOU FOR WHAT YOU HAVE DONE. AND I WANT TO GIVE YOU AN UPDATE OF WHERE WE ARE IN ARIZONA AROUND COVID-19. SO WE ARE GOING TO CONTINUE TO TAKE A CALM AND STEADY APPROACH. THE URGENT ACTION AND DECISIONS WE ARE GOING TO MAKE ARE GOING TO BE TO PROTECT PUBLIC HEALTH. AND EVERYTHING THAT WE TALK TO YOU ABOUT TODAY WILL BE INFORMED BY DATA AND INFORMATION AND WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT YOU HAVE ACCURATE DATA AND INFORMATION. LET US REVIEW JUST BRISKLY HOW FAR ARIZONA HAS COME IN THE LAST THREE MONTHS. ON MARCH 11, 2020, THERE WAS A DECLARATION OF STATEWIDE EMERGENCY THAT WAS MADE FROM THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE, AND OUR FIRST EXECUTIVE ORDER WAS TO PROTECT ARIZONA'S MOST VULNERABLE
COMMUNITIES. ON MARCH 19 WE HAD AN EXECUTIVE ORDER TO HALT ELECTIVE SURGERIES. IF YOU REMEMBER, THE FOCUS AT THAT TIME WAS AROUND PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT. THERE WAS A REAL CONCERN AROUND THE SHORTAGE OF THAT, AND THAT HAPPENED IN MID MARCH. ON MARCH 26, COVID-19 WAS DECLARED WIDESPREAD IN OUR COMMUNITIES AND HAS BEEN WIDESPREAD SINCE THEN.
WE ALSO PUT OUT AN EXECUTIVE ORDER TO INCREASE HOSPITAL CAPACITY. THIS WAS THE PANDEMIC PREPARATION FOR WHAT COULD BE A WORST-CASE SCENARIO. SO WE REQUIRED HOSPITALS TO ACTIVATE THEIR EMERGENCY PLANS AT THE END OF MARCH AND TO INCREASE BED CAPACITY BY 50%. ON MARCH 30, WE RECEIVED $10 MILLION IN GRANTS FOR VENTILATOR PURCHASES. 600 ADDITIONAL VENTILATORS AVAILABLE FOR USE IN JULY. AND THE STAY HOME, STAY HEALTHY, STAY CONNECTED ORDER WAS PUT FORWARD ON MARCH 30TH. THE OBJECTIVE OF THAT ORDER WAS TO SLOW THE SPREAD OF THIS VIRUS. WE WERE WATCHING WHAT WAS HAPPENING IN NEW YORK AND LOUISIANA AND MICHIGAN, THE EASTERN SEABOARD, OTHER PLACES THAT WERE HIT FIRST AND HIT HARDEST AND WE WERE PREPARING IF THAT WERE TO COME OUR WAY. SO THE IDEA WAS TO REDUCE THE NUMBER OF NEW CASES FROM ONE DAY TO THE NEXT TO HELP PREVENT THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEMS FROM BECOMING OVERWHELMED. ON APRIL 9, WE BEGAN TO PUT FORWARD WHAT COULD BE SURGE CAPACITY OR FIELD HOSPITALS. ST. LUKE'S MEDICAL CENTER WAS ADDED.
ON APRIL 22, WE WERE ABLE TO RESUME ELECTIVE SURGERIES BECAUSE WE HAD OUR ARMS AROUND THE PPE ISSUE IN THE STATE OF ARIZONA AT THAT TIME. ON APRIL 23RD, WE WERE ABLE TO LAUNCH THE ARIZONA SURGE LINE. THIS IS A 24/7 TOLL FREE CALL LINE THAT FACILITATES THE INTERFACILITY TRANSFER OF PATIENTS TO BALANCE HOSPITAL RESOURCES SHOULD THAT BE NECESSARY. THIS WAS IMPLEMENTED IN NEW YORK STATE ON MARCH 31 AFTER THE STATE OF NEW YORK HAD REACHED 75,000 CASES. IN ARIZONA, WE WERE ABLE TO PREPLAN BECAUSE OF WHERE WE WERE AND WE LAUNCHED THIS AT 5769 CASES. AND WE DEVELOPED IT OF COURSE WITH THE LEADERSHIP OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SERVICES, DR. CARA CHRIST IS WITH ME TODAY, AND WITH ARIZONA'S LEADING HOSPITAL PROFESSIONALS.
SO WHEN WE DECLARED THE EMERGENCY IN MARCH OF 2020, OUR INSIGHT IN HOSPITAL CAPACITY WAS LIMITED. TODAY WE HAVE DAILY REPORTING THROUGH ENHANCED SURVEILLANCE AND ONGOING CAPACITY INCREASES. WE KNOW TO THE BED WHERE WE ARE IN THE STATE OF ARIZONA. ICU BEDS IN MID MARCH, 1532. TODAY, 1,657 PLUS 600 ADDITIONAL SURGE BEDS THAT WOULD BE AVAILABLE AS NEEDED. AND TODAY THEY ARE NOT NEEDED. HOSPITAL BEDS, 1,532. NOW, WE HAVE 7,652 PLUS 2600 ADDITIONAL SURGE BEDS AVAILABLE AS NEEDED. AND VENTILATORS WE KNEW WHERE 330 WERE ON MARCH 11. TODAY WE'VE GOT OUR ARMS AROUND 1684 VENTILATORS PLUS AN ADDITIONAL $10 MILLION IN STATE ISSUED GRANTS FOR ADDITIONAL 600 VENTILATORS.
SO LET'S TALK ABOUT WHERE WE ARE IN ARIZONA TODAY ON OUR STATISTICS. THIS IS THE WHITE HOUSE GATING CRITERIA INFORMED BY THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL. WE WILL TAKE YOU THROUGH SYMPTOMS, CASES, AND HOSPITALS. THOSE OF YOU THAT HAVE BEEN FOLLOWING THESE PRESS CONFERENCES WILL KNOW THIS IS THE SAME FRAMEWORK WE HAVE BEEN WORKING THROUGH FOR MONTHS. SYMPTOMS, WE WANT TO SEE A DOWNWARD TRAJECTORY OF INFLUENZA-LIKE ILLNESS WITHIN A 14-DAY PERIOD AND DOWNWARD TRAJECTORY OF COVID-LIKE CASES WITHIN A 14-DAY PERIOD. THE BLUE LINE REPRESENTS COVID-LIKE ILLNESS SURVEILLANCE. THE GOLD LINE REPRESENTS INFLUENZA-LIKE ILLNESS SURVEILLANCE. YOU CAN SEE ON THE Y AXIS THE STAY HOME, STAY HEALTHY, STAY CONNECTED ORDER. THIS METRIC HAS BEEN TRENDING DOWN TO FLAT. WE HAVE SEEN DE MINIMIS INCREASES FROM 1.4% TO 1.5%, 4.4% TO 4.7 AND 4.8%. THIS IS A METRIC WE WILL CONTINUE TO WATCH. LET'S TALK ABOUT CASES.
WE WANT TO SEE A DOWNWARD TRAJECTORY OF DOCUMENTED CASES WITHIN A 14-DAY PERIOD OR A DOWNWARD TRAJECTORY OF POSITIVE CASES AS A PERCENT OF TOTAL TESTS WITHIN A 14-DAY PERIOD. THIS IS COVID-19 CASES BY DAY. WHAT YOU SEE HERE IS A CLEAR INCREASE IN CASES. NOW I WANT YOU TO HOLD THIS INCREASE IN CASES IN YOUR MIND AS WE GO TO THE NEXT SLIDE WHERE YOU ARE GOING TO SEE A CLEAR INCREASE IN TESTING. THE BLUE REPRESENTS OUR TESTING SURGE AND A DRAMATIC INCREASE IN TESTING. SO WE'VE GOT AN INCREASE IN TESTING RESULTING IN AN INCREASE IN CASES AND ALSO AN INCREASE IN POSITIVE TESTS. THE INCREASE IN POSITIVE TESTS IS NOT THE DIRECTION WE WANT TO GO. WE WANT TO GO IN THE OTHER DIRECTION. SO THIS WILL CONTINUE TO BE A METRIC TO WATCH AND MEASURE. NOW, WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT THIS INCREASE IN TESTING RESULTING ALONG WITH SOME OTHER FACTORS WHICH DR. CHRIST WILL TOUCH ON, BUT THE INCREASE IN TESTING RESULTING IN AN INCREASE IN CASES ALONG WITH AN INCREASE IN POSITIVITY, WHAT WE WANT TO MEASURE, WHAT'S MOST IMPORTANT IS WHERE ARE WE TODAY IN HOSPITAL CAPACITY.
THAT WAS THE REASON FOR THE STAY HOME, STAY HEALTHY, STAY CONNECTED ORDER, TO SLOW THAT SPREAD SO THAT WE COULD TREAT ALL PATIENTS IN ARIZONA WITHOUT CRISIS CARE. THESE ARE OUR HOSPITAL BEDS. NOW, THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE THE 2600 ADDITIONAL SURGE BEDS. BLUE REPRESENTS IN-PATIENT BEDS IN USE. GRAY REPRESENTS IN-PATIENT BEDS AVAILABLE. SO I WANT YOU TO SEE THE TOTAL PICTURE AND ON THIS NEXT SLIDE WE WILL OVERLAY THE COVID-19 CASES IN ARIZONA. THE COVID-19 CASES ARE IN GOLD. YOU WILL SEE A TOLERANCE OVER THE LAST SEVERAL WEEKS OF BETWEEN 14 TO 16%. WE HAVE CAPACITY IN OUR HOSPITAL BEDS, AND YOU DO SEE AN INCREASE IN COVID-19 CASES HERE. INTENSIVE CARE UNIT HOSPITAL BEDS, THIS IS IF YOU GET EXTREMELY SICK. WE WANT TO MAKE SURE WE'VE GOT ICU BEDS TO CARE FOR YOU. THIS DOESN'T INCLUDE WHAT WE CAN DO IN SURGE CAPACITY OF AN ADDITIONAL 600 BEDS. THE BLUE REPRESENTS ICU BEDS IN USE. GRAY REPRESENTS AVAILABLE BEDS TODAY.
THIS NEXT SLIDE WILL OVERLAY COVID-19 CASES. YOU WILL SEE THAT THE COVID-19 CASES HOVER BETWEEN 23 AND 26% OF ICU BEDS. WE HAVE CAPACITY IN OUR ICU FACILITIES IN ARIZONA REGARDLESS OF WHAT YOU ARE EXTREMELY SICK WITH. THIS IS INTENSIVE CARE UNIT BEDS. GOLD REPRESENTS COVID-19 PATIENTS. BLUE REPRESENTS ICU BEDS IN USE BY NONCOVID-19 PATIENTS. YOU CAN SEE THE NUMBER OF PATIENTS FROM MAY 15TH TO JUNE 10TH. I THINK IT'S FAIR TO SAY THAT THESE ARE FAIRLY FLAT LINES.
WE HAVE CAPACITY IN OUR INTENSIVE CARE UNIT HOSPITAL BEDS IN ARIZONA TODAY. VENTILATORS. IF YOU GET EXTREMELY SICK, YOU MAY NEED A VENTILATOR. BLUE REPRESENTS TOTAL VENTILATORS IN USE. GRAY REPRESENTS VENTILATORS AVAILABLE. I WILL OVERLAY THE COVID-19 NUMBERS IN GOLD.
YOU CAN SEE WE HAVE A LOT OF VENTILATORS AVAILABLE IN ARIZONA. WE HAVE ACCESS TO MORE VENTILATORS IF NECESSARY. AND THE COVID-19 NUMBER HAS REMAINED PRETTY FLAT FOR VENTILATORS. ARIZONA HOSPITALS ARE PREPARED, AND YOU DON'T HAVE TO TAKE IT FROM JUST ME. YOU CAN TAKE IT FROM ARIZONA HOSPITALS, INCLUDING BANNER HEALTH, DIGNITY HEALTH, HONOR HEALTH, ABRAZO, CARONDELET AND NORTHERN ARIZONA HEALTHCARE. THERE'S BEEN A LOT OF MISINFORMATION OUT THERE. IT'S IMPORTANT THAT WE HAVE THE FACTS STRAIGHT ON WHERE WE ARE IN HOSPITAL CAPACITY IN ARIZONA BECAUSE OUR CITIZENS DESERVE TO HAVE THE FACTS. RECENTLY THERE HAVE BEEN LOCAL AND NATIONAL MEDIA REPORTS REGARDING AN INCREASE IN CONFIRMED POSITIVE COVID-19 CASES IN ARIZONA AND HOW OUR STATE IS MANAGING THE COVID-19 CRISIS. IT'S REPRESENTATIVES OF THE LARGEST HEALTH SYSTEMS REPRESENTING 80% OF CARE PROVIDED IN THE STATE, WE WOULD LIKE TO ASSURE THE PUBLIC THAT WE HAVE THE AVAILABLE BED CAPACITY AND SURGE PLANS ARE IN PLACE TO CONTINUE TO SERVE THE PEOPLE OF ARIZONA.
