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Friday, 26 June 2020 17:39

AZ Governor Looks to Crack Down on Packed Bars as COVID-19 Cases Rise

Written by Cole Lauterbach, The Center Square
Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey speaks about the latest coronavirus data at a news conference June 25 in Phoenix. Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey speaks about the latest coronavirus data at a news conference June 25 in Phoenix. Ross D. Franklin/AP

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Gov. Doug Ducey struck a dire tone June 25, warning that Arizonans who attended large gatherings are fueling the spread of COVID-19. 

"When we reopened the economy, I said this is a green light to proceed, not a green light to speed," Ducey said. "We've had some speeding in the business community." 

 

Due to the state's increase in cases, Ducey made it clear that there was no talk of continuing to reopen the state further, saying "Arizona is on pause." 

 

Ducey announced the state Department of Liquor sent a "final notice" to comply to eight Scottsdale businesses: The Riot House, El Hefe, Bottled Blonde, International, Pattie's, Maya Day Club, Casa Amigos and Hi-Fi.

 

"We expect our [COVID-19] numbers will be worse next week and the weeks following," Ducey said. "The crowded social gatherings that we've seen must be minimized."

 

Each of these establishments has seen sporting large crowds of young people gathering with little regard to distancing guidelines. Ducey pointed out that the outsized growth in COVID-19 cases are in people ages 20 to 44 shortly after naming the bars. 

 

"It doesn't matter how old you are," he said. "If you're out and about in large social gatherings and in multiple places, you have a lot higher chance, percentage-wise, to catch this."

 

The Scottsdale Police announced charges filed June 23 against the owners of Riot House, a nightclub that's seen crowds each weekend since the closure orders have been allowed to end. 

 

"Riot House is charged with failing to enforce their own safety and health policy, required under Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey's executive Oorders," the department said in a release. "The Scottsdale Police Department observed staff and patrons at this establishment not practicing physical distancing, not wearing face coverings and not complying with their plan."


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