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Tucson to close some businesses, sets up possible showdown with Ducey, Legislature


The City of Tucson is ordering all businesses not considered “essential” by Gov. Doug Ducey’s recent “essential services” executive order to close starting Saturday morning.

Tucson Mayor Regina Romero signed a proclamation, ordering those businesses remain closed until at least April 17, which Romero could extend. Romero’s proclamation also strongly advises hair and nail salons, spas, barbershops and other “personal hygiene services” defined in Ducey’s order also close because they conflict with guidance from the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention on social distancing.

Regina Romero

Regina Romero

This comes after Flagstaff Mayor Coral Evans extended business closures Thursday, an act of apparent defiance against Ducey’s order, which forbade anyone other than him from prohibiting the function of “essential” things.

In a statement, Romero called the action necessary “in the absence of clear statewide action” from Ducey and that Tucson “cannot afford to wait any longer.”

If Governor Ducey is unwilling to take decisive action at the state level, then he needs to untie the hands of local jurisdictions and allow us to make decisions that are best for our individual communities,” Romero said. “Although these are painful decisions, we have a moral obligation to do what is in the best interest of our residents and protect public health.”

The Governor’s Office did not immediately return a request for comment. However, on Thursday Ducey’s Spokesman Patrick Ptak said, in regards to Evans’ action, that “the law is clear,” but did not directly say that the order was in defiance with Ducey’s order.

 “Under the emergency declaration, the state’s guidance supersedes other directives,” Ptak said.

Romero also called for Ducey to issue a stay-at-home order to restrict travel to those businesses deemed “essential” under his order, a list she, Evans and Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego have criticized for being too broad.

On daily, now turned bi-weekly, conference calls between mayors and the Governor’s Office, Gallego said she has asked for a narrower list of businesses that would remain open in the event the situation which warrants a stay-at-home order worsens. She and other mayors said they have also asked for a list of “non-essential services” ever since Ducey declared a state of emergency to better prepare for a possible stay-at-home order, and while their request has continuously been “noted” by staff, it has not been fulfilled.


  1. Lets hope doug ducey does not cave in to their fear mongering hysteria. Im saying powerful prayers for our governor. Thank you Doug Ducey for your level headed accessment.

  2. I can’t stop going to work until there’s a statewide lockdown, which means every day I”m at a higher risk of infection, and that’s unacceptable. I don’t want to die. Ducey, lock this state down now, before you end up with a huge egg on your face due to your badly advised stance.

  3. The Flagstaff and Tucson mayors are caving to the fear mentality. There is no need to issue a stay at home order and further trash the State economy. Let people work. Put this all in perspective. Compare the current 919 COVID cases in Arizona with the number of seasonal flu cases and fatalities we experience on a yearly basis. If the current situation calls for a shut down of everything, then why do we not respond the same way every flu season? Yes, COVID 19 is serious, even fatal for some, but for most it will be just another illness from which they will recover. Stop listening to the fear-mongering media!

  4. Glad our governor is listening to his director of state heath and other professionals that speak the truth and bring scientific data to the discussion… and I’m very thankful Cathy – above person is NOT one of them. Stupid remark Cathy! Go back and live under your rock. A pandemic doesn’t care who you are.

  5. Do-Nothing Ducey follows in the tradition of the governor of that great state, Mississippi, now experiencing extreme danger of contamination from neighboring Louisiana and Louisiana’s neighbor Florida, each also with a “free movement” governor — until the virus taught them otherwise.

  6. Oh, Cathy. It’s people like you that are causing this thing to spread.

  7. This is not fear mongering….People are dying, and we are ill-prepared. Steps need to be taken to protect our communities. Typical republicans thinking about businesses and the bottom line rather than actual human beings and their safety. The time to act is now, it is imperative that he narrow his “essential list”, and people stay at home. This is the most effective scientifically identified way to stop the spread.

  8. Shut it down. Everyone can take a three weeek vacation and we can reconvene in July when mo soon season starts. Don’t be a fool. It’s better we all watch this thing pass from home.

  9. The numbers shown of confirmed cases are just that, confirmed cases. The CDC and pandemic professionals have said many times that the numbers shown are only half to 1/4 the actual amount of people. The flu also does not half such a high morbitity rate in such a quick amount of time. Its not hysteria, and if it weren’t such a threat, it would not have the CDC standing on edge. He needs to lock this state down.

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