TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — It's been one year since Governor Doug Ducey issued an executive order for Arizonans to stay home over growing concerns of COVID-19 spread. On March 31, 2020, the order went into effect.
The order asked all non-essential businesses to close and the public to stay home. Physical distancing when leaving the home was highly encouraged. Research around face masks, and their role in mitigating the spread of COVID-19, was just getting started.
Last week, Gov. Ducey rolled back pandemic restrictions. Non-essential businesses were allowed to open at full capacity. Ducey declared that municipalities could no longer enforce mask mandates.
Pima County has encouraged the public to take a more cautious approach to reopening. Health experts asked the community to continue wearing a face masks while out in public.
"If we can just get folks to continue to adhere to these fairly easy measures for another two or three months, we will be able to have achieved a level of vaccination that really allows this community to take a deep breath," said Pima County Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Francisco Garcia.
The state-run COVID-19 vaccination P.O.D. (point of distribution) at the University of Arizona recently announced that they have administered over 100,000 doses. Many Southern Arizona schools have opened up the option for students to return to in-person classes.
Dr. Garcia spoke in a virtual press conference, Tuesday. He noted that the spread of COVID-19 in Pima County is still higher than it was Memorial Day week in 2020.
"We are far from being done with this, but the end is in sight," said Dr. Garcia.