COVID-19 Vaccine Coming Quickly to Arizona | Information for Web page Lake Powell Arizona – lakepowelllife
Highlights from Gov. Ducey’s Wednesday (Dec 2) press conference on COVID-19.
The press conference included: Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) Director Dr. Cara Christ, Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs Director Major General Michael T. McGuire, and Arizona Restaurant Association president and CEO Steve Chucri.
•VACCINES COMING SOON: Arizona is expected to receive an initial shipment of COVID-19 vaccine doses in mid-December, then weekly allocations based on population. Once received, the state will promptly begin distribution. Number of vaccines before end of December: “In the hundreds of thousands,” Christ said.
•TEACHERS A PRIORITY: The distribution plan prioritizes front-line health care workers, residents of long-term care facilities, educators, critical law enforcement officers, Native American communities and vulnerable populations.
•IT WILL BE FREE: Ducey issued an Executive Order ensuring all Arizonans receive the vaccine free, working with insurers to ensure cost-sharing requirements, such as co-pays and co-insurance, for the vaccine are waived.
•RESTAURANT ASSISTANCE: Another Executive Order easing red tape on outdoor dining for restaurants. The order makes it easier for restaurants to expand outdoor dining spaces. The state will provide an initial investment of $1 million to help restaurants and other dining establishments expand outdoor dining options, further protecting patrons and staff and making more space for customers. The funding will support the launch of the Safest Outside Restaurant Assistance Program, funding up to $10,000 per restaurant for items they need to extend their outdoor dining premise, including outdoor furniture, barriers, patio heaters, patio covers, and more.
•NATIONAL GUARD: There is a request to extend their assistance through March. National Guard has been instrumental at local food banks. They could also assist in getting vaccines to rural areas.
•OUTDOOR EVENTS: Another Executive Order enhances health and safety requirements for large public events approved by local cities, towns and counties. Under Executive Order 2020-43 issued in June, organized public events with more than 50 attendees are prohibited in Arizona, with the option for local jurisdictions to selectively approve events of greater than 50 people only if they implemented enhanced mitigation measures. Beginning Wednesday, organized public events of more than 50 people may only be approved by local cities, towns and counties if they have determined that safety precautions consistent with guidance issued by both the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and ADHS are in place, and the event organizer has committed to implementing and enforcing these precautions. If an event is approved by a local city, town or county, the local jurisdiction must publicly post the mitigation measures that the event organizer is required to implement and enforce on their website and submit a copy to ADHS. In addition, the jurisdiction must dedicate resources to enforcing mitigation measures that the organizer has agreed to implement during the event and any public health requirements currently applicable in the jurisdiction.
•HOSPITAL STAFFING: An additional $60 million from the state will provide more staffing at Arizona hospitals. With the funding, ADHS is working to secure an additional 500 nurses through the end of the month, with additional staffing to last throughout January. The staffing boost will provide critical nursing resources to hospitals statewide amid the surge of COVID-19 patients. Today’s funding for staffing comes from the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) as part of the federal CARES Act. It comes in addition to the $25 million from CRF announced last month to help hospitals address staffing needs and support current staff.
•CURFEWS/MASKS: Ducey did not address curfews or mandatory masks. When asked by reporters, he said he did not support the City of Tucson’s 1-0 p.m. to 5 a.m. mandatory curfew that goes into effect Friday. “I disagree with the policy, I don’t think it’s the right approach,” Ducey said.