Arizona's COVID-19 Actions To Date

News Release

March 30, 2020

January 27: Activated The Health Emergency Operations Center

Opened the Health Emergency Operations Center after the first reported case of COVID-19 in Arizona to monitor the situation at the local, national and global level

March 2: Started Testing For COVID-19 At The State Lab

Became one of the first states in the nation to be certified by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to test for COVID-19

March 4: Secured $500,000 In Initial Federal Funding

Provided immediate access to resources for states and local jurisdictions impacted by the outbreak.

March 11: Declared Public Health Emergency

  • Gave health officials more funding to fight COVID-19

  • Designated the Arizona Department of Health Services as the agency leading Arizona’s response to COVID-19

  • Activated the State Emergency Operations Center in addition to the Health Emergency Operations Center to coordinate resources

  • Waived certain licensing requirements to increase access to healthcare

  • Gave the state emergency procurement authority to purchase supplies

March 11: Issued Executive Order to protect high risk populations and ensure care

  • Required insurance companies and health plans to cover out of network providers for COVID-19 testing

  • Waived all copays, coinsurance, and deductibles for COVID-19 testing

  • Reduced co-pays for telemedicine visits

  • Prohibited price-gouging on COVID-19 testing and treatment

  • Required symptom checks of healthcare workers and visitors at skilled nursing facilities, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities

March 12: Secured New Federal Funding

More than $12.4 million in new funding from the CDC is being used for disease surveillance and investigation, lab testing, purchasing supplies and communicating information to the public.

March 12: Passed New State Public Health Funding

Signed legislation to appropriate $55 million to Arizona’s Public Health Emergency Fund to combat COVID-19.

March 12: Held Statewide Call With School Leaders

Joined Superintendent Kathy Hoffman and Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ to brief more than 400 school district leaders on COVID-19 and answer their questions.

March 15: Closed Schools To Address Staffing Shortages

Jointly announced a statewide closure of schools with Superintendent Hoffman to bring certainty and consistency for parents, students and teachers across the state.

March 15: Partnered With Boys & Girls Club On Childcare

Announced emergency operational funding to support youth impacted by school closures and ensure childcare availability for children of health care workers, public safety and other essential staff. A full list of child options can be found at azed.gov. 

March 16: Issued New Guidance To Cancel Gatherings

Released new guidance for dining establishments, child care providers, nursing homes, and additional social distancing measures. Recommends canceling or postponing gatherings of 10 or more people.

March 17: Updated Southern Arizona Health Leaders

Met with public health officials and hospital Chief Medical Officers in Tucson to provide an update on Arizona’s COVID-19 response and hear their needs.

March 18: Held Conference Call With Tribal Leaders

Discussed emergency declarations being issued for tribal nations and ongoing steps to combat COVID-19.

March 18: Met With Local Public Health Officials

Met with public health officials from all 15 counties in Arizona to build on the state’s efforts to address COVID-19.

March 19: Passed Out Free Meals For Kids At Sunset Elementary School

Joined Superintendent Hoffman to pass out free meals for students in the Cartwright School District and highlight free meal programs for kids during school closures.

March 19: Activated The Arizona National Guard

The Arizona National Guard will help grocery stores and food banks keep shelves stocked in the face of heightened demand. 

March 19: Extended Expiration Dates For Driver Licenses: Issued an Executive Order to reduce the need for in-person visits to Motor Vehicle Division Offices.

March 19: Delayed Elective Surgeries To Increase Hospital Capacity: Issued an Executive Order that halts all elective surgeries in the state of Arizona to free up medical resources and maintain the capacity for hospitals and providers to continue offering vital services. 

March 19: Released New Guidance For Dining Establishments And Other Businesses:

  • Required restaurants in Arizona counties with confirmed COVID-19 cases to provide dine-out options only, while closing bars, gyms and movie theaters.

  • Allowed restaurants to deliver alcoholic beverages with the purchase of food to assist in mitigating the financial consequences of restaurant closures

  • Allowed manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers to buy back unopened products from restaurants, bars and clubs.

March 19: Secured Small Business Administration Disaster Loans For Local Businesses

Helps small businesses impacted by COVID-19 access up to $2 million through the program.

March 20: Volunteered At St. Mary’s Food Bank

Joined statewide and community leaders to pack boxes and bring attention to Arizona food banks’ urgent need for help.

March 20: Extended School Closures For Two More Weeks

Jointly announced with Superintendent Hoffman a two-week extension of school closures through Friday, April 10, 2020.

March 20: Expanded Access To Unemployment Insurance

Issued an Executive Order that:

  • Waived the one-week waiting period after an employee loses a job before they apply for unemployment benefits.

  • Waived work search requirements for those receiving unemployment benefits.

  • Added people who work at a business that has been temporarily closed or has reduced hours because of COVID-19, who have to quarantine because of COVID-19, or who have to care for a family member with COVID-19.

  • Waived any increase in employer payments to the unemployment insurance fund for businesses whose employees receive benefits under this provision.

March 20: Extended Tax Deadline

Extended the state income tax deadline to July 15, 2020 to match the new federal deadline.