WE ARE WELL PREPARED TO MANAGE AN INCREASE IN PATIENT VOLUME. IT'S IMPORTANT THAT PEOPLE KNOW WE ARE NOT SEEING AN INCREASE IN PATIENT VOLUME. WE ARE PREPARED IF THAT INCREASE SHOULD COME. THE FACTS ARE WE'VE GOT AN INCREASE IN TESTING, AN INCREASE IN CASES, AND AN NCREASE IN POSITIVE TEST RESULTS. SO WE ARE GOING TO CONTINUE TO STAY LASER FOCUSED ON COVID-19 IN THE STATE OF ARIZONA. WE ARE GOING TO DO MORE TESTING TO KNOW WHERE WE ARE EVERY DAY. AND I REALLY WANT TO APPLAUD OUR PRIVATE SECTOR PARTNERS AND DR. CHRIST AND DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SERVICES FOR THE ROBUST TESTING PROGRAM THAT WE DO HAVE IN PLACE TODAY FOR OUR AT-RISK HEALTHCARE WORKERS, INCLUDING ANTIBODY TESTING AND TRACE CONTACTS OF COVID-19 RESULTS.
THIS IS OUR TESTING BY DAY. YOU CAN SEE SUPPLY CHAIN WAS AN ISSUE, ALSO OTHER STATES WERE GETTING HIT BEFORE WE WERE HIT AND THEY WERE GETTING HIT HARDER. WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO HAVE I THINK OUR SIXTH STRAIGHT WEEKEND OF TESTING BLITZ. THIS IS ALL LABS IN THE STATE OF ARIZONA, OVER 429,000 TESTS HAVE BEEN CONDUCTED. 309,000 PLUS IN TERMS OF DIAGNOSTIC AND 120,000 IN SEROLOGY. YOU CAN SEE THAT WE HAVE HAD DAYS IN ARIZONA OF OVER 19,000 TESTS CONDUCTED. JUST A FEW DAYS AGO, 12,383 TESTS CONDUCTED. SO WE HAVE A GLOBAL PANDEMIC, AND OF COURSE IT IS IMPACTING OUR NATION. EVERYWHERE, INCLUDING ARIZONA. WE PUT SOME STATES ON HERE, SOME OF THE STATES THAT WERE MAKING NATIONAL NEWS EARLY IN TERMS OF THE CASES THAT THEY HAVE HAD AND THE CASES PER CAPITA. WE TALKED A LOT ABOUT NEW YORK STATE, LEARNED A LOT FROM WHAT NEW YORK STATE WENT THROUGH AND MASSACHUSETTS AND BATON ROUGE AND NEW ORLEANS SPECIFICALLY.
YOU CAN ALSO LOOK AT WHERE ARIZONA IS IN COMPARISON TO SOME OF THE WESTERN STATES. IT GIVES YOU A FOCUS ON DATA AND INFORMATION THAT WE FOLLOW AND TRACK EVERY DAY, WANTING TO MAKE THE BEST POSSIBLE DECISIONS SO THAT WE CONTINUE TO SLOW THE SPREAD OF COVID-19 IN ARIZONA AND PROTECT OUR CITIZENS. SO SOME OF THE NATIONAL TRENDS THAT PEOPLE -- I WANT YOU TO BE AWARE OF, BECAUSE IN THE PAST WEEK 19 STATES HAVE SEEN A NEW RISE IN CASES OVER THE PAST WEEK COMPARED TO THE PREVIOUS WEEK. IN THE PAST WEEK, EIGHT STATES HAVE REPORTED A 50% INCREASE IN COVID-19 CASES FROM THE PREVIOUS WEEK. AND SINCE THE START OF JUNE, 14 STATES HAVE RECORDED THEIR HIGHEST EVER SEVEN-DAY AVERAGE OF NEW CASES.
WE ARE SEEING INCREASING CASES. WE ARE GOING TO CONTINUE OUR GRADUAL AND PHASED-IN REOPENING. WE WILL BALANCE PUBLIC HEALTH WITH PUBLIC SAFETY, AND WE WILL INCREASE OUR TESTING AND OUR CONTACT TRACING. WE ARE ALSO GOING TO INCREASE IN TERMS OF HOSPITAL CAPACITY ON WHATEVER WILL COME NEXT. WE ARE PREPARED TODAY, BUT WE ARE VIGILANT EVERY DAY AND FOCUSED ON THIS EVERY DAY. OF COURSE WE HAVE BEEN DISCUSSING SOME OTHER THINGS IN THE STATE AND IN THE NATION, BUT IN TERMS OF TOP PRIORITY PUBLIC HEALTH HAS BEEN TOP OF MIND FOR MY ADMINISTRATION AND IT HAS BEEN DR. CHRIST'S ENTIRE FOCUS. WHAT PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW TODAY IS WE HAVE CAPACITY FOR COVID-19 HOSPITALIZATIONS OR NONCOVID-19 HOSPITALIZATIONS REGARDLESS OF THE LEVEL OF CARE THAT YOU WOULD NEED IN THE STATE OF ARIZONA, ANYWHERE IN THE STATE OF ARIZONA.
ARIZONA HAS CAPACITY. WE ARE GOING TO INCREASE TESTING. OUR TESTING IN ARIZONA HAS DOUBLED SINCE THE STAY AT HOME ORDER EXPIRED. ON MAY 15 WE WERE NORTH OF 146,000 TESTS. TODAY WE ARE NORTH OF 300,000. TESTING HAS INCREASED BY MORE THAN 500% SINCE APRIL 15TH. WE WERE AT 47,000 PLUS PCR TESTS ON THAT DATE. TODAY, AGAIN, 309,273 TESTS. WE WANT TO RETURN SMARTER AS A STATE. WE KNOW SO MUCH MORE ABOUT COVID-19 TODAY THAN WE DID ON MARCH 11TH, YET THIS IS A VIRUS. WE WILL CONTINUE TO STAY FOCUSED AND VIGILANT AROUND. WITH THAT, I WILL TO TURN IT OVER TO DR. CARA CHRIST, WHO WILL GIVE US AN UPDATE.
(DR. CHRIST) >> THANK YOU, GOVERNOR. SO WE HAVE BEEN TALKING COVID FOR A COUPLE OF MONTHS NOW, AND WE WANT TO REMIND YOU THAT EVERY ARIZONAN CAN DO THEIR PART. SO WE KNOW THAT COVID-19 IS STILL WIDESPREAD IN OUR COMMUNITY. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE ENCOURAGE ARIZONANS TO DO ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE VULNERABLE TO THE POTENTIAL BAD OUTCOMES OF COVID, IF YOU ARE OVER THE AGE OF 65 OR YOU HAVE AN UNDERLYING MEDICAL CONDITION THAT PUTS YOU AT RISK, WE WANT THEM TO LIMIT THEIR TIME AWAY FROM HOME. YOU WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT YOU PHYSICALLY DISTANCE WHEN YOU ARE IN PUBLIC, TRY TO STAY AT LEAST SIX FEET AWAY FROM OTHERS. IF YOU CANNOT PHYSICALLY DISTANCE, WE WANT YOU TO WEAR A CLOTH FACE COVERING. WE ENCOURAGE EVERYONE TO WASH THEIR HANDS FOR AT LEAST 20 SECONDS WITH SOAP AND WATER OR TO USE A HAND SANITIZER, ESPECIALLY AFTER TOUCHING YOUR FACE OR EVEN MOVING YOUR MASK.
YOU DEFINITELY WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE USING HAND SANITIZER AND THEN TO STAY HOME WHEN YOU ARE SICK SO YOU DON'T SPREAD IT TO OTHERS. WE ARE ASKING THAT ALL ARIZONA BUSINESSES DO THEIR PART. SO IN THE RETURN SMARTER EXECUTIVE ORDER IT DOES REQUIRE ARIZONA BUSINESSES TO DEVELOP, ESTABLISH, AND IMPLEMENT POLICIES INCLUDING PHYSICAL DISTANCING AND DISINFECTING PROTOCOLS. AND THAT -- THAT'S BASED ON GUIDANCE FROM THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL, THE ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SERVICES, THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, AND OSHA. AND WHAT WE ASK THEM TO DO IS TO IMPLEMENT PROTOCOLS THAT WILL HELP INDIVIDUALS STAY PHYSICALLY DISTANCED AT THEIR WORKPLACE OR IF THEY ARE OUT IN PUBLIC, IT REQUIRES -- DOESN'T REQUIRE, BUT IT ENCOURAGES THEM TO DO SYMPTOM SCREENS OF THEIR EMPLOYEES WHEN THEY COME IN AND OTHER THINGS TO PREVENT SPREAD OF THE DISEASE. TO DATE WE HAVE IMPLEMENTED MITIGATION STRATEGIES, AND WE HAVE BEEN LOOKING AT -- I'M SORRY.
WE HAVE IMPLEMENTED MITIGATION STRATEGIES. SO WE HAVE LIMITED RESTAURANTS AND BARS. WE HAVE SUSPENDED VISITATIONS TO LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES BECAUSE WE KNOW THAT THOSE ARE FILLED WITH THOSE THAT ARE VULNERABLE TO THE DISEASE. WE HAVE HALTED ELECTIVE SURGERIES AND ALLOWED FACILITIES TO REQUEST EXEMPTIONS FROM THAT EXECUTIVE ORDER. AND WE HAVE ISSUED A STAY AT HOME ORDER. AND THE GOAL FOR THOSE MITIGATION STRATEGIES WAS REALLY TO SLOW THE SPREAD SO THAT WE COULD ENSURE THAT WE HAD ADEQUATE HOSPITAL CAPACITY. WE KNOW THAT IT'S IN THE COMMUNITY. WE ARE NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO STOP THE SPREAD AND SO WE CAN'T STOP LIVING AS WELL.
ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE HAVE BEEN PAYING ATTENTION TO IS THOSE UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES OF WHAT A PROLONGED MITIGATION STRATEGY COULD BE. SO WE WEIGH THE RISK OF THE VIRUS WITH THE RISK OF THOSE LONG-TERM PUBLIC HEALTH IMPACTS. AND WE ARE SEEING SOME DETRIMENTAL IMPACTS ON THINGS THAT ARE VERY IMPORTANT TO PUBLIC HEALTH AND QUICKLY LEAD TO LONG-TERM HEALTH EFFECTS AND CONSEQUENCES. SO ONE OF THE CONCERNS IS CHILD SAFETY. WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT THOSE CHILDREN THAT ARE HIGH RISK FOR ABUSE HAVE SOMEBODY ELSE WHO IS LAYING EYES ON THEM. WE KNOW WITH THE STAY AT HOME ORDER AND THE CLOSURE OF SCHOOLS THAT THAT HAS REDUCED SIGNIFICANTLY. WE ALSO KNOW THAT THE LEARNING IMPACT THAT CHILDREN CAN HAVE NOT BEING IN THE CLASSROOM AND NOT HAVING THAT CONTINUOUS LEARNING ENVIRONMENT CAN RESULT IN EDUCATION IMPEDIMENTS. THE MENTAL HEALTH IMPACTS OF A STAY AT HOME ORDER, INCLUDING THE FINANCIAL AND EMOTIONAL STRESSORS THAT COME ALONG WITH THE STAY AT HOME ORDER AND CLOSURE OF THE ECONOMY, AND THEN LONELINESS AND ISOLATION.
I'M SURE YOU ALL HAVE HEARD US TALK ABOUT THAT AT THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SERVICES, BUT WE FEEL THAT THERE IS A LONELINESS EPIDEMIC. AND SO THIS HAS CONTRIBUTED TO THAT AS WELL. THERE ARE PHYSICAL HEALTH IMPACTS OF THIS. WE HAVE NOTICED THAT THERE HAVE BEEN DECREASED CANCER SCREENINGS STATEWIDE. WE ARE AWARE THAT THERE HAVE BEEN DECREASED CHILDHOOD IMMUNIZATIONS BECAUSE CHILDREN HAVE NOT BEEN GOING FOR THEIR WELL CHILD CHECKUPS, AND WE ALSO HAVE CONCERNS FOR THOSE VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. SO AN UPDATE ON OUR LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES. BY THE END OF TODAY, WE ARE SCHEDULED TO COMPLETE ALL OF THE FACILITIES THAT WE WILL BE DOING THE TESTING FOR, EXCEPT FOR TWO. 40 FACILITIES ARE COORDINATING THEIR OWN TESTING AND SO FAR 15,000 STAFF AND RESIDENTS HAVE BEEN TESTED. FOR CORRECTIONS, WE HAVE UPDATED ON THIS BEFORE BUT THE U OF A SEROLOGY TESTING IS AVAILABLE FOR STAFF AND CONTRACTORS, ESPECIALLY THOSE THAT HAVE DIRECT CONTACT WITH THE INMATES. THAT IS AVAILABLE IF THEY WANT TO GO GET TESTING. THERE'S 31 UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA SEROLOGY TESTING SITES STATEWIDE IF PEOPLE WANT TO GO GET TESTED IMMEDIATELY. BUT WE ARE WORKING WITH SONORAQUEST TO GO ONSITE TO COMPLETE THAT SPECIMEN COLLECTION FOR THOSE THAT MAY NOT BE ABLE TO TRAVEL TO ONE OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA ONSITES. THOSE WILL BE RUN BY SONORAQUEST. WE HAVE BEEN WORKING WITH YUMA TO PROVIDE DIAGNOSTIC TESTING IN RESPONSE TO SOME CASES THAT HAD BEEN IDENTIFIED AT THE YUMA COMPLEX. AND THEN WE ARE WORKING WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS TO IMPLEMENT INFECTION CONTROL SURVEYS AND ARE CURRENTLY GOING OUT ONSITE TO THE FACILITIES TO REVIEW THOSE PLANS.
(GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> THANK YOU VERY MUCH, DR. CHRIST. I WANT TO ASK MAJOR GENERAL MICK MCGUIRE TO GIVE US AN UPDATE ON THE BIGHORN FIRE AND I ALSO WANT TO SAY THANK YOU TO YOU AND THE BRAVE WOMEN AND MEN OF THE NATIONAL GUARD AND ALL THE HARD WORKING FOLKS AT DEMA THAT ARE WORKING ON FIGHTING FIRES AND PEACEFUL PROTESTS AND EVERY OTHER ISSUE THAT COMES THE GUARD'S WAY. I'M VERY GRATEFUL FOR WHAT YOU HAVE BEEN ABLE TO DO. WILL YOU LET PEOPLE KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON WITH THE BIGHORN FIRE, PLEASE.
(GENERAL MCGUIRE) >> THANKS, GOVERNOR. AS IT PERTAINS TO THE FIRE BURNING IN PIMA COUNTY THAT ORIGINATED IN THE PUSCH RIDGE AREA OF THE WEST END OF THE CATALINA MOUNTAINS, WE ARE COORDINATING WITH PIMA COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT. AS MANY OF YOU HAVE HEARD ME SAY BEFORE, WE ARE ALWAYS IN SUPPORT OF THE INCIDENT AND THE INCIDENT COMMAND SYSTEM. THE INCIDENT COMMAND SYSTEM THERE THROUGH US FOREST SERVICE HAS ASKED FOR AN EVACUATION OF A NUMBER OF AREAS. AND I WOULD DIRECT MEDIA TO THE PIO RUNNING THE INCIDENT DOWN IN THE AREA ABOUT THE SPECIFIC LOCATIONS, BUT ESSENTIALLY IT IS THE NORTHWEST SECTOR OF THE CATALINA FOOTHILLS AREA IN THE TUCSON SECTOR. AS MANY OF YOU KNOW WE HAD A FIRE HERE OVER THE 30TH AND 31ST OF MAY WHERE WE LOST STRUCTURES. SO WE HAVE HAD UNFORTUNATELY SOME EXPERIENCE WITH GETTING FOLKS INTO NONCONGREGATE SHELTER.
A TECHNIQUE WE DON'T USUALLY USE, WOULDN'T NORMALLY USE BUT COVID-19 SITUATION FORCED US TO DO THAT. THANK THE RED CROSS AND ALL THE GROUPS THAT STEPPED UP TO HELP WITH THOSE THINGS. AND WE PRAY THAT THEY DON'T LOSE STRUCTURES DOWN IN PIMA COUNTY WITH THIS ONE, SIR. THANKS.
(GOVERNOR DUCEY) >> THANKS VERY MUCH, MAJOR GENERAL. LET'S TALK ABOUT OUR PLAN GOING FORWARD. THE PLAN GOING FORWARD IS WE ARE GOING TO CONTINUE TO FOCUS ON PUBLIC HEALTH AND THE EDUCATION CAMPAIGN AROUND IT. PHYSICAL DISTANCING, WASHING YOUR HANDS, STAY HOME IF YOU ARE SICK, AND WEARING A CLOTH FACE COVERING WHEN YOU CANNOT PHYSICALLY DISTANCE.
WE WILL CONTINUE TO INCREASE TESTING IN THE STATE OF ARIZONA WHICH WILL GIVE US MORE SIGHT LINE TO WHAT OUR SITUATION IS AT THE STATE LEVEL. WE WILL HAVE A CONSTANT FOCUS ON CASES AND HOSPITAL CAPACITY. WE HAVE GOT A TEAM OF 44 EXPERIENCED EPIDEMIOLOGISTS TRACKING THE DATA IN REAL TIME, THE NUMBER OF CASES AND MEASURING THE HOSPITALIZATION RATES WITH CONTINUED SURVEILLANCE AND LOAD BALANCING OF OUR HOSPITAL RESOURCES. AND WE ARE GOING TO PRIORITIZE WHERE THE RISK IS HIGHEST IN ARIZONA, OUR SKILLED NURSING FACILITIES, OUR LONG-TERM CARE, AND OUR PRISONS. AND WITH THAT, WE WILL OPEN IT UP FOR SOME QUESTIONS.
(GOVERNOR DUCEY) >> BILLY.
(REPORTER) >> GOVERNOR, THANK YOU. I HEART RADIO. I KEEP GETTING THE SAME QUESTION FROM PEOPLE OUT IN OUR COMMUNITY AND I JUST WANT TO MAKE SURE WE ARE CLEAR. AS LONG AS HOSPITAL BEDS AND HOSPITAL CAPACITY IS NOT IN JEOPARDY, DO YOU PLAN ON KEEPING THE PHASED OPENING OR HAVE THERE BEEN TALKS BEHIND CLOSED DOORS TO TAKE A STEP BACK? BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE GETTING SICK AND I UNDERSTAND THERE'S MORE TESTING. BUT THERE'S MORE SICK PEOPLE OUT THERE AS WELL. SO JUST TO BE CLEAR AS LONG AS HOSPITALS ARE OKAY, YOU ARE GOING TO KEEP THE PHASED OPENING APPROACH?
(GOVERNOR DUCEY) >> SO I WANT TO ANSWER THE QUESTION, BILLY. THE FOCUS HAS BEEN ON SLOWING THE SPREAD, ON MAKING SURE THAT WE HAVE HOSPITAL CAPACITY SO THAT WE COULD PROVIDE CARE AND COMFORT FOR PEOPLE THAT NEEDED IT. WE WILL CONTINUE TO FOCUS ON THAT. WHERE WE ARE TODAY IS REMAINING VIGILANT.
BUT WE HAVE SEEN AN INCREASE IN CASELOAD. THERE HAS ALSO BEEN THAT INCREASE IN TESTING. I HAVE SAID SEVERAL TIMES I WANT TO MAINTAIN EVERY OPTION AVAILABLE TO A GOVERNOR TO PROTECT THE PEOPLE OF ARIZONA. THAT'S MY TOP FOCUS. IF YOU WERE THINKING OF THE STAGES OF HOW WE GOT TO WHERE WE ARE TODAY AND GONE IN REVERSE ORDER, THE FIRST ISSUE IF NECESSARY WOULD BE AROUND ELECTIVE SURGERIES WHICH WE ARE ABLE TO CONDUCT TODAY IN ARIZONA HOSPITALS. WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO RESUME THOSE. AND OUR SURGE CAPACITY INSIDE THE STATE OF ARIZONA. I DO THINK WE CAN -- AS WE MOVED INTO PHASE ONE, I SAID THAT THIS IS A GREEN LIGHT TO PROCEED, NOT TO SPEED. WE DID HAVE SEVERAL WEEKS OF POSITIVE METRICS, HEADING IN THE RIGHT TRAJECTORY. NOW WE ARE SEEING SOME NUMBERS THAT WE WANT TO PAY ATTENTION TO AND SEE IF THOSE INCREASED CASES RESULT IN INCREASED HOSPITALIZATIONS. WE HAVEN'T SEEN THAT TODAY, BUT THAT'S WHAT I AM FOCUSED ON EVERY MORNING AND EVERY EVENING.
(GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> DENNIS AND THEN WE WILL MOVE ACROSS.
(REPORTER) >> GOVERNOR, YOU SPOKE A LOT ABOUT CAPACITY, VENTILATORS, TESTS, THOSE KINDS OF THINGS. BUT OBVIOUSLY TREATING COVID IS MORE THAN JUST MACHINES AND WHATNOT, ICU BEDS. WHAT ABOUT DOCTORS AND NURSES? I KNOW THAT YOU CUT REGULATIONS EARLY ON SO YOU CAN ACCESS MORE BECAUSE YOU WERE WORRIED ABOUT THAT BEING IN SHORT SUPPLY. CAN YOU GUARANTEE ARIZONANS THAT THERE ARE ENOUGH DOCTORS AND NURSES TO HANDLE THIS CURRENT SURGE IN CASES?
(GOVERNOR DUCEY) >> FIRST OF ALL I WANT DR. CHRIST TO TALK ABOUT WHERE WE ARE RIGHT NOW ON DOCTORS AND NURSES AND THEN I WILL TALK ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIP THAT I HAVE WITH OTHER GOVERNORS ACROSS THE COUNTRY, IN A WORST-CASE SCENARIO WHAT WOULD BE POSSIBLE FOR ARIZONA. WILL YOU TALK ABOUT CURRENT STATUS OF ARIZONA TODAY.
(DR. CHRIST) >> SO CURRENTLY WITH OUR DOCTORS AND NURSES WE DO HAVE CAPACITY. NOW, IF THE CASES WERE TO INCREASE, HOSPITALS HAVE SURGE PLANS OR EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS PLANS THAT OUTLINE A NUMBER OF TOOLS. ONE OF THOSE TOOLS IF THEY CANNOT -- SAY A BUNCH OF THE PHYSICIANS OR NURSES GOT SICK, THEY CALLED OFF, THEY CAN REQUEST ADDITIONAL RESOURCES THROUGH THEIR COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT, THE COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT CAN BRING IT UP TO THE STATE HEALTH DEPARTMENT IF WE NEED TO. WE COULD RECRUIT VOLUNTEERS THROUGH OUR ESAR-VHP RESOURCE AND THEN WE CAN ALSO REQUEST FEDERAL RESOURCES TO COME IN AND PROVIDE ADDITIONAL STAFFING IF NEEDED.
(REPORTER) >> THE SURGE PLAN ACCORDING TO YOUR OWN REPORTS ONLINE, THOUGH, THAT MEANS REDUCED CARE FOR EVERYONE, THAT MEANS PEOPLE GET DISCHARGED A LITTLE EARLIER, NURSES, THE NURSE TO PATIENT RATIO GETS WORSE. SO THAT MEANS REDUCED CARE. CORRECT? SO HOW FAR ARE WE FROM SURGE?
(GOVERNOR DUCEY) >> IT DOES NOT MEAN REDUCED CARE. SO THERE ARE PRACTICES THAT WE CAN PUT IN PLACE TO ENSURE THAT WE HAVE ADEQUATE STAFFING, BUT IT ENSURES THAT THE PATIENTS ARE AT THE APPROPRIATE LEVEL OF CARE RECEIVING THAT LEVEL OF CARE AT THAT TIME.
(REPORTER) >> DO YOU HAVE NUMBERS TO PROVIDE US ABOUT DOCTORS AND NURSES TO ASSURE THE PUBLIC THAT THERE ARE ENOUGH PEOPLE TO HANDLE THIS?
(GOVERNOR DUCEY) >> I DON'T HAVE THE NUMBERS.
>> NICOLE, GO TO YOU AND THEN HOWIE.
(REPORTER) >> GOVERNOR, FOR YOU, THERE'S CONCERN THAT YOU ARE TONE DEAF TO THE SPIKE IN CASES. NATIONAL HEALTH EXPERTS ACROSS THE COUNTRY RIGHT NOW ARE VOICING CONCERNS THAT THE VIRUS GROWTH IN ARIZONA HAS GOTTEN BAD. YOU SAY A RISE WAS EXPECTED, THAT WE HAVE HOSPITAL CAPACITY. ARE THOSE PEOPLE SOUNDING THE ALARM, ARE THEY WRONG? AND WHEN WILL YOU ACT? WHAT IS YOUR PLAN IF WE KEEP GOING THE WRONG DIRECTION? BESIDES USING THE TOOLS IN THE GOVERNOR'S TOOLBOX?
(GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> WELL, FIRST I WANT TO SAY THAT THIS IS SOMETHING THAT WE HAVE BEEN FOCUSED ON EVERY DAY SINCE MARCH 11. I WOULD SAY SINCE JANUARY 27TH WHEN WE STOOD UP THE EMERGENCY OPERATION CENTER AT THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SERVICES. WE HAVE BEEN PREPARING FOR WHAT WOULD BE OUR TIME FOR AN INCREASE IN CASES AND AN INCREASE IN HOSPITALIZATIONS. AND PART OF THE REASON THAT I WANTED TO SHARE THE STATEMENT FROM THE HOSPITALS AND WHERE THEY ARE FROM A CAPACITY PERSPECTIVE IS THIS IS WHAT WE HAVE BEEN IN PREPARATION OF IS THAT WE CAN CARE FOR ARIZONANS THAT NEED IT. WE CAN PROVIDE THEM THE HOSPITAL CARE AND COMFORT AND ATTENTION. AND TODAY WE CAN DO THAT. WE CAN ALSO DO THAT FOR WHAT WE BELIEVE IS THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE AND THE ENTIRE TIME WE HAVE BEEN FOCUSED ON A POSSIBLE WORST-CASE SCENARIO WITH SURGE CAPACITY FOR HOSPITAL BEDS, ICU BEDS, AND VENTILATORS. NOW, THOSE ARE NOT NEEDED OR NECESSARY RIGHT NOW. YOU KNOW EVERYTHING THAT I KNOW. I AM WORKING WITH SUBJECT MATTER EXPERTS ON THIS THAT ARE FOCUSED ENTIRELY ON THE STATE OF ARIZONA. AND WE ARE GOING TO CONTINUE TO STAY FOCUSED ON THAT.
