/ Modified nov 11, 2020 3:04 p.m.

Gov. Ducey urges caution as COVID-19 numbers surge

The governor reminds people to wear masks and social distance, but announces no business restrictions

Ducey Gov. Doug Ducey, June 2019.
Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

With Arizona reporting a daily average of 1,900 new COVID-19 cases over the past week, Gov. Doug Ducey has urged residents to be careful amid the surging coronavirus outbreak.

Ducey in a video posted Tuesday urged Arizona residents to wear face coverings, wash hands, practice social distancing and stay home when sick.

“Gatherings of families and friends from outside your household are no safer than going to the grocery store," he said.

Ducey, a Republican, has not implemented a statewide masking requirement while many local governments in the state have done so. He announced no new virus prevention initiatives in the video posted on social media and his office's website.

He cited past moves that included increasing testing and providing money to hospitals for protective gear, staffing and ventilators.

Ducey said he wants to protect public health “keep our economy safely open and moving, We know that both are important to the health and well-being of Arizonans.”

“I know it has been a long year and we all want to get back to normal. But that is not in the cards right now. Cases are spiking again across the country and we need to keep our guard up," Ducey said.

Arizona on Wednesday reported 2,030 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases and 36 additional deaths, increasing the state's totals to 265,163 cases and 6,228 deaths.

Arizona on Tuesday had reported 3,434 additional cases, the most in one day since late July,

According to Johns Hopkins University data analyzed by The Associated Press, The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Arizona rose over the past two weeks from 1,026 new cases per day on Oct. 27 to 1,902 new cases per day on Tuesday.

The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.

In other developments, Mohave County has reduced penalties imposed against businesses that violate orders by Ducey requiring distancing and masking in certain types of establishments.

The Board of Supervisors on Monday reduced current fines of up to $1,000 per day, or a total of $10,000 to $50 per day, to a maximum of $500.

County health officials enforce the state mandates.

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