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Ducey issues new orders in efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Arizona

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Posted at 6:37 PM, Apr 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-07 21:37:52-04

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has issued four new orders Tuesday to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

One executive order is expanding the COVID-19 data gathering to protect health care workers and patients during the pandemic.

According to a press release from Ducey's office, the data will provided the number of ICU beds and ventilators in use, the number of suspected COVID-19 patients visiting emergency rooms, and an estimated amount of PPE used per day.

The order is in effect for 60 days, unless renewed.

Under the order, hospitals will report the following to ADHS daily:

  • Number of inpatient COVID-19 positive patients or suspected positives
  • Number of ventilators in use by COVID-19 patients or suspected positives
  • Number of ICU beds in use by COVID-19 patients or suspected positives
  • Number of positive COVID-19 patients or suspected patients released from the facility per day
  • Number of positive COVID-19 patients or suspected patients seen in the ER daily
  • Number of incubation performed daily for respiratory issues
  • Estimated number of N95 masks, surgical masks, face shields and surgical gowns used every day

“Today’s order is about enhancing the data available to us so we can continue to make the best data-driven decisions to protect public health. Arizona’s public health officials are working closely with our hospitals and health care providers, and we’ve already seen the benefit from increased data sharing. This additional step helps ensure we are taking all steps necessary to prepare and slow the spread of COVID-19," Gov. Ducey said.

ADHS and other local health officials must report PPE, materials, supplies and other resources during this advisory.

READ: FULL EXECUTIVE ORDER

Another executive order is increasing restrictions for out-of-state travelers entering Arizona in efforts to decrease the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

According to a press release from Ducey's office, those who are traveling to Arizona from an area with possible coomunity spread through any airport in the state must self-isolate or self-quarantine upon arrival for 14 days.

“Slowing the spread of COVID-19 remains our top priority. Today’s action aligns with guidance from public health officials, while ensuring those traveling for essential functions can continue to do so. We will take all necessary precautions to keep Arizonans safe," Gov. Ducey said.

This order will remain in effect throughout the state's public health emergency.

Under the order:

  • The Arizona Department of Health Services shall coordinate with each aviation and airport authority in Arizona to effectuate the isolation or self-quarantine;
  • Pursuant to A.R.S. § 26-316, all Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board certified law enforcement personnel and all state and local public health personnel shall assist the Arizona Department of Health Services in enforcing the provisions of this order;
  • And pursuant to A.R.S. §·26-317, any person who violates the provisions of this Order may be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor and subject to a fine not to exceed $2,500.

The order does not apply to airline employees; military personnel; healthcare workers; human services personnel; workers conducting essential infrastructure operations; and workers providing essential governmental functions. Those people should follow CDC guidelines to reduce risk of potential spread.

READ: FULL EXECUTIVE ORDER

The next executive order is providing flexibility on packaging and labeling rules for Arizona restaurants.

According to a press release from Ducey's office, the order will allow local restaurants to repackage and sell grocery items they have on hand including; items not normally packaged and labeled for resale. The order follows the Food and Drug Administration’s recent decision to provide temporary flexibility for nutrition labeling of packaged food.

The order take effect immediately and stays in effect until further notice.

Under the order:
Restaurants currently licensed or permitted to serve prepared food may sell grocery items including; not limited to, paper goods, cleaning supplies, prepared food in bulk, meat and vegetables whether or not those items are normally packaged for resale or are raw provided that certain provisions are followed. The order does not permit restaurants to hold a permit to sell alcohol.

“Even with dine-in and carry-out options still available to patrons, many Arizona restaurants are struggling due to COVID-19. Today’s Executive Order provides flexibility for restaurant owners to safely sell prepared and bulk foods or supplies they have on hand and can’t use right now. We are proud to support Arizona restaurants with this reform," Ducey said.

READ: FULL EXECUTIVE ORDER

The last executive order is reinforcing health protection in residential care institutions, nursing care institutions and other health care facilities.

This order requires all staff to use appropriate personal protective equipment, implement symptom checks for those entering the facility, and offer electronic communication if visitation is restricted. This follows the guideline recommended by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“Arizona will continue to take proactive measures to protect our seniors and vulnerable populations. This order helps protect seniors and those living in health care facilities, as well as the staff and health care professionals caring for patients. My thanks to these individuals working to protect Arizona’s most vulnerable as we work to slow the spread of COVID-19," Ducey said.

The order will remain in effect throughout the state Declaration of Public Health Emergency.

The order requires all facilities comply with all infection control direction including:

  • Implementing symptom checks for every individual regardless of reason for entering a long-term care facility, including temperature checks. This does not apply to Emergency Medical Service (EMS) workers responding to an urgent or emergent need;
  • Ensuring all staff uses appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) when interacting with residents, to the extent that PPE is available and per CDC guidance on conservation of PPE; and
  • Ensuring adherence to appropriate hand hygiene protocols as per CDC guidelines.

Health care facilities must separate COVID-19 positive residents and COVID-19 unknown residents from COVID-19 negative residents in efforts to avoid spread.

Under the order:

  • Should ensure that separate, consistent staffing teams are utilized for each of these different cohorts;
  • Must be capable of maintaining strict infection control practices and testing protocols for COVID-19 positives units and facilities; and
  • Must develop policies and procedures to facilitate the admission and readmission of residents who are ready for safe discharge from an acute care hospital without the requirement of a negative COVID-19 test result.

All health care institutions and facilities must report to ADHS every week the number of positive COVID-19 residents, transfers to and from acute hospitals, number and type of PPE, and estimated use of PPE.

READ: FULL EXECUTIVE ORDER