(REPORTER) >> AT WHAT POINT, WHAT WILL IT TAKE FOR YOU TO ADMIT OR BE CONVINCED THAT YOU LET YOUR STAY AT HOME ORDER EXPIRE TOO SOON? WHAT WILL IT TAKE?
(GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> SO THIS HAS ALWAYS BEEN ABOUT SAVING LIVES AND IT'S ALSO ABOUT LIVELIHOODS IN THE STATE OF ARIZONA. WE PUT THE STAY AT HOME ORDER THERE SO WE COULD PREPARE FOR WHAT WE ARE GOING THROUGH RIGHT NOW. AND WE ARE PREPARED FOR IT. AND I WANT TO THANK ARIZONANS. THEY HAVE BEEN ASKED TO DO A LOT. THEY HAVE SACRIFICED A LOT. THE BEHAVIOR AND RESPONSIBILITY HAS BEEN OUTSTANDING. I THINK WE NEED TO REDOUBLE OUR EFFORTS ON THIS BECAUSE THIS IS NOT YET BEHIND US. WE ARE NAVIGATING THROUGH THIS AND WE ARE GOING TO BE ABLE TO DO IT. THE GLOBAL PANDEMIC HAS AFFECTED THE WHOLE WORLD. BUT IT HASN'T STOPPED THE WORLD FROM TURNING. WE ARE GOING TO BE ABLE TO DO THIS IN A BALANCED AND RESPONSIBLE WAY FOR THE PEOPLE OF ARIZONA AND WE ARE GOING TO STAY COMMITTED TO GETTING THROUGH THIS NO MATTER HOW LONG IT TAKES.
(REPORTER) >> WHEN WILL WE SEE A PLAN OF –
(GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> I JUST SHOWED YOU A PLAN AT THE END OF THE POWERPOINT.
(GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> HOWIE, NEXT.
(REPORTER) >> SO I'M LISTENING TO WHAT YOU ARE SAYING. GOVERNOR, YOU SAID WE HAVE SEEN AN INCREASE IN CASES, WE ARE GOING TO CONTINUE OUR GRADUAL REOPENING. DR. CHRIST –
(GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> I DIDN'T SAY THAT, HOWIE. I SAID WE HAVE SEEN AN INCREASE IN CASES. I DID NOT TALK AT ALL TODAY ABOUT ANY ADDITIONAL REOPENING. THERE'S NO –
(REPORTER) >> WELL –
(GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> ANY REOPENING WOULD BE GRADUAL. THERE WAS NO OPENING ANNOUNCED TODAY.
(REPORTER) >> OKAY. AND THEN I HEARD DR. CHRIST SAY WE ARE NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO STOP THIS SPREAD, WE CAN'T STOP LIVING. SOUNDS LIKE YOU GUYS HAVE GIVEN UP IN TERMS OF ANYTHING YOU SAY, WELL, HERE WE ARE, WE ARE NOT GOING TO REQUIRE FACE MASKS, WE ARE NOT GOING TO GO BACK TO STAY AT HOME. IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU HAVE GIVEN UP AND JUST SAID WELL, WE GOT THE ECONOMY, SO, AH, WE WILL JUST LIVE WITH IT.
(GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> HOWIE, NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH. WE ARE 100% FOCUSED ON THE PROPER DECISIONS FOR THE STATE OF ARIZONA AND WE ARE GOING TO CONTINUE TO MAKE THOSE DECISIONS. THE FACT THAT I AM DEMONSTRATING WHAT THREE PLUS MONTHS OF WORK TO HAVE AVAILABLE HOSPITAL CAPACITY, TO BE FOCUSED IF THERE WERE TO BE A WORST-CASE SCENARIO, AND THE FACT THAT THAT WORST-CASE SCENARIO IS NOT HERE TODAY IS POSITIVE NEWS. SO WE ARE GOING TO STAY FOCUSED ON THIS. WE WANT PEOPLE TO MAKE RESPONSIBLE DECISIONS LIKE THEY HAVE SO FAR. AND WE ARE GOING TO BE ABLE TO NAVIGATE THROUGH THIS. I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT THAT PEOPLE HAVE THE FACTS. THIS VIRUS IS NOT GOING AWAY. THERE IS NOT A CURE FOR THIS VIRUS. AND THERE'S NOT A VACCINE FOR THIS VIRUS. SO THIS VIRUS IS SOMETHING WE NEED TO LEARN TO LIVE WITH AND WE NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT WE ARE PROTECTING THE MOST VULNERABLE IN OUR SOCIETY AND THOSE ARE FOLKS IN A CERTAIN AGE BRACKET WITH UNDERLYING HEALTH CONDITIONS AND AT-RISK CONDITIONS, AND WE WILL CONTINUE TO DO THAT EVERY SINGLE DAY UNTIL THERE IS A VACCINE.
(REPORTER) >> BUT LET ME FOLLOW UP. READING FROM DR. CHRIST'S BLOG HERE, WEARING THE CLOTH FACE MASK IN PUBLIC REGARDLESS OF WHETHER YOU FEEL SICK OR NOT, THAT WAY YOU ARE PROTECTING YOURSELF, YOUR FAMILY AND OTHERS, WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU WORE A FACE MASK, GOVERNOR? (GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> WELL, FIRST I WANT TO SAY I AM ALL FOR FACE MASKS WHEN YOU CAN'T PHYSICALLY DISTANCE. I'VE GOT MY FACE MASK WITH ME TODAY. AND WHEN I AM NOT PHYSICALLY DISTANCING, I WEAR THEM AND WASH THEM OFF. HOWIE, CAN I ANSWER YOUR
QUESTION, PLEASE? I HAVE LISTENED TO YOUR QUESTION. CAN I GIVE YOU AN ANSWER?
(REPORTER) >> SURE.
(GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> OKAY. EVEN ON THE CDC GUIDANCE IT SAYS IT CAN BE DIFFICULT TO PHYSICALLY DISTANCE IN PLACES LIKE PHARMACIES OR GROCERY STORES. I WAS IN WALGREENS PICKING UP SOME THINGS ON THE WAY HOME, AND I HAVE BEEN TO THE GROCERY STORE IN BOTH PLACES I WORE A FACE MASK AND FACE MASKS ARE GOOD. SO IF YOU CAN'T PHYSICALLY DISTANCE, WEAR THE MASK.
(GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> WE WILL GO TO ZOOM NEXT. WE WILL HEAR FROM HANK FROM THE YELLOW SHEET.
(REPORTER) >> CAN YOU HEAR ME ALL RIGHT?
(GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> YES, WE CAN.
(REPORTER) >> THERE WE GO. CONSIDERING WE ARE SEEING A SPIKE ACROSS THE STATE, BUT PARTICULARLY WE'VE GOT SOME HOTSPOTS, WHY DON'T YOU ALLOW CITIES, COUNTIES TO ENACT THEIR OWN LOCAL REGULATIONS THAT GO ABOVE AND BEYOND WHAT THE STATE IS DOING?
(GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> THANK YOU, HANK. WE HAVE BEEN FOLLOWING THE WHITE HOUSE GATING CRITERIA ALONG WITH THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL. IT DOES GIVE US THE OPTION TO DO THINGS EITHER STATEWIDE OR COUNTY WIDE. TO DATE WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO ACCOMPLISH THE OBJECTIVES TO PROTECT AND CARE FOR THE CITIZENS OF ARIZONA WITH STATEWIDE GUIDANCE. BUT THAT WILL REMAIN AN OPTION. AND IF IT WERE NECESSARY FOR ANY COUNTY, WE COULD DO THAT. DO YOU WANT TO TOUCH ON SOME OF OUR HOTSPOTS AND WHERE WE ARE? CAN WE --
(REPORTER) >> FOLLOW UP.
(GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> HANK.
>> IF I COULD, JUST --
>> CAN WE FINISH ANSWERING THE QUESTION?
(REPORTER) >> COUNTIES ARE ASKING FOR THIS AUTHORITY.
(GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> YES. THANK YOU, HANK.
(REPORTER) >> YOU ARE HANDLING IT AT A STATEWIDE LEVEL BUT I DON'T THINK THE PEOPLE IN YUMA, TUCSON, A VARIETY OF PLACES AROUND THE STATE WOULD AGREE WITH THAT.
(GOVERNOR DUCEY) >> DO YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT THAT FROM A PUBLIC HEALTH PERSPECTIVE, DOCTOR?
(DR. CHRIST) >> SO AS WE LOOK AT THE HOTSPOTS, WE KNOW THERE ARE A COUPLE OF AREAS WHERE WE ARE SEEING INCREASED CASES. WE ARE SEEING INCREASED CASES IN MARICOPA COUNTY IN THE CENTRAL REGION. WE ARE SEEING CASES DOWN AROUND OUR SOUTHERN BORDER. WE DO KNOW THERE ARE INCREASED CASES ACROSS THE BORDER IN MEXICALI AND SONORA THAT ARE DIVERTING PATIENTS UP NORTH TO ARIZONA AND SO WE HAVE BEEN MONITORING THAT SITUATION AS WELL AS THE HOTSPOTS WITH OUR TRIBAL NATION.
(GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> THANK YOU, DOCTOR.
(REPORTER)>> WHAT ABOUT THE QUESTION OF CONTROL?
(GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> WE WILL GO TO THIS SIDE OF THE ROOM.
(REPORTER) >> I HAVE ABOUT TWO QUESTIONS. SO THE FIRST ONE IS A LOT OF US ARE OUT ON THE STREET REPORTING AND SEEING WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THE COMMUNITY. I PERSONALLY SEE A LOT OF PEOPLE OUT IN PUBLIC, THEY ARE NOT WEARING MASKS, MAJORITY OF THEM ARE NOT. THEY ARE NOT FOLLOWING THE GUIDELINES. SO IF THE CASES ARE GOING UP, IF WE SEE HOSPITALIZATIONS GOING UP, THEN ARE YOU GOING TO MAKE IT MANDATORY TO USE THEM IN PUBLIC AND IN PRIVATE AREAS? IS THAT AN OPTION AT ALL?
(GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> WHAT WE WANT TO DO IS DO A BETTER JOB WITH THE THINGS WE WERE DOING A GOOD JOB OF BEFORE THE STAY AT HOME ORDER LAPSED, AND MASKS ARE ONE OF THOSE. I HEAR FROM DIFFERENT FOLKS THAT THEY WILL SAY NO ONE IS WEARING MASKS. I WANT YOU TO KNOW WHEN I WENT INTO WALGREENS, EVERYONE, EVERY SINGLE PERSON WAS WEARING A MASK INSIDE WALGREENS. IT WASN'T EVERYONE AT THE GROCERY STORE, BUT IT WAS THE OVERWHELMING MAJORITY OF PEOPLE THAT ARE WEARING MASKS.
THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE THAT CAN'T WEAR MASKS FOR WHATEVER REASON, SHORTNESS OF BREATH OR THEY ARE ASTHMATIC. BUT WE WANT TO DO A THING, A BETTER JOB FROM A PUBLIC HEALTH COMMUNICATION STANDPOINT THAT MASKS ARE A GOOD THING, WHEN YOU CAN'T SOCIALLY DISTANCE WEAR A MASK, WASH YOUR HANDS.
THOSE THINGS GO SO FAR IN REDUCING THE SPREAD AND IMPROVING THE SITUATION HERE. THE ONLY THING I WANT TO CHALLENGE HERE IS WE ARE SEEING THE INCREASE IN CASES, THAT'S A FACT, ALONG WITH THE INCREASE IN TESTING. OUR HOSPITAL CAPACITY IS WE HAVE THAT CAPACITY TODAY. I THINK THAT'S IMPORTANT BECAUSE FOR WHATEVER REASON THERE WAS A LOT OF MISINFORMATION OUT BEFORE THIS AFTERNOON.
(REPORTER) >> SO NOW YOU DON'T CONSIDER MAKING IT A MANDATORY THING FOR PUBLIC AREAS AT ALL?
(GOVERNOR DUCEY) >> I WANT PEOPLE TO WEAR MASKS WHEN THEY CAN'T SOCIALLY DISTANCE.
(REPORTER) >> I WANT TO MAKE SURE YOU ANSWERED THE QUESTION, THE QUESTION IS ABOUT LOCAL. WHY NOT ALLOW COCONINO COUNTY HEALTH OFFICIALS OR MARICOPA COUNTY HEALTH OFFICIALS, OR SANTA CRUZ OR CITY OF PHOENIX OR CITY OF TUCSON HEALTH OFFICIALS TO MAKE THEIR OWN DECISION BASED ON THAT? YOU HAVE OFTEN SAID THE GOVERNMENT CLOSEST TO THE PEOPLE IS BEST. WHY NOT LET THEM MAKE THE DECISIONS?
(GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> I WILL CONTINUE TO BELIEVE THAT THE GOVERNMENT CLOSEST TO THE PEOPLE IS BEST EXCEPT IN A GLOBAL PANDEMIC. WE WANT TO HAVE CLARITY AND CONSISTENCY FOR OUR CITIZENS AND WE WANT TO REDUCE THE CONFUSION THAT'S HAPPENED ACROSS THE STATE AND ACROSS THE COUNTRY. IT'S A DIFFICULT TIME. MANY THINGS ARE CHANGING. WE MAINTAIN THE OPTION TO MAKE DECISIONS AT THE COUNTY LEVEL IF NECESSARY. EVERY DECISION THAT I HAVE MADE HAS BEEN INFORMED BY PUBLIC HEALTH, IT'S BEEN STATEWIDE, AND THAT'S WHERE WE ARE TODAY.
(REPORTER) >> GOVERNOR, CERTAINLY THE INCREASE IN TESTING HAS PLAYED A SIGNIFICANT ROLE IN THE INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF CASES WE ARE SEEING. WE ARE ALSO SEEING SOME OTHER NUMBERS HERE, TOTAL OF INCREASE IN HOSPITALIZATIONS BY DAY, A PRETTY STEADY INCREASE IN THE PERCENTAGE OF POSITIVE CASES FOR PROBABLY THE PAST MONTH OR SO AND ACCORDING TO THE TWO-WEEK AVERAGE OF JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY WE HAVE THE WORST POSITIVITY RATE OF THE 50 STATES. NOT JUST INCREASED TESTING, BUT THE OUTBREAK IS GENERALLY GETTING WORSE HERE, DO YOU THINK?
(GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> DO YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT THE INCREASE IN POSITIVITY?
(DR. CHRIST) >> SO WE CONTINUE TO -- WE CONTINUE TO MONITOR. WE HAVE NOTICED AN INCREASE IN THE PERCENT POSITIVITY. WE DO KNOW THAT THERE IS COMMUNITY SPREAD. WE ARE GOING TO BE WORKING ON TRYING TO BRING THAT BACK DOWN AND THAT WILL INCLUDE PUBLIC HEALTH EDUCATION MESSAGE. WE DO KNOW THAT WE HAVE GOT A LOT OF TESTING GOING ON AND WHEN YOU START TO GET INCREASED CASES YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE A HIGHER PERCENT OF THOSE TESTS COME BACK POSITIVE. AND THOSE PEOPLE ARE SEEKING CARE WHICH IS GETTING THEM -- WHICH IS GETTING THEM TESTED BECAUSE THEY ARE DEVELOPING SYMPTOMS. SOME OF THE THINGS THAT ARIZONANS CAN DO TO MAKE SURE THEY DON'T SPREAD IS TO WEAR A CLOTH FACE COVERING WHEN THEY CANNOT PHYSICALLY DISTANCE AND TO MAKE SURE THAT THEY ARE STAYING HOME WHEN THEY ARE SICK. THE OTHER THING THAT YOU CAN DO IS SYMPTOM CHECK YOURSELF BEFORE GOING IN TO MAKE SURE THAT YOU DON'T HAVE A FEVER, THAT YOU DON'T HAVE A COUGH, SHORTNESS OF BREATH, THOSE TYPE OF SYMPTOMS BECAUSE YOU MAY HAVE COVID THEN.
(REPORTER) >> ACCORDING TO THE [INAUDIBLE] STILL NEAR THE BOTTOM OF THESE, PLUS PUERTO RICO IN TERMS OF PER CAPITA TESTING.
WHY IS THAT THE CASE OF WHAT'S BEING DONE TO REMEDY THAT?
(DR. CHRIST)>> SO WE CONTINUE TO ADD SITES TO OUR WEBSITE. ANYBODY WHO WANTS TO GO GET TESTED CAN GO TO AZDHS.GOV/COVID19TESTING. BUT IT'S ON OUR HOME PAGE AND YOU CAN GO TO THAT WEBSITE TO FIND IT. WOULD HAVE 123 SITES WHERE YOU CAN GO GET TESTED. WHILE AT THE BEGINNING WE HAD A SUPPLY CHAIN ISSUE WITH GETTING THE TESTING FOR SUPPLIES AND THERE WAS A LOT OF DEMAND, AS WE HAVE GOTTEN MORE TESTING SUPPLIES AND TESTING AVAILABILITY INTO THE STATE, WE HAVE NOT REACHED THE FULL CAPACITY. WE ARE NOT USING -- SO THERE'S NOT ARIZONANS TRYING TO FILL THE CAPACITY FOR THE TEST.
(GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> MEANING THAT WE HAVE SUPPLY. SO THIS BEGAN WITH HEALTHCARE WORKERS AND FOLKS THAT WERE ON THE FRONT LINE, DOCTORS AND NURSES AND EMERGENCY MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS. AND THEN WE WENT TO PEOPLE WHO THOUGHT THEY HAD BEEN EXPOSED TO COVID-19 OR MAY HAVE COVID-19. NOW IF YOU WANT A TEST, GET A TEST. WE'VE GOT A TEST AVAILABLE. WE'VE GOT OVER 120 PLUS LOCATIONS. AND IT WILL HELP US INFORM BETTER DATA DRIVEN DECISIONS.
(GOVERNOR DUCEY) >> MATT AND THEN JASON.
(REPORTER) >> GOVERNOR, I JUST -- THIS IS KIND OF TWOFOLD. ONE OF THE THINGS YOU KEEP EMPHASIZING WITH CAPACITY IS TODAY. I GUESS HOW CONCERNED ARE YOU BECAUSE PROBABLY WOULD AGREE IF SOMEBODY WERE TO GET SICK LAST WEEK WE PROBABLY WON'T SEE THOSE TESTING NUMBERS UNTIL LAST WEEK. SO HOW CONCERNED ARE YOU ABOUT THE PROTEST CAUSING A SPIKE AND HOW CONFIDENT ARE YOU THAT WE WILL STILL HAVE THAT SORT OF CAPACITY IN TWO WEEKS OR JULY?
(GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> SO, MATT, I THINK THE -- IT IS TWOFOLD. ONE IS IN THE REOPENING OF OUR ECONOMY, ARIZONANS WERE GREAT, STAYING AT HOME, YOU KNOW, STAYING HEALTHY AND STAYING CONNECTED. WHAT WE ARE STARTING TO SEE MORE ACTIVITY IN OUR ECONOMY, WE SAW SOME OF THE GATHERINGS THAT HAPPENED OVER MEMORIAL DAY. OF COURSE WE HAVE SEEN SOME OF THE GATHERINGS THAT HAVE HAPPENED FOR A RIGHTEOUS CAUSE. A LOT OF YOUNG PEOPLE IN THOSE CROWDS, WHICH IS GOOD NEWS.
SAW A LOT OF MASKS IN THOSE CROWDS, WHICH IS GOOD NEWS. DIDN'T SEE A LOT OF SOCIAL DISTANCING. SO WE NEED TO BE PREPARED COME WHAT MAY. AND THIS WASN'T JUST IN ARIZONA. THIS WAS ACROSS OUR NATION. SO IT IS SOMETHING THAT OF COURSE WE ARE AWARE OF, THAT WE BELIEVE WE ARE PREPARED FOR, BUT WE WILL REMAIN VIGILANT TO MONITOR THESE NUMBERS.
AND I WOULD SAY TO ANYONE OUT THERE WHO HAS BEEN EXERCISING THEIR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS AND HAVING THEIR VOICES HEARD, IF YOU WANT TO TAKE A LITTLE BIT OF TIME THIS UPCOMING WEEKEND AND GETTING A TEST, PROBABLY BE A PRETTY GOOD IDEA.
(REPORTER) >> SO YOU ARE RECOMMENDING THAT PROTESTORS GO GET TESTED?
(GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> I WOULD. BECAUSE NOW WE HAVE CAPACITY, BECAUSE WE ARE GOING TO COMPLETE OUR LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES AND STATE PRISONS, BECAUSE WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO GET OUR HEALTHCARE WORKERS, NOW IF YOU ARE CURIOUS, GET THE TEST.
(GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> JASON.
(REPORTER) >> GOVERNOR, YOU KNOW, YOU HAVE MADE CLEAR THAT WE HAVE ENOUGH BEDS, WE HAVE ENOUGH ICU BEDS. YOU KNOW, EVERYBODY IS SEEING THE NUMBERS OF CASES GOING UP AND THE HOSPITALIZATIONS GOING UP. I MEAN, IS THERE A POINT WHERE -- I MEAN, IS THAT THE KEY, THE NUMBER OF BEDS AND ICU BEDS AVAILABLE WHERE IT'S THE TIPPING POINT, IF IT GETS TOO HIGH AND WE HAVE TOO FEW BEDS AVAILABLE THAT'S WHEN THERE IS A REEVALUATION AS TO WHETHER OR NOT WE NEED TO PUT IN SOME OTHER MANDATORY STEPS, OTHER STAY AT HOME ORDER? I MEAN, IS THAT SOMETHING WE ARE NOT THERE YET BUT THERE IS A TIPPING POINT WHERE YOU GOT TO SAY WE NEED TO REEVALUATE AT THIS POINT?
(GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> JASON, CERTAINLY. WE HAVE TRIED TO THINK OF HOW DO WE MITIGATE THIS, HOW DO WE DECREASE IT, HOW CAN WE SOME DAY BRING IT TO AN END. BUT BETWEEN NOW AND THEN, BETWEEN NOW AND A VACCINE, WE NEED TO BE PREPARED FOR WHATEVER MAY COME OUR WAY. WE HAVE SAID AND IN ARIZONA WE BELIEVED PEAK ILLNESSES AND
HOSPITALIZATIONS WOULD HAPPEN IN THIS JUNE, JULY, I THINK DR. CHRIST HAS EVEN SAID AUGUST TIME FRAME. SO WE ARE NAVIGATING THAT. BUT WE ALSO KNOW THAT THIS VIRUS IS GOING TO RETURN IN THE FALL AND WE WANT TO BE PREPARED FOR WHATEVER MAY COME. AND WE ARE GOING TO CONTINUE TO DO THAT.
(GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> PETER FROM KTAR AND THEN –
(REPORTER) >> SO REALLY QUICK YOU SAY THERE'S CAPACITY STATEWIDE.
WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE FOR CAPACITY IN VARIOUS COMMUNITIES? I MEAN, YUMA COUNTY OBVIOUSLY A LOT SMALLER IN POPULATION AND CAPACITY THAN MARICOPA COUNTY, FOR EXAMPLE. DOES THAT MEAN PATIENTS MIGHT HAVE TO BE TRANSPORTED OUT OF THEIR COUNTIES TO GET HELP AND IF SO HOW CAN THAT BE FACILITATED? IS THAT SOMETHING PRIVATE AMBULANCES DO? IS THAT SOMETHING THE STATE HAS TO DO TO GET PEOPLE THE TREATMENT THEY NEED IF THEY CAN'T GET IT IN THEIR BACK YARDS?
(GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> THIS SITUATION OF GLOBAL PANDEMIC INSIDE OUR STATE IS ALL HANDS ON DECK AND ALL RESOURCES ON DECK. YOU SAW THE NATIONAL GUARD SURGED TO NAVAJO NATION WITH BLACK HAWK HELICOPTERS AND EMERGENCY MEDICAL PERSONNEL BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT WAS NEEDED. THAT WAS WHAT WAS NECESSARY TO PROVIDE COMFORT FOR OUR PEOPLE. THAT'S WHY WE PUT THE SURGE LINE IN PLACE SO THAT NO MATTER WHERE IT IS IN OUR STATE WHERE THERE IS A CAPACITY OR MEDICAL FACILITIES ARE NEEDED, WE CAN GET THE CITIZEN WHERE THEY COULD BE CARED FOR. AND THAT'S SOMETHING WE HAVE BEEN PLANNING FOR SINCE MARCH. I DON'T KNOW THAT WE HAVE HAD TO USE IT ALL THAT OFTEN. THE MOST DRAMATIC EXAMPLE IS IN NAVAJO NATION. BUT THE AREAS THAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT WHERE WE ARE MONITORING VERY CLOSELY, THE SPIKE IN CASES, WE'VE GOT ALL HANDS ON DECK, WHATEVER WOULD NEED IN TERMS OF TRANSPORT. AND THAT'S BEFORE WE TALK ABOUT SURGE HOSPITAL CAPACITY OR FIELD HOSPITALS. ANYTHING TO ADD, DOCTOR?
(DR. CHRIST) >> NO.
(REPORTER) >> REAL QUICK, THEN. CONTACT TRACING. WHAT'S THE STATE'S EFFORTS ON CONTACT TRACING? WE HEARD FROM MARICOPA COUNTY.
