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Mayor Romero’s new proclamation orders ‘non-essential’ businesses to temporarily close to slow spread of COVID-19

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TUCSON - Tucson's Mayor Regina Romero signed a new proclamation implementing new orders to help contain the spread of the coronavirus on Friday evening.

The proclamation orders businesses that are not considered "essential," as defined by Gov. Doug Ducey's Executive Order that was issued Monday, to close effective 8 a.m. on Saturday and to remain closed through April 17.

Furthermore, Mayor Romero is strongly recommending that beauty salons, spas, barber shops, and other businesses offering "personal hygiene services," considered "essential" in Ducey's executive order, also close for the same time frame.

Romero is recommending closures for the services mentioned above because they involve human interactions that conflict with CDC guidelines on social distancing.

As restaurants will continue without dine-in service, bars, movie theaters, gyms and outdoor performance venues will stay closed.

Mayor Romero said, "In the absence of clear statewide direction," the City of Tucson is taking swift action at the local level to protect the health and well-being of Tucson residents.

“I believe the governor should make the call,” the mayor said. “Everyone on my council unanimously agrees that Governor Ducey should make the call, but right now is not the time to get into a legal fight with the governor.”

Tucson City Councilman Steve Kozachik said that Governor Ducey should have already ordered a stay at home order. 

Kozachik questioned how many deaths and how many illnesses of patients and healthcare workers are we going to have to experience until the state of Arizona decides to declare a statewide stay at home order.

Kozachik said that Ducey should "most certainly should move forward with a statewide stay at home plan right now."

“We cannot afford to wait any longer; COVID-19 is not waiting and neither can we," Romero said. "If Governor Ducey is unwilling to take decisive action at the state level, then he needs to untie the hands of local jurisdictions and allow us to make decisions that are best for our individual communities."

This is especially critical, Romero said, "with respect to the operations of 'personal hygiene and other services that conflict with CDC social distancing guidelines and could jeopardize public health.”

Mayor Romero continued to say that while these decisions are painful, the City has a moral obligation to do what is in the best interest of Tucson residents and secure public health.

“I would not want to wait until the hospitals are overwhelmed, Romero said. “I don’t want to do that.”

So in addition to her new proclamation, Romero is urging Governor Ducey to take swift action by issuing a statewide stay-at-home order that would restrict travel to only "truly essential" obligations and request that Arizonans stay at home to the "greatest extent possible."

Tucson City Attorney Mike Rankin said the Tucson Police Department will send notices to establishments that do not comply with the proclamation before issuing a misdemeanor citation.

Below is Mayor Romero's full proclamation that was signed Friday evening:

Executive Summary - Through this Proclamation, the Mayor of the City of Tucson:

  1. Strongly advises all persons in Tucson to STAY AT HOME except as may be needed to address essential needs (like getting food and prescriptions, traveling to work if employed in an Essential Function, and getting some exercise and fresh air);
  2. Orders all businesses and establishments that are not Essential Functions (as defined by the Governor’s Executive order issued Monday) to close to the public, effective 8 am Saturday, March 28th and through Friday, April 17th; 
  3. Strongly advises that certain businesses and establishments that the Governor’s Executive Order 2020-12 defines as “essential functions” also close to the public, because those businesses and functions are not in fact critical or essential during this pandemic emergency and involve human interactions that conflict with Social Distancing Requirements and CDC guidance on social distancing. Specifically, the following businesses are advised to close to the public: hair and nail salons, spas, barber shops, and other “personal hygiene services.” 
  4. Strongly advises that all persons, at all times, practice and adhere to Social Distancing Requirements, even when engaged in Essential Functions; and encourages all businesses, including those providing Essential Functions, to allow their employees to work from home through telecommuting or other means to the greatest extent possible in order to limit the gathering of employees at the work site. 

News 4 Tucson

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