March 21: Secured Medical Protective Equipment Shipment From National Strategic Stockpile

Included more than 440,000 personal protective equipment that will be distributed to county health departments to provide to local hospitals and medical professionals.

March 22: Launched New Statewide 2-1-1 Hotline For COVID-19

Launched a new 2-1-1 COVID-19 hotline to provide information and answer questions through $2 million in funding provided by the Arizona Department of Economic Security.

March 23: Issued Executive Order Defining Essential Services

Proactively provided clarity and certainty to businesses and workers about what is an essential service to ensure consistent guidance across the state.

March 23: Issued Executive Order To Accelerate Tracking Of COVID-19

Required hospitals and testing laboratories to report key metrics that will accelerate tracking of COVID-19 cases and strengthen the state’s response.

March 24: Launched Arizona Together Initiative Linking Arizonans To Resources

Launched ArizonaTogether.org, a centralized location for Arizonans to access resources and information during the COVID 19 outbreak.

March 24: Took Step To Free Up More Physicians To Address COVID-19

Waived rules requiring a physician to oversee Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, freeing up more doctors up to provide other needed medical services.

March 24: Announced Childcare For COVID-19 Frontline Workers

Launched Arizona Enrichment Centers to provide childcare for children of first responders, healthcare workers, and essential public sector workers.

March 24: Received Authority To Implement Medicaid Changes To Address COVID-19

Received federal approval to implement programmatic changes to help ensure access to health care for kids and vulnerable Arizonans by waiving certain Medicaid and KidsCare (CHIP) rules.

March 24: Issued Order Delaying Evictions For Renters Impacted By COVID-19

Issued an executive order delaying the enforcement of eviction action orders for renters impacted by COVID-19.

March 25: Requested Changes To Food Assistance Program

Requested the federal government expand the federal food stamp program so people impacted by COVID-19 can get more benefits faster and for hot food.

March 25: Expanded Telemedicine Coverage For Arizonans

Issued an executive order expanding coverage of telemedicine services.

March 25: Announced $5.3 Million For Meals For Arizona Seniors

Announced $5.3 million for “Meals on Wheels” to provide meals to older adults.

March 25: Requested Special Health Care Enrollment Period

Requesting a special enrollment period on the Federal Insurance Marketplace so people who have lost their income can buy health insurance.

March 25: Signed Legislation To Increase Resources For Arizona Hospitals

Signed legislation to bring more resources into Arizona’s health care system by increasing Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) provider rates for hospitals, doctors and more.

March 26: Announced Electric Utility Relief Package

Announced a cooperative agreement with the state’s largest electric utilities so no one has their power shut off due to COVID-19.

March 26: Issued Executive Order To Ensure Hospital Preparedness

Issued an executive order expanding hospital capacity and increasing hospital beds in the state by 50 percent.

March 26: Issued Executive Order To Expand Licensing Opportunities

Helped licensed professionals stay licensed and deferring certain requirements for six months.

March 26: Waived Emissions Testing For Seniors To Reduce COVID-19 Risk

Announced the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality will waive emissions tests vehicle owners 65 and older for up to one year.

March 27: Announced New Dollars For Rental Assistance

Announced $5 million in new resources to help Arizonans struggling to make rent due to COVID-19.

March 27: Signed Legislation To Support Schools, Teachers And Families

Signed legislation to support schools during closures, provide clarity and flexibility on statewide testing requirements and school letter grades, give direction on make-up days, require learning opportunities for students to continue, and ensure teachers and staff see no disruption in pay as a result of COVID-19.

March 27: Signed Legislation To Expand Access To Unemployment Benefits

Signed legislation and issued an executive order to expand access to unemployment benefits.

March 28: Signed Bipartisan State Budget Agreement

Signed a bipartisan state budget agreement that adds $50 million for Arizona’s COVID-19 response, including dollars to assist Arizonans needing eviction assistance, struggling small businesses, our food banks and our homeless population.

March 30: Extended School Closures Through The End Of The School Year

March 30: Announced A Cooperative Agreement With The State’s Banks To Protect Small Businesses And Families From Eviction And Foreclosure

March 30: Issued An Executive Order Directing Arizonans To "Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected"

March 30: Governor Ducey and ADHS Director Dr. Christ Held A Briefing To Provide Updates On COVID-19 

March 31: Update On Arizona Medical Supplies

Arizona received 75 percent of its Strategic National Stockpile allocation, totaling more than 1.2 million medical supplies to date.

March 31: Announces 90-Day Fee Relief For Restaurants, Bars Impacted By COVID-19

April 1: Requests Major Disaster Declaration For Additional Support In COVID-19 Response 

April 1: Issues An Executive Order Allowing Telemedicine For Pets And Animals  

April 1: Requests Export Assistance For Arizona’s Dairy Farmers 

April 2: Issues Order Allowing Certain Prescription Refills Without Having To See A Doctor

April 2: Charitable ContributionsDue to the COVID-19 outbreak, the deadline for filing and paying State and Federal income tax has been extended from April 15th, 2020 until July 15th, 2020. However, the deadline for Arizonans to make charitable contributions and qualify for state income tax credit remains April 15th. 

