March 30, 2020 / Patricia Barnes, Senior Contributor
Gov. Doug Ducey Monday capitulated to a mounting grassroots effort by Arizona citizens demanding that he issue a “stay-at-home” or “shelter-in-place” order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
In recent weeks, some 30 states have issued “shelter-in-place” orders and some are even discouraging visits by out-of-towners from high infection locales like New York City. Gov. Ducey, a Republican, took the opposite approach.
On March 23, Ducey issued an executive order prohibiting any county, city or town from issuing any order or regulation “restricting persons from leaving their home due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.” Ducey’s order prevented local municipalities from issuing shelter-in-place regulations.
This, despite the fact that Arizona is one of America’s “oldest” states, with 1.3 million residents aged 65 and above. Research shows the aged and people with chronic conditions are most likely to face serious complications or death from COVID-19.
A week ago, Scottsdale physician JulieAnn K. Heathcott filed a petition on Change.com calling on Ducey to “lockdown Arizona” by issuing a “shelter-in-place” order. She bemoaned the fact that people are crowding state hiking paths, congregating at stores, bars and in neighborhoods and otherwise “ignoring what we need to do to decrease the curve.”