WATCH: COVID-19 Town Hall With Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey
Gov. Doug Ducey participated in a virtual town hall Thursday night, to speak about Arizona’s ongoing plans to combat the coronavirus. He was joined by other state officials, including Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ and Superintendent Kathy Hoffman.
About 5,000 questions were submitted to the moderators before the town hall. Many questions stemmed from people weighing safety vs. keeping their jobs.
After the governor’s stay-at-home order was issued Monday, small businesses were left confused about their options.
A Yuma resident asked whether non-essential small businesses are required to close. Ducey says it’s their choice.
“The objective here was to protect public health, to make the right decisions so we get through this pandemic. It wasn’t to shut down everybody in the state, it wasn’t to shut down the great outdoors,” Ducey said.
A radio listener said their employer has no social distancing policies and is not giving sick workers the option to stay home. When asked for a response, Ducey said quit, and collect unemployment. And he has a warning for employers.
“What I would say to the employers is if law enforcement sees that people are gathering in large groups and not enforcing social distancing, they’re going to be the ones that are cited," Ducey said.
The governor says the next two months are going to be hard, but evictions are suspended and unemployment benefits are available.