KEY POINTS

  • Gov. Doug Ducey ordered bars and movie theaters in Arizona
  • This follows a spike in COVID-19 cases
  • Cases and deaths in counties and surrounding regions remain high

A sudden rise in COVID-19 cases forced Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey to order the closure of all movie theaters for a month. This included bars, nightclubs, water parks and gyms, the governor said during his announcement at a press conference.

According to Variety, the governor said that the executive order is to take effect at 8 p.m. Monday. Ducey shared further details in a tweet and said that the order was meant to help ease the stress on the health care system, as well as slow down new cases.

Movie theaters in the United States have closed down in mid-March in efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Ducey announced in May that theaters in the state would re-open at the expiry of the stay-at-home order issued to citizens.

It would’ve been lifted last May 15, but people still needed to observe social distancing and CDC guidelines on stopping the spread of the virus. A requirement to wear a mask in public wasn’t issued.

According to the NY Times interactive tracker, the cases in Arizona have been 74,602, at least, and as of Tuesday morning, 1,598 people in the state have died. There are some counties in the state that had shown a significant rise in cases. The most, so far, remains to be Arizona, with Maricopa second at 45,178 cases and 746 deaths.

Rounding out that list is Pima at 7,568 cases and 268 deaths; Yuma at 5,895 cases and 90 deaths; Navajo at 3,570 cases and 124 deaths; Pinal at 3,382 cases and 731 deaths; Apache at 2,309 cases and 85 deaths; Coconino at 1,850 cases and92 deaths; Santa Cruz at 1,733 cases and 18 deaths, and Mohave, with 1,028 cases and 85 deaths.

There were a reported 13 out of the 94 movie theaters in the southwestern U.S. state that had opened this past weekend, at the same time 1,072 US theaters opened. But studios have remained wary of opening in the mid-summer season and had largely ‘given up,’ shifting their major release to August instead.

The US Justice Department signaled it plans to end the Paramount Consent Decrees, which bar major film studios from owning movie theaters The US Justice Department signaled it plans to end the Paramount Consent Decrees, which bar major film studios from owning movie theaters Photo: AFP / FREDERIC J. BROWN