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Benchmarks released for when gyms, bars and theaters can reopen

TUCSON (KVOA) - After a judge ruled that gyms should have the opportunity to reopen last week, the Arizona Department of Health Services released its benchmarks that will allow gyms, bars, nightclubs, water parks and tubing to reopen on Monday.

This development came in light of the governor's recent visit with President Donald Trump in Washington D.C. During that meeting, the president praised Ducey and the Arizona Department of Health Services in their efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.

Despite Arizona leading the world in new COVID-19 cases in early July, the state reported Monday that the state has seen two consecutive days of new confirmed COVID-19 cases dropping under 1,000.

After Ducey extended his June 29 executive order to continue the closure of various businesses on July 23, ADHS began developing benchmarks to allow these businesses to resume operations.

Similar to its benchmarks with resuming in-person classes, ADHS released a three-level parameter that judges when counties can resume certain operations.

Separated by minimal community spread, moderate community spread and substantial community spread, ADHS will allow counties to resume business operations when counties report a two-week period below 100 cases per 100,000, a two-week period with a percent positivity below 10 percent and a two-week period with hospital visits below 10 percent.

Once the business is given the go-ahead to resume operations under these benchmarks, the business most follow the capacity requirement outlined by the state, as well implement specific health protocols to continue to limit the spread of the pandemic.

Under the guidelines, indoor gyms, fitness centers, indoor theaters, water parks, tubing, bars and nightclubs that provide dine-in services will be allowed to reopen under a moderate community spread level.

Bars and nightclubs that do not operate as a restaurant will be allowed to resume under a minimal community spread level.

According to Arizona Health Director Cara Christ, Yavapai and La Paz counties are already showing the requirements to meet a moderate community spread level.

She said Cochise and Coconino counties may be close.

The health director also mentioned that Pima County is "really close" compared to Maricopa County, which was said to be a couple of weeks away from reaching moderate spread levels under the department's current projections.

According to the dashboard, Pima County currently sits at the substantial level.

Indoor Gyms and Fitness Centers

Under the benchmarks, indoor gyms and fitness centers will be allowed to resume operations at 25 percent occupancy under a moderate community spread level.

When the county sees a 3 percent positivity level, it can operate a 50 percent occupancy under a minimal community spread level.

Bars and Nightclubs

Under the guidelines, bars and nightclubs will be able to operate under a 50 percent capacity if the business was converted to a restaurant when the county reaches a moderate spread level.

When the minimal community spread level is reached, the bar or nightclub can resume regular operations at a 50 percent capacity when positivity reaches a less 3 percent.

Movie theaters, water parks and tubing operations

Indoor theaters , water parks and tubing operations will be allowed to oeprated at a 50 percent occupancy under a moderate spread level.

When positivty drops under 3 percent, these businesses will be allowed to resume at 50 percent occupancy.



For more information, visit azdhs.gov.

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Anthony Victor Reyes

Anthony Victor Reyes is the lead digital content producer at News 4 Tucson. The award-winning journalist previously worked as a community reporter in Jasper County, Iowa.

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