Governor Doug Ducey Issues Declaration Of Emergency, Executive Order To Combat Continued Spread Of COVID-19

Published by The Bee News

March 11, 2020

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Declaration And Order Proactively Provides Health Officials With Guidance And Tools To Combat Continued Spread

PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey today issued a Declaration of Emergency and an Executive Order to provide health officials and administrators with tools and guidance necessary to combat the continued spread of COVID-19 and to reduce financial burdens on Arizonas by lowering healthcare costs associated with the virus.

“There is no greater priority than the health and safety of Arizonans, and today’s efforts are a proactive approach to ensure the state has all the tools necessary to address the global spread of COVID-19,” said Governor Ducey. “While our state is not currently facing the number of cases we’ve seen in some other states, we are anticipating additional positive cases — and we’re not taking any chances. Arizonans should not panic — our approach will be calm and steady. This Emergency Declaration and Executive Order continue our effort to protect public health and save lives.”

The Emergency Declaration provides the following tools to address the spread of COVID-19:

  • Establishes the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) as the entity responsible for coordinating all matters pertaining to the public health emergency response of the State.
  • Allows ADHS to waive licensing requirements to provide healthcare officials with assistance in delivering services during times of heightened demand.
  • It also allows the state to access $500,000 in emergency funds to aid in measures and resources to protect public health.
  • Provides the state with emergency procurement authority to procure goods and services as needed to protect public health.

 The Governor’s Executive Order is aimed at protecting Arizonans and populations at high-risk of serious complications from this virus. The order:

  • Requires insurance companies and health plans to cover out of network providers, including out of plan laboratories and telemedicine providers.
  • Waives all copays, coinsurance, and deductibles for consumers related to COVID-19 diagnostic testing and decreases co-pays for telemedicine visits.
  • Implements consumer protections, including prohibiting price-gouging on COVID-19 of diagnosis and treatment-related services.
  • Require symptom checks of healthcare workers and visitors at skilled nursing facilities, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities.

“Arizona’s entire public health system has been working non-stop since we identified the first case of COVID-19 in January to mitigate the spread of this disease in Arizona. The emergency declaration and executive order that Governor Ducey signed today will give Arizona additional resources and authority to respond to this outbreak,” said Dr. Cara Christ, ADHS director. “Arizona will now have more tools to protect Arizona’s most vulnerable residents, support our healthcare infrastructure, and remove cost barriers for those who need access to COVID-19 testing and treatment associated with the virus. Every Arizonan has a role in stopping the spread of COVID-19.”

The Emergency Declaration and Executive Order are the latest steps Governor Ducey and state health officials have taken to address the global COVID-19 outbreak, including:

  • On January 27, 2020, the state activated the Health Emergency Operations Center to track suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the local, national, and global level.
  • On March 2, 2020, Arizona became one of the first states in the nation to be certified by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to test for COVID-19.
  • On March 4, 2020, Arizona received $500,000 in federal funding to support COVID-19 Response, providing immediate access to resources for a limited number of states and local jurisdictions impacted by the outbreak.
  • The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) is conducting regular briefings, webinars, and providing guidance to community stakeholders including, school administrators, healthcare providers, government officials, and business leaders.

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