(DR. CHRIST) >> SO FOR CONTACT TRACING, ARIZONA, OUR LOCAL COUNTIES ARE THE BOOTS ON THE GROUND. SO THEY ARE THE ONES PRIMARILY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CONTACT TRACING AND THEY DO THIS FOR A NUMBER OF DISEASES, INCLUDING SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS, MEASLES, THOSE KINDS OF COMMUNICABLE DISEASES. FOR THE STATE IN ORDER TO SUPPORT OUR COUNTIES, WE HAVE DEVELOPED A STATEWIDE SURGE CAPACITY FOR CONTACT TRACING. SO WE HAVE IMPLEMENTED A CONTACT TRACING PROGRAM WHERE PATIENTS OR PEOPLE WHO ARE POTENTIAL CONTACTS CAN GET ENROLLED, IT SENDS THEM REMINDERS, IT ASKS THEM TO CHECK THEIR SYMPTOMS EVERY DAY. IT FOLLOWS THEN BACK UP WITH THE COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT IF SOMEBODY IS SYMPTOMATIC SO THEY CAN ARRANGE TESTING. THAT HAS BEEN ADOPTED BY ALL 15 COUNTIES AND SOME TRIBES STATEWIDE. AND THEN WE HAVE BROUGHT ON A CAPACITY THROUGH A CALL LINE AS WELL AS BEING ABLE TO BRING ON ADDITIONAL STAFF SO THAT IF THE COUNTIES NEED ADDITIONAL SUPPORT, EITHER BOOTS ON THE GROUND STAFF, CALLING STAFF, THE STATE CAN SUPPORT THEM THROUGH THAT MECHANISM.
(GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> ANDREW NEXT.
(REPORTER) >> YOU PREVIOUSLY INDICATED THAT WITH INCREASED TESTING YOU CAN EXPECT MORE CASES TO POP UP. OR MORE POSITIVE TESTS. ARE THESE THE NUMBERS THAT YOU EXPECTED TO SEE AT THIS POINT, THIS LEVEL OF TESTING? ARE THESE THE NUMBERS YOU EXPECTED TO SEE AT THIS STAGE OF REOPENING?
(DR. CHRIST) >> SO WE DID EXPECT TO SEE INCREASED NUMBERS, PARTIALLY BECAUSE OF THE INCREASED TESTING AS WELL AS PEOPLE BEING BACK IN THE COMMUNITY AND WE KNOW THAT COVID IS IN THE COMMUNITY. I ALWAYS TRY NOT TO GUESS WHAT THOSE NUMBERS ARE GOING TO BE JUST BECAUSE IT'S VERY HARD TO PREDICT. WE DO KNOW THAT IT IS IN THE COMMUNITY. AND SO I DON'T KNOW THAT I HAD AN EXPECTATION.
(GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> AND WHAT I WOULD ADD, IF YOU REMEMBER IT WAS SEVERAL I THINK MONTHS AGO NOW BUT I WAS ASKED IF WE HAD WASTED TAXPAYER DOLLARS ON ST. LUKE'S BECAUSE IT WASN'T APPARENT AT THE TIME THAT WE NEED IT. THAT'S PART OF THE INVESTMENT IN BEING PREPARED FOR A WORST-CASE SCENARIO. WE ARE NOT SEEING THAT IN ARIZONA, BUT WE HAVE GOT THAT STANDING UP AS A WARM FACILITY ALONG WITH ADDITIONAL FACILITIES IF NEEDED. AND THAT'S THAT PLAN AROUND A WORST-CASE SCENARIO WHICH WE ARE NOT EXPERIENCING.
(REPORTER) >> BUT WERE YOU EXPECTING THIS LEVEL AT THIS POINT? LIKE YOU SAID –
(GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> YOU PLAN -- WHAT YOU DO IS YOU EXPECT THE WORST AND YOU ARE PREPARED FOR -- EVERYONE WAS LOOKING AT WHAT WAS GOING ON IN NEW YORK STATE AND OTHER PLACES AROUND OUR COUNTRY THAT WERE GETTING HIT INCREDIBLY HARD. WE LEARNED A LOT FROM THOSE SITUATIONS, AND I WILL TELL YOU WHILE THERE WOULDN'T BE INDICATION IN TERMS OF OUR HOSPITALIZATIONS TODAY THAT THAT'S WHERE WE ARE HEADED, WE WILL BE PREPARED FOR WHATEVER HAPPENS IN THE STATE OF ARIZONA. THAT'S WHAT WE SIGNED UP FOR.
(REPORTER) >> SIR, YOU ENTERED TODAY THE GOVERNOR OF THE STATE WITH ONE OF THE TWO HIGHEST LEVELS OF INFECTION RATES. I AND THE AUDIENCE I DON'T THINK HAVE HEARD ONE THING THAT WILL CHANGE THAT. HAVE WE MISSED SOMETHING? (GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> I HAVE INDICATED WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO CARE FOR THE PEOPLE OF ARIZONA. THIS VIRUS IS IN EVERY STATE IN THE COUNTRY. IT'S IN EVERY COUNTY IN OUR STATE. WE ARE GOING TO CONTINUE TO MITIGATE IT. WE ARE GOING TO BE ABLE TO CARE FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE SICK. WE WANT TO OF COURSE REDUCE AND EVENTUALLY ELIMINATE IT. I PUT UP NUMBERS WHERE ARIZONA COMPARES IN TERMS OF OTHER STATES. WE WANT TO MAKE THE BEST DECISIONS FOR THE STATE OF ARIZONA AND WE WILL CONTINUE TO DO THAT.
(REPORTER) >> A MONTH AGO WE HAD A POSITIVE RATE OF 1 IN EVERY 20 TESTS. THIS WEEK IT IS A POSITIVE RATE OF 1 IN EVERY 7 TESTS. DR. CHRIST, WE ALL HEARD YOU SAY WE CAN'T STOP THE SPREAD. SO AGAIN, WHAT IS BEING DONE TO STOP THE SPREAD?
(GOVERNOR DUCEY) >> WHAT WE HAVE DONE IN TERMS OF THE PREPARATION AND GRADUAL REOPENING OF OUR ECONOMY TO BE PREPARED FOR THE VIRUS, WHICH IS WITH US, THERE WILL NOT -- IN THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE, EVENTUALLY THERE WILL BE A CURE, THERE ISN'T ONE TODAY, THERE ISN'T A VACCINE. SO WE NEED TO FIND A WAY THAT WE CAN CARE FOR OUR CITIZENS THAT NEED IT, THE PEOPLE THAT ARE THE MOST VULNERABLE UNDERSTAND THE HARM'S WAY THAT THEY ARE IN, AND THAT WE CAN CONTINUE OTHER ISSUES WHILE PROTECTING AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE.
(REPORTER) >> SO WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO THE 36-YEAR-OLD TEMPE MOM I SPOKE TO THIS WEEK, TWO KIDS, SHE THOUGHT SHE WAS GOING TO DIE. FORTUNATELY SHE IS HEALTHY, SHE CAME OUT OF THE HOSPITAL AFTER FIVE DAYS UNDER OXYGEN. BUT SHE HAS LIVER PROBLEMS SHE IS GOING TO LIVE WITH. AS YOU KNOW, THERE ARE PROBLEMS THAT CONTINUE BEYOND THIS. SO IS THAT JUST THE WAY IT'S GOT TO BE FOR ARIZONANS BECAUSE AS YOU SAID WE CAN'T STOP THE SPREAD?
(GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> FIRST OF ALL I WOULD SAY I AM THRILLED SHE IS ALIVE AND OUT OF THE HOSPITAL. AND WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT ANYONE THAT GETS SICK HAS CARE INSIDE A HOSPITAL AND OF COURSE WHERE POSSIBLE WHERE SOMEONE CAN AVOID THE CONTRACTION OF COVID-19, WE WANT THAT AS WELL. THAT'S WHY WE ARE TALKING EVERY WEEK AND EVERY DAY ABOUT THIS, THAT'S WHY WE ARE PUTTING INFORMATION OUT. THAT'S WHY WE ARE GOING TO STAY VIGILANT.
(REPORTER) >> I THINK THE QUESTION IS -- IF I CAN, I WANT TO JUST QUOTE SCOTT -- OF CNBC, FORMER FDA COMMISSIONER, HE SAID OF ARIZONA THIS MORNING, THEY HAVEN'T REALLY BEEN ABLE TO TAKE EFFECTIVE PUBLIC HEALTH ACTION YET. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY?
(GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> THE INFORMATION THAT WAS OUT THERE NATIONALLY WAS INACCURATE. NOW YOU HAVE THE ACCURATE INFORMATION. AND THE CITIZENS OF ARIZONA HAVE THE FACTS TODAY.
>> THANK YOU. WE WILL GO TO ZOOM NEXT. WE WILL TALK WITH RACHEL FROM THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC. RACHEL, GO AHEAD.
(REPORTER)) >> I AM WONDERING DID YOUR OFFICE SOLICIT THAT LETTER FROM THE HOSPITAL ASSOCIATION? AND THEN YOU MENTIONED I DO BELIEVE MASK WEARING IS GOOD BUT YOUR POST ON SOCIAL MEDIA ARE NEVER SHOWING YOU IN A MASK. DO YOU NOT HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO SET AN EXAMPLE BY WEARING A MASK WHEN YOU ARE APPEARING IN PUBLIC?
(GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> SO FIRST I WANT TO SAY WEARING A MASK WHEN YOU CAN'T SOCIAL DISTANCE IS GOOD AND I AM GOING TO WEAR A MASK WHEN I AM IN THOSE SITUATIONS. AND THE FIRST PART OF YOUR QUESTION WAS?
(REPORTER)>> WHETHER YOU SOLICITED THE LETTER FROM THE HOSPITALS.
(GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> LISTEN. THERE WAS A LOT OF NATIONAL NEWS TODAY, AND MY PHONE WAS RINGING OFF THE HOOK ON WHAT WAS GOING ON IN THE STATE OF ARIZONA. I KNOW -- I KNEW WHAT THE NUMBERS WERE AND WHAT THE FACTS WERE. WE RECONFIRMED THEM WITH THE HOSPITALS, AND NOW WE HAVE COMMUNICATED THEM TO ALL OF YOU AND YOUR MEDIA OUTLETS, AS LONG AS THE NATIONAL -- AS WELL AS THE NATIONAL NEWS. SO EVERYONE TODAY KNOWS THAT ARIZONA HAS HOSPITAL CAPACITY.
(REPORTER) >> BUT DID YOU ASK THEM --
(REPORTER) >> DID YOU SOLICIT THE LETTER?
(GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> WE'VE GOT THE FACTS STRAIGHT.
(REPORTER) >> BUT DID YOU ASK THEM --
(GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> I DID NOT SOLICIT THE LETTER.
>> GO AHEAD, PLEASE.
(REPORTER)>> EXCUSE ME, GENTLEMEN. I HAVE TWO QUESTIONS. THE FIRST IS A VERY SIMPLE YES-OR-NO ANSWER. I WENT TO THE ADHS DASHBOARD THIS MORNING. WE HAVE COVID SPECIFIC INPATIENT 1,291 INPATIENTS. THAT IS A RECORD HIGH. ICU PATIENTS, WE HAVE 429, THIRD DAY IN A ROW OVER 400. ER PATIENTS, 848, THAT TIED THE RECORD. ARE THESE NUMBERS THE FACTS?
(DR. CHRIST) >> YES. SO THOSE NUMBERS ARE SELF REPORTED BY THE HOSPITALS SO THOSE ARE SELF REPORT. AND WE TAKE THOSE FROM THE HOSPITAL AND UPLOAD THEM TO OUR WEBSITE.
(REPORTER)>> AND IF YOU DON'T MIND A NONCOVID QUESTION, OBVIOUSLY THE PROTESTS ARE CONTINUING ACROSS ARIZONA, THERE'S ONE IN TEMPE TODAY. GOVERNOR, LAST WEEK YOU SAID THAT YOU WERE LEARNING WHEN YOU -- WE ASKED ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT YOU UNDERSTOOD THE CONCERNS OF THE MINISTERS ABOUT RACIAL BIAS, ESPECIALLY IN POLICING AND DEEP CONCERNS. WHAT AT THIS POINT ARE YOU SPEARHEADING TO TRY TO REDUCE THE TENSION AND MAKE REAL REFORM IN POLICING HERE IN ARIZONA?
(GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> SO THE FIRST THING I WANT TO SAY IS I WANT TO THANK THE PEACEFUL PROTESTORS AROUND ARIZONA. THEY HAVE CERTAINLY GOTTEN THEIR VOICES HEARD. I KNOW THEY CONTINUE TO FOCUS ON THIS ISSUE AND RIGHTLY SO. I'VE MET WITH LEADERS IN THE MINORITY AND AFRICAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITY. I WILL CONTINUE TO MEET WITH LEADERS, FAITH LEADERS ADDITIONALLY TOMORROW. WE ARE GOING TO FOCUS ON SOME THINGS AT THE STATE LEVEL, SOME THINGS THAT WERE IN MY STATE OF THE STATE BEFORE THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION CLOSED UP, MOST NOTABLY IN TERMS OF BODY CAMERAS FOR ALL OF OUR DPS OFFICERS. BUT THERE'S ADDITIONAL THINGS THAT WE CAN DO AROUND AZ POST, ITS TRAINING REQUIREMENTS, THE DIVERSITY OF THAT BOARD, A FOCUS ON COVID-19 MOBILE TRAINING INSIDE THE COMMUNITY, AND MY COLONEL HESTON SILBERT IS ALSO REACHING OUT TO THE COMMUNITY. WE DO WANT TO START IN TERMS OF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND THE REFORMS THAT WE CAN MAKE AT THE STATE LEVEL AND I THINK WE ARE REALLY BLESSED WITH LEADERS LIKE JERI WILLIAMS AND CHRIS MAGNUS AND MARK NAPIER AND PAUL PENZONE THAT ALL WANT TO HELP ON THIS FRONT AND THESE ISSUES. AND I WANT TO SAY TO THE MEN AND WOMEN IN LAW ENFORCEMENT, PHOENIX PD, TUCSON PD, OUR SHERIFF'S OFFICES, OUR NATIONAL GUARD, ALONG WITH OUR PEACEFUL PROTESTORS, ARIZONA WILL BE A BETTER STATE GOING THROUGH THIS AND GOING FORWARD.