April 3: Announce The Launch Of Child Care For COVID-19 Frontline Workers

April 3: Governor's Office Provides Additional Guidance On Essential Services

April 4: Announces The State Has Secured a New Agreement With Honeywell to Produce Over 6 Million N95 Masks Over The Next 12 Months

April 4: Announces That President Trump in Coordination With the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Approved Arizona’s request For a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration For The State.

April 6: New Assistance Available To Support Arizona Small Businesses: Arizona small businesses adversely impacted by COVID-19 have limited time to benefit from important benefits passed along with the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Known as the Paycheck Protection Program, small businesses can apply for 100% federally guaranteed loans for an amount up to 2.5 times their average monthly payroll expenses for the prior year.  

April 7: ADOT Eases Truck Weight Limits For Delivery Of Essential Supplies

April 7: Announces $2 Million In Funding For Goodwill Services

April 7: Issued Executive Order Increasing Restrictions For Certain Out-Of-State Travelers

April 7: Issued Executive Order Strengthening Protection In Residential And Nursing Health Care Facilities

April 7: Issued Executive Order Expanding COVID-19 Data Gathering

April 7: Issued Executive Order Providing Flexibility On Packaging And Labeling Rules For Local Restaurants

April 8: Announces Nearly $10 Million For Meals For Low-Income Arizonans

April 8: Signs Executive Order Establishing Virtual Notary Services

April 8: Arizona Hospitals To Receive Emergency Advance Payments from Medicaid: To help Arizona’s hospitals weather the impact of COVID-19, Governor Doug Ducey announced that the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) will work with its provider partners to make available more than $50 million in accelerated hospital payments and advances and extend an additional $5 million in new COVID-19 related funding to Critical Access Hospitals throughout the state. A Critical Access Hospital is a rural acute care hospital located more than a 35-mile drive from any other hospital.  

April 8: Announces 200 Internet Hotspots For Students In Rural Communities

April 9: Receives Approval For Online SNAP Purchases From USDA

April 9: New Order Provides “Good Samaritan” Protections To Frontline Workers Responding To The COVID-19 Emergency: Governor Doug Ducey issued an Executive Order to help boost medical staffing levels and provide certainty and liability protections to health care professionals serving on the front lines. The order provides protections to health care professionals treating patients during the COVID-19 health emergency, while also protecting patients against negligence or reckless misconduct.

April 10: 100 Additional Ventilators On Their Way To Arizona: Announced that 100 additional ventilators are on their way to the state of Arizona from the Strategic National Stockpile. These additional ventilators came at the request of Governor Ducey and Senator McSally to President Trump.

April 14: Announces Antibody Tests For Health Professionals, First Responders: Governor Ducey announced a partnership between the state of Arizona and the University of Arizona to provide antibody tests for 250,000 health care professionals and first responders who are on the frontlines in the battle against COVID-19.

April 14: Seeks Business Input For Economic Recovery: Governor Ducey asked leaders from Arizona’s lodging and business communities to provide their feedback on a plan for economic recovery. The letters seek recommendations to help accelerate a business and economic recovery including incorporating public health guidance into everyday business practices, policy suggestions, regulatory reforms and other executive actions.

April 14: Issued three Executive Orders to:

  • Help meet the critical demand for nursing home and long-term care facility staff;
  • Further expand telemedicine options for Arizonanson worker’s compensation plans;
  • And continue to increase the data received by health care providers and share limited data with law enforcement personnel and first responders.

April 15: Issued an Executive Order Allowing Food Trucks to Operate at Eight Arizona Department of Transportation Rest Areas

April 16: Arizona Department Of Insurance Seeks Insurance Extensions For Arizona Customers: Arizona Department of Insurance is urging insurers across the state to work with Arizonans to ensure their coverage continues, providing much-need support to the individuals, families and businesses facing financial challenges because of COVID-19.  

April 17: Governor Ducey, CCV Deliver Masks To Banner Health: Joined Pastor Ashley Wooldridge and members of the Christ’s Church of the Valley (CCV) to help deliver 10,000 FDA-approved N95-equivalent masks to Banner University Medical Center.  

April 20: Announced that Waymo has contributed $100,000 to the AZ Coronavirus Relief Fund, providing support to organizations working to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

April 20: Announced that Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona has donated $50,000 to the AZ Coronavirus Relief Fund. 

April 21: Arizona To Provide Nearly 600,000 Children With Pandemic School Meal Replacement Benefits: Arizona Department of Economic Security announced the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) authorized DES to provide Arizona P-EBT Pandemic School Meal Replacement Benefits to households with children who are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals.

April 22: Issued an Executive Order Removing Restrictions on Conducting Elective Surgeries For Hospitals, Health Care Facilities and Providers That Meet Certain Preparedness Criteria

April 27: Issued an Executive Order Removing Restrictions on Conducting Elective Surgeries For Hospitals, Health Care Facilities and Providers That Meet Certain Preparedness Criteria

May 4: Issued an Executive Order allowing cosmetologists and barber shops to resume appointment-based services May 8 and restaurants and coffee shops to resume dine-in services with physical distancing measures on May 11.