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Benchmarks released for paused businesses to safely reopen in Arizona

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Posted at 3:59 PM, Aug 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-11 09:45:08-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — Benchmarks have been released by the Arizona Department of Health Services to safely reopen businesses that have been paused as a result of executive orders.

AZDHS business benchmarks

Gyms, bars and nightclubs with food permits, movie theaters, water parks, tubing activities will be able to reopen if the county hits a moderate transmission level. That means there would have to be 10 to 100 cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 in Pima County.

The benchmarks must be met for two weeks, with a 12-day reporting lag period to advance.

adhs benchmark.PNG
This table breaks down the benchmarks by cases, percent positivtiy, and COVID-like illness.

Although Pima County isn't out of the red, Dr. Cara Christ said it's is very close, which would allow most businesses to resume operations at a limited capacity.

“For the week of the [July 26], they were at 9.1 percent and for the week of [July 19] they were at 9.7 percent,” explained Dr. Christ.

AZDHS benchmark breakdown

If businesses are certain it can safely resume limited operations before Pima County hits a moderate transmission level, owners would need to present the state with examples of going above and beyond to stop the transmission of the virus through an attestation.

"So examples could be potentially offering top operate at a lower occupancy rate it could include things like requiring weekly testing of employees. We don't want to limit people to just those ideas, but if they could present a plan that would show that they were operating safely even though they were a high-risk establishment, the department would take that into consideration,” explained Dr. Christ.

For bars and nightclubs not operating as restaurants, their doors must remain closed until transmission of COVID-19 in Pima County is less than three percent.