>> WE WILL GO BACK TO ZOOM. WE WILL GO TO DYLAN FOR THE ARIZONA CAPITOL TIMES.
(REPORTER) >> GOVERNOR, SO YOU SAID YOU SPECIFICALLY DID NOT SOLICIT THE LETTER, BUT DID ANYBODY FROM YOUR STAFF SOLICIT THE LETTER?
(GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> WE GOT THE FACTS ON HOSPITAL CAPACITY FROM THE HOSPITALS.
(REPORTER) >> SO YOUR OFFICE SOLICITED THE LETTER, THEN?
(GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> WE DID NOT. WE HAD THE FACTS AND IT'S IN LETTER FORM. WHAT -- THAT SHOULD BE PART OF THE CORRECTING THE RECORD FOR ALL THE MISINFORMATION THAT'S BEEN PUT OUT THERE STATEWIDE AND NATIONALLY REGARDING ARIZONA.
(REPORTER) >> GOVERNOR -- WAIT A SECOND.
(REPORTER) >> CORRECT THE MISINFORMATION. GO AHEAD.
(GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> WE HAVE HOSPITAL CAPACITY IN THE STATE OF ARIZONA.
>> WE WILL GO TO AP NOW AND THEN NICOLE.
(REPORTER)>> THIS IS SOMETHING THAT YOU CAN CLEAR UP. BANNER SAID THEIR ICU WAS AT CAPACITY ON FRIDAY AND THAT THEY WERE NEARLY OVER CAPACITY. AND THEN ON TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY, WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY, SORRY, TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY, HOSPITALS WENT OVER 80% OF CAPACITY. ACCORDING TO YOUR EXECUTIVE ORDER, THAT'S A METRIC THAT STOPS ELECTIVE SURGERIES. WE ARE AT 83% TUESDAY, WE ARE AT 84%
YESTERDAY, THAT'S MOST CURRENT NUMBERS. WHICH I WROTE ABOUT. AND THAT MEANS THAT HOSPITALS ARE NEARING CAPACITY, THEY HAVE TO STOP ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS FOR ELECTIVE SURGERIES. AND THAT'S NOT FALSE INFORMATION, GOVERNOR. SO THAT SHOWS THAT THERE'S BEEN A GROWTH IN CASES. AND COULD YOU ADDRESS WHETHER YOU ARE GOING TO CHANGE YOUR EXECUTIVE ORDER SO THAT --
(GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> NO. MY EXECUTIVE ORDER IS GOING TO CONTINUE TO STAND. IF WE WERE TO SEE A HOSPITAL CAPACITY THAT WAS IN THE ALARM RATE, ELECTIVE SURGERIES WOULD STOP. AND DO YOU WANT TO ADDRESS HOW THIS MISINFORMATION GOT INTO THE BLOODSTREAM -- CAN WE GET THE ANSWER, PLEASE?
(REPORTER)>> THAT IS YOUR OWN METRIC. YOUR DASHBOARD SAYS 84%.
IT'S NOT HARD.
(DR. CHRIST) >> SO AS WE LOOK, WHEN WE WORK WITH THE HOSPITALS AND WE ARE VERIFYING THE DATA. SO THE DATA THAT WAS PRESENTED ON FRIDAY DIDN'T MATCH WHAT WE HAD HAD REPORTED TO US. WE CONTINUE TO WORK WITH THE HOSPITALS. SO ON SOME HOSPITALS, THEY NEED TO MAINTAIN 80% CAPACITY FROM A SYSTEM WIDE PERSPECTIVE, AND SOME HOSPITALS HAVE CHOSEN TO DO IT ON A HOSPITAL BY HOSPITAL BASIS IF THEY ARE A SYSTEM. SO WHAT WE ARE DOING NOW IS WORKING THROUGH THE DATA TO SEE IF THERE ARE ANY THAT LOOK LIKE THEY ARE OVER CAPACITY. WE ARE GOING TO BE WORKING WITH THEM TO EITHER BRING THEM BACK DOWN OR GET THEM INTO COMPLIANCE. THEY WILL HAVE TIME TO DISPUTE THE DATA IF THEY HAVE HAD A DIFFERENT -- LIKE IF THEY FEEL THAT THE DATA DOESN'T ACCURATELY REPRESENT WHERE THEY ARE. BUT THEY DID ATTEST TO THE FACT THAT THEY WOULD MAINTAIN CAPACITY AT 80% OR BELOW.
(REPORTER)>> SO RELATED QUESTION. SO MARICOPA COUNTY YESTERDAY SAID THAT 27% OF THEIR CASES, WHICH IS THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF CASES, HAVE COME IN THE LAST WEEK. TYPICALLY IT TAKES TWO, THREE WEEKS FOR SOMEBODY TO GET SICK ENOUGH TO BE HOSPITALIZED. ARE YOU CONCERNED THAT THE SURGE IN NEW CASES THAT WE ARE SEEING IS GOING TO HIT OUR HOSPITALS IN A WEEK OR TWO? AND THEN THEY WILL BE AT 100% OR HAVE TO GO INTO SURGE CAPACITY? BECAUSE WHAT THE MEDICAL EXPERTS AROUND THE COUNTRY, THAT IS WHAT THEY ARE CONCERNED ABOUT.
(GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> LET ME ADDRESS AND SAY FROM THE STANDPOINT OF COVID-19 IN ARIZONA, WE ARE CONCERNED EVERY DAY THAT WE HAVE THE PROPER CAPACITY AND RESOURCES. THAT'S WHAT WE HAVE BEEN WORKING ON FOR THREE PLUS MONTHS IN THE STATE. THAT'S WHAT WE ARE PARTNERING WITH THE HOSPITALS ON. AND IT'S MY BELIEF THAT COME WHAT MAY WE HAVE CAPACITY AND WE ARE SEEING AN INCREASE IN OUR CASES. WE POINTED OUT VERY CLEARLY WE DO HAVE HOSPITAL CAPACITY BEYOND THAT AND THAT'S WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT IN THE CDC GATING CRITERIA.
(REPORTER) >> IT DOES PUT US IN A CRISIS CARE WHEN WE ARE ABOVE A CERTAIN LEVEL THOUGH WHICH YOU ARE TRYING TO AVOID.
(GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> WE ARE NOT AT CRISIS CARE.
(REPORTER)>> I KNOW. BUT YOU ARE --
(GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> WE HAVE HOSPITAL BEDS, ICU BEDS AND VENTILATORS.
(REPORTER)>> DR. CHRIST, YOU MADE THIS POINT. ARE YOU TELLING ME THERE ARE NO HOSPITALS OR HOSPITAL SYSTEMS TODAY THAT ARE AT OR ABOVE 80% CAPACITY?
(DR. CHRIST)>> SO WE DO HAVE HOSPITALS THAT IN ONE OR BOTH METRICS MAY HAVE REPORTED, IT COULD BE A DAY BY DAY BASIS SO THAT'S WHAT WE ARE GOING BACK AND LOOKING AT.
(REPORTER)>> SO HAVE YOU ORDERED THEM TO STOP ELECTIVE SURGERY?
(DR. CHRIST)>> SO WE HAVE BEEN WORKING -- SO WITH LICENSING, WE ARE ALWAYS -- WE ARE ALWAYS PRO COMPLIANCE. SO WE ARE WORKING WITH THEM, WE WILL BE REACHING OUT AND HAVING THEM TELL US WHETHER THAT DATA IS ACCURATE. NOW IT IS SELF REPORTED DATA. THEN WE WILL BE WORKING WITH THEM TO SEE IF THAT IS SOMETHING THEY CAN BRING BACK DOWN TO CAPACITY AND WHAT TYPE OF RESOURCES THEY HAVE AVAILABLE.
(REPORTER)>> SINCE NATIONAL MEDIA AND NATIONAL EXPERTS HAVE THE FACTS WRONG AS YOU SAY, AT WHAT POINT WILL YOU BE CONVINCED ARIZONA IS HEADED IN THE WRONG DIRECTION?
WHAT'S IT GOING TO TAKE FOR YOU?
(GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> MY FOCUS IS, ONE, I AM LISTENING TO THE EXPERTS INSIDE ARIZONA THAT SERVE THE PEOPLE OF ARIZONA EVERY DAY TO HELP NAVIGATE THROUGH THIS SO FAR, THE GOOD PEOPLE AT THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SERVICES, ALONG WITH DR. CHRIST HAVE STEERED US THROUGH H1N1, EBOLA, AND THE LAST MEASLES OUTBREAK. SO WE ARE FOCUSED ON ARIZONA AND I DON'T KNOW HOW MANY TIMES I HAVE TO TAKE YOU THROUGH THE METRICS. THEY ARE NOT MY METRICS. THEY ARE THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION METRICS, ALONG WITH THE WHITE HOUSE GATING CRITERIA THAT HAVE BEEN GIVEN TO EVERY OTHER GOVERNOR AND SHOWING YOU WHERE WE ARE ON OUR SYMPTOMS, OUR CASES, OUR TESTING, AND OUR HOSPITAL CAPACITY. AND TODAY WE HAVE HOSPITAL CAPACITY AND WE HAVE NOT TAPPED OUR SURGE RESOURCES OR FIELD HOSPITALS. SO WE WANT TO CONTINUE TO MONITOR THIS, BE VIGILANT WHERE WE CAN, REDUCE IT, AND THAT'S POSSIBLE. SO IT'S GOING TO BE SOMETHING THAT WE CONTINUE TO EDUCATE, COMMUNICATE, AND FIGHT EVERY SINGLE DAY.
(REPORTER)>> ARIZONA IS BREAKING ITS OWN RECORDS, THOUGH. IT SEEMS LIKE YOU DON'T SEE THIS. AND THE FACT THAT WE HAVE (GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> I JUST TOOK YOU THROUGH THE (REPORTER)>> AND THE FACT THAT WE HAVE CAPACITY, THAT IS ALL YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT.
(GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> NO, THAT IS NOT ALL I AM CONCERNED ABOUT. THAT'S WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT WHEN THERE IS A RISE IN CASES. BECAUSE A RISE IN CASES COULD RESULT IN A RISE OF SEVERE ILLNESS THAT REQUIRED HOSPITALIZATION. I WANT EVERY ARIZONAN TO BE ABLE TO HAVE THE MEDICAL CARE AND COMFORT AND RESOURCES NECESSARY, AND TODAY WE ARE ABLE TO PROVIDE THAT.
(REPORTER) >> SO IF BANNER WAS SAYING THAT THEY ARE WORRIED ABOUT REACHING CAPACITY, WHAT CHANGED THIS WEEK THAT NOW THEY ARE SAYING OTHERWISE? ALSO, IS GOING BACK THROUGH TO A CLOSURE OF THE STATE OFF THE TABLE TO YOU IF THE CASES DO GO UP AGAIN?
(GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> THE FIRST QUESTION SOUNDS LIKE MORE OF A QUESTION FOR BANNER UNLESS YOU'VE GOT SOME INFORMATION ON THAT. AND LIKE I SAID, WE ARE GOING TO -- THERE IS NO ANNOUNCEMENT THAT WAS MADE TODAY AROUND REOPENING. WE ARE GOING TO FOCUS ON STAYING VIGILANT AND PROPER HYGIENE GOING FORWARD TO MITIGATE THIS. DO YOU WANT TO ADD ANYTHING ON BANNER? (DR. CHRIST)>> SO BANNER HAS A LOT OF FACILITIES. THEY DO HAVE CAPACITY WITHIN THEIR SYSTEM. OBVIOUSLY SOME OF THEIR HOSPITALS MAY BE MORE IMPACTED THAN OTHERS, BUT WE ARE WORKING VERY CLOSELY WITH BANNER.
(REPORTER)>> SO GOING BACK TO THE CLOSURE OF THE STATE, IS THAT OFF THE TABLE FOR YOU RIGHT NOW?
(GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> IT IS NOT UNDER DISCUSSION.
>> ANDREW, THEN WE WILL COME OVER HERE.
(REPORTER)>> ARE YOU GOING TO SUPPORT SECRETARY OF STATE'S PROPOSAL TO MOVE THE CONFEDERATE MONUMENT IN FRONT OF THE CAPITOL TO THE CAPITOL MUSEUM.
(GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> SO THAT WAS A LETTER THAT WAS SENT TO THE DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATION. I HAVE SAID THAT THERE'S A PUBLIC PROCESS TO BE ABLE TO PUT SOMETHING IN WESLEY BOLIN PLAZA OR ON STATE PROPERTY. I THINK THERE SHOULD BE A PUBLIC PROCESS IF SOMEONE WANTS TO GO THE ALTERNATIVE ROUTE. I HAVEN'T BEEN A FAN OF REMOVING MONUMENTS OR MEMORIALS, AND CERTAINLY NOT BECAUSE A LETTER WAS WRITTEN. BUT I ALSO THINK THERE SHOULD BE A CLEAR PUBLIC PROCESS FOR PEOPLE FOR PEOPLE THAT WOULD LIKE TO PURSUE THAT.
