Gov. Ducey limits indoor dining at restaurants to less than 50%
Yesterday, Gov. Doug Ducey issued an executive order limiting indoor dining for restaurants to less than 50% occupancy, not including staff. The order will go into effect at 10 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday, July 11) and will be enforced by county health inspectors or local law enforcement. Here’s a summary of the mandates:
- Restaurant businesses with indoor seating will be required to operate at less than 50% of fire code capacity, not including staff;
- Must ensure at least six feet of separation between parties or groups at different tables, booths or bar tops;
- Must eliminate any indoor standing rooms where patrons wait to be seated and are encouraged to use reservation systems to limit capacity and congregation in small areas;
- Masks are required for all servers, host staff and employees that interact with customers;
- Masks are required for all customers when not seated at their table;
- And all buffet, cafeteria style and self-serve food bars at restaurants will remain closed.
The latest executive order comes as Arizona remains in the national spotlight for its spike in cases since the state lifted its stay-at-home order in mid-May.
You can find the official executive order here and an overview of guidance for restaurants here.
Expanded testing efforts
During yesterday’s press conference, the governor also announced new efforts to expand COVID-19 testing throughout the state. Dubbed "Project Catapult," the new testing program will work to help SonoraQuest — the lab that processes three-quarters of all Arizona tests — significantly increase processing capacity and turnaround time for results. The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) will give SonoraQuest $2 million for new processing equipment, which will assist the lab in administering 60,000 tests per day by the end of August with the goal of providing test results within 24 hours. The enhanced testing announcement comes amid mounting pressure, as Arizona is seeing the highest percentage of positive tests in the country, with about one in four tests coming back positive.
Additional reporting requirements for hospitals
The governor also issued an executive order that increases daily reporting requirements for hospitals. Under the new order, hospitals must report:
- A list of all COVID-19 confirmed and suspect patients, including names, dates of birth, gender, race, and hospital admission dates;
- Whether they’re operating in conventional, contingency or crisis care;
- And the number of medically necessary surgeries performed per day.
Additionally, all licensed hospitals will be required to update their plans to ensure capability to increase their ICU and bed capacity by July 17, 2020.
You can find the official executive order here.