(REPORTER) >> BUT THE [INAUDIBLE] IS UP TO THE DIRECTOR.
(GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> I THINK THERE SHOULD BE A PUBLIC PROCESS.
>> WE WILL WRAP IT UP. LAST QUESTION HERE WITH JASON.
(REPORTER)>> REAL QUICK, GOVERNOR. DO YOU FEEL LIKE TOO MANY ARIZONANS HAVE FALLEN INTO A FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY OR MAY BE A LITTLE APATHETIC WHEN IT COMES TO SOCIAL DISTANCING AND THAT'S ONE OF THE THINGS THAT'S CONTRIBUTING TO OUR HIGH NUMBERS? I MEAN, DO YOU FEEL LIKE THERE ARE TOO MANY PEOPLE THAT HAVE THOUGHT YOU KNOW WHAT, THIS IS BEHIND US? BUT THE NUMBERS KEEP GOING UP.
I MEAN, WHAT IS YOUR MESSAGE TO ARIZONANS WHO MAY THINK, YOU KNOW, THIS ISN'T THAT BIG A DEAL, I DON'T MAYBE NEED TO SOCIAL DISTANCE, I DON'T NEED TO WEAR A MASK. WE ARE SEEING NEWS STORIES ALL OVER THE PLACE, PEOPLE NOT SOCIAL DISTANCING, NOT WEARING A MASK. THAT'S A PROBLEM THAT'S CONTRIBUTING TO THE NUMBERS.
(GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> MY MESSAGE TO ARIZONANS IS TO STAY VIGILANT ON THIS. WE NEED TO STAY FOCUSED ON MAKING SURE THAT OUR CITIZENS ARE SAFE AND THAT WE CONTINUE TO NAVIGATE THROUGH COVID-19. THE THINGS DR. CHRIST POINTED OUT ABOUT WHEN YOU CAN'T SOCIAL DISTANCE -- FIRST AND FOREMOST SOCIAL DISTANCE. BUT THE FACE COVERING, WASHING YOUR HANDS, STAYING HOME WHEN SICK, LET'S REDOUBLE OUR EFFORTS ON THAT. I THINK PART OF IT IS, ONE, ARIZONANS HAVE BEEN TERRIFIC, AS GOOD AS ANY PEOPLE IN THE COUNTRY IN NAVIGATING THROUGH THIS SO FAR. BUT IT IS HUMAN NATURE.
PEOPLE WANT TO GET BACK TO LIFE. AND I UNDERSTAND THAT. I WANT THAT AS WELL. BUT I WANT AS MANY PEOPLE TO BE HEALTHY, I WANT TO AVOID AS MUCH SICKNESS AS POSSIBLE, AND CERTAINLY SAVE AS MANY LIVES AND CARE FOR THE PEOPLE THAT ARE SICK. SO THAT WOULD BE THE MESSAGE IN CLOSING, IS THAT ARIZONA HAS HOSPITAL CAPACITY, BUT LET'S REFOCUS OUR EFFORTS ON WASHING OUR HANDS, SOCIAL DISTANCING, COVERING OUR FACE WHEN WE CAN'T SOCIAL DISTANCE, AND IF YOU ARE SICK, PLEASE STAY HOME. AND IF YOU HAVE GOT THE OPPORTUNITY THIS WEEKEND, AND ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAVE BEEN OUT AND ABOUT QUITE A BIT, GO AND GET A TEST. THAT INFORMATION, THAT DATA WILL HELP US INFORM DECISIONS GOING IN THE FUTURE.
THANK YOU, EVERYONE.
(REPORTER) >> GOVERNOR, IF YOU WORE A MASK --
(GOVERNOR DUCEY)>> I HAVE A MASK.
(REPORTER) >> IF YOU WORE A MASK IN PUBLIC WHERE PEOPLE CAN SEE YOU, DO YOU THINK THAT WOULD HELP YOU GET YOUR MESSAGE ACROSS?
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description Please click HERE for a complete transcript of this video.
>> Kim Minard: Arizona Governor Doug Ducey wants Arizona to get through the COVID-19 pandemic together by having access to resources that can help support individuals, families, communities, and businesses in this critical time of need.
Arizonans need to be informed, get engaged, and support organizations doing important work to keep communities safe and healthy.
These resources include employment and financial assistance.
Information on how to apply for unemployment benefits.
Information for homeowners and renters and those who are homeless looking for support, food and meals.
Information on how to apply for nutritional assistance, find food banks, or find meals for children or senior citizens.
Health care, how to apply for AHCCCS or KidsCare insurance.
Information for children and parents.
Information about child care and WIC.
Community resources for individuals who are veterans, tribal information, and individuals with disabilities.
Resources for utilities such as Internet and gas services.
Emergency services such as mental health for those who are experiencing domestic violence or abuse and neglect.
A home healthy-connected toolkit with activities and workouts in order to provide support.
Business resources, for example, emergency loan assistance.
Volunteer information, if you are looking for volunteer services or if you are going to donate your time.
You can also find information about how to donate blood.
You can donate goods as well and find information on the website, if you have PPE such as masks, gloves, or hotspot devices.
In response to COVID-19, many organizations have changed their in-person availability.
And these changes happen frequently.
As a result, some information may be out of date.
We suggest attempting to call ahead before attempting to visit any in-person resource.
If you need assistance finding food, paying your house bills, accessing free child care, or any other essential services, you can dial 211 or check the website 211arizona.com or download the 211 Arizona app.
Consumers who are Deaf, DeafBlind, have a combined vision and hearing loss, or are hard of hearing that want to access these 211 resources must dial the full number at 877-211-8661.
For more information about COVID-19, you may check the ACDHH website.
description Please click HERE for a complete transcript of this video.
>> Julie Stylinski: Hello.
The Arizona Department of Health Services just updated their COVID data dashboard.
The dashboard is available on the DHS COVID website.
This data helps the state better track the outbreak.
Check out the Department of Health Services' Web page where they have different information.
You can find a summary showing the number of cases reported, demographics, grouping cases by age, race, and gender, COVID-19 deaths, cases by zip code to see how many cases are in each zip code, confirmed COVID-19 cases by day, information about hospitalization. Hospitals will show confirmed COVID-19 cases and confirmed flu-like illnesses. Information about laboratory testing centers, information about which congregate settings have positive COVID-19 cases like daycares, colleges and universities, and health care systems.
You can search to see which systems currently have confirmed COVID-19 cases.
You can also find information about hospital bed usage and availability.
You will also find information about ventilator usage and availability.
And you will also find information about COVID-19-specific metrics in hospitals.
The data on the dashboard helps us better understand how and why decisions are being made.
It's important to remember that the data provided only reflects people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and does not include individuals who may have the virus but are asymptomatic.
On the ACDHH website, you will find information about COVID-19 resources.
And there you can find information about the Arizona Department of Public Health Services and their link.
description Please click HERE for a complete transcript of this video.
>> Kim Minard: The Arizona Department of Health Services, or ADHS, has been closely monitoring COVID-19 spread throughout Arizona.
In order to ensure providers and labs can test all Arizonans that want to be tested, ADHS has been working to provide additional support.
ADHS has issued updated standing orders expanding the criteria for testing to anyone who thinks they have been exposed and could be infected with COVID-19.
Previously this order was limited to high-risk individuals and those with specific symptoms.
ADHS has partnered with laboratories such as Sonora Quest Laboratories, TGen, and the University of Arizona to provide additional funding to increase their lab capacity.
ADHS has sent out messaging to labs statewide to remove any restrictions on testing, if they have adequate testing supplies and PPE.
ADHS continues to communicate with health care providers about expanding testing to all Arizonans.
ADHS has distributed 15 rapid-testing machines throughout the state that are able to provide results within 15 minutes.
ADHS will continue to work with federal partners to get additional testing kits to support these machines.
If you think you have been exposed and infected with COVID-19, please contact your health care provider or call the COVID-19 hotline at 844-542-8201 for more information about testing options and availability in your area.
What should you expect when you get a diagnostic test?
Once you have preregistered, please make sure you know what to expect for testing.
Make sure you wear a mask to your appointment.
If you don't have a mask, you can wear a handkerchief or a bandana.
Make sure to print the ACDHH COVID communication card.
If you have insurance, please bring your insurance card with you.
If you go through a testing drive-thru site, they will ask you to stay in your car.
After completing paperwork, a medical staff will swab the inside of your nose to collect a sample.
The swab is about 6 inches in length and looks like a long Q-tip.
They will swab both nostrils.
It is important to breathe steadily through the testing.
The total time of testing can take anywhere from five to 20 minutes.
For more information about COVID-19, you can check the ACDHH COVID-19 resource page on the ACDHH website.
description Please click HERE for a complete transcript of this video.
>>Beca Bailey: During the COVID-19 pandemic, communication is even more challenging in hospitals, especially with medical staff such as doctors and nurses who are wearing masks.
ACDHH has created two communication cards:
One for the deaf and hard of hearing, and the other for the DeafBlind/CVHL.
You can use this communication card to help you communicate and interact with medical staff.
If you have a doctor's appointment and will not be meeting with them in person but rather telehealth, ACDHH has created a best-practice guide to understand interacting via telehealth with your doctor.
This will help ensure that the telehealth is accessible and effective for communicating with them, such as providing an interpreter or captioning.
If you are interested in using a communication card or the best-practice guide, please visit the ACDHH website.
description Please click HERE for a complete transcript of this video.
>>Beca Bailey: The Arizona Department of Education, ADE, is providing guidance and resources for Arizona's public and charter schools as they navigate the COVID-19 response.
ADE has provided on their COVID website information in regards to instructional time, statewide testing, provision of special education services, school meals, and more.
You can also find comprehensive guidance, helpful Q&As, and resources for educators and families related to Special Education and Individualized Education Plans.
ACDHH has linked their website on our COVID website page.
description Please click HERE for a complete transcript of this video.
>>Beca Bailey: People should be on the lookout for calls, texts and emails by individuals who are trying to scam them which can lead to tax-related fraud and identity theft.
Government agencies and business entities will not call, email, or text asking you to verify or request your financial, banking, or personal information like your Social Security number.
Watch out for websites and social media attempts to request money or personal information.
You should go directly to their official website.
Do not open surprise emails that look like they're coming from the agency or do not click on attachments or links.
Do not respond to text messages about unclaimed stimulus checks.
People should not provide personal or financial information or engage with professional or potential scammers online or over the phone.
Forward suspicious emails to the agency, then delete them.
Go to the agency website for the most up-to-date information.
Check out the ACDHH COVID-19 website fraud alert section.
description Please click HERE for a complete transcript of this video.
Hello. I’m Sherri Collins, the Executive Director of the Arizona Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
Recently the governor just announced executive order on expanding telemedicine.
For those who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, DeafBlind, or low vision, needs access to healthcare, we have posted a guideline for the healthcare providers to use considering providing healthcare services to our community.
So please check our website for more information and you can use that information for your doctor. If you have any other questions or concerns receiving medical care please contact our office.
description Please click HERE for a complete transcript of this video.
Scene opens to a middle aged white male, his brown peppered hair cut short and has a peppered goatee. He is wearing a black long-sleeved button-up shirt and black rimmed glasses. He is sitting in front of a plain light grey wall. As he signs his greeting on the top right of the screen Sprint Accessibility’s Logo appears. On the bottom of the screen in white font, Arthur Moore Wireless Sales Manager.
“Hello. This is Arthur Moore with Sprint Accessibility.
I want to share an important message for our valued Sprint Accessibility Customers.
We are really going through some challenging, unprecedented times we are all learning to manage through the rapidly changing global situation together. Sprint is doing everything we can to slow the spread of COVID-19. Our priority is keeping our customers, employees and communities safe.
We also want to ensure our deaf, hard of hearing, deafblind, and speech disability community are aware of Sprint’s ongoing activities and availability during this challenging time.
For wireless customers using mobile phones, tablets and hotspot devices, essential Accessibility services continue to operate at this time when communication is more important than ever.
For new customers or those needing to upgrade, you can contact us to order new phones, tablets, and the like.
You can contact us through email, our website, through videophone calls or customer service.
This contact information is at the end of the video.
There will also be information listed for customers who are Blind and Low
Vision to be able to connect with us by email, website, or phone.
We want to show that we are here for you. By helping and supporting one another, we will get through this time, together.” He gives two thumbs up as the scene closes to black.
Sprint Accessibility’s Logo appears on the top right of the screen. On top of the screen in white font, Deaf/Hard of Hearing/ Deaf-Blind
Order Phones Online: SprintRelayStore.com
Email: [email protected]
Billing/Technical Support: [email protected]
The scene fades to black. Sprint Accessibility’s Logo appears on the top right of the screen. On top of the screen in white font, Blind and Low
Order Phones Online: Sprint.com/vision
Billing/Technical Support: [email protected]
Scene fades to black.