What You Need to Know-Week of May 11th

The most important weekly updates for you to keep your community healthy

In this Update:

1. Additional Updates to the Stay-at-home Order

2. Physical vs. Social Distancing

3. Tips on staying safe as AZ businesses are re-opening

4. Antigen Testing

1. Additional Updates to the Stay-at-home Order

Special contribution from Leila Barraza, JD, MPH

Governor Ducey announced further updates to Arizona’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected Order after extending and updating the order on April 29th. For more information on the original changes made to the stay-at-home order, click here. On May 4, Governor Ducey announced additional plans for reopening of businesses, including:

  • Beginning May 8: barbers, hair stylists, nail technicians, and cosmetologists are allowed to re-open for business as long as they follow certain best practices. Guidance for barbers and cosmetologists can be found here
  • Beginning May 11: restaurants and coffee shops can resume dine-in services if they follow physical distancing policies. Guidance for restaurants providing dine-in service can be found here.

2. Physical vs. Social Distancing

During this time it is incredibly important to be social. You can and should still be social by calling, texting, video chatting, etc. to maintain and even reinvigorate connections with those you care about. This is why the term “physical distancing” is now the preferred term to “social distancing” to indicate physical separation between people to reduce the spread of COVID-19. 

3. Tips on staying safe as AZ businesses are re-opening

As businesses reopen, should I still take safety precautions?

Definitely! Cases of COVID-19 are still increasing in Arizona. Numbers of new cases right now are higher than when we closed, and it is still best to stay home as much as possible. Below are some tips to follow if you do need to visit businesses that are re-opening. As always, continue to practice physical distancing, disinfect and sanitize surfaces, wear face masks and wash your hands often!

If you do choose to visit one of our local Arizona businesses, there are things to look for to make sure that they are maintaining practices to keep us all safe.

Barbershops & Salons Restaurants & Dining Out
✔ Are employees wearing cloth face coverings?
✔ Are employees practicing proper hand hygiene?
✔ Are the staff using gloves for any treatment that involves touching a client’s face?
✔ Are the staff regularly sanitizing common areas and frequently touched objects?
✔ Are waiting areas and treatment areas appropriately spaced to follow physical distancing guidelines?
✔ Is the business by appointment or call-in only?
✔ Are hand washing areas or sanitizing products available to visitors?
✔  Are hosts and wait staff wearing cloth face coverings?
✔ Are employees practicing proper hand hygiene and/or wearing gloves?
✔ Is the restaurant wiping down surfaces used by customers (tables, chairs, condiment containers, etc.) after each sitting?
✔ Are seating areas appropriately spaced to follow physical distancing guidelines?
✔ Is the restaurant limited to parties no more than 10 people?
✔ Is the restaurant still offering takeout or delivery options?


4. Antigen Testing



The Arizona “Testing Blitz” began on Saturday May 2nd, and will continue for the following two saturdays (May 9th and May 16th). The “Blitz” aims to ramp up antigen, or virus testing which indicates an active COVID-19 infection, with goals of administering 30,000 to 60,000 tests to Arizonians over the next few weeks. Information on testing locations, times, and how to register for a test near you can be found here.

What is Antigen Testing?

Antigen testing, also called diagnostic, or virus testing, confirms whether or not someone has a current COVID-19 infection. These tests usually require a nasal swab to diagnose an active virus (though saliva tests are becoming more available!). Rapid antigen tests usually take less than an hour to receive results, while other versions of the test must be analyzed in a laboratory and results may take up to 2-3 days. Antigen testing is one of the two available tests for COVID-19. Information on the differences between the two types of testing can be found here. Only Antigen testing will be offered during the “Testing Blitz.”

Why should I be tested?

Antigen testing is important because it gives data on the current number of active cases in an area. Testing also helps health professionals understand more about COVID-19, including how infectious the virus is and how it spreads from person-to-person.

  • Why is it important to me?
    If you or someone close to you is feeling ill, quicker testing means less transmission as people are aware of the need to isolate. It also means faster contact tracing, which is a process where Public Health workers help figure out who an infected person may have spread the virus to. 
  • Why is it important to others?
    Many people who have the virus are asymptomatic. This means that they do not show any symptoms and therefore are not aware they have the virus and are contagious. More testing means that more asymptomatic or mild cases will be captured. These people can help break the chain of transmission by taking extra precautions to make sure they do not spread the virus to others.

Who is able to get tested?

Who can get tested varies by testing location. Call ahead or pre-register to find out who is able to get a test at the testing location you have chosen. Some sites are allowing everyone to get tested. Others are testing only individuals who believe they have been exposed to COVID-19 or anyone who is experiencing symptoms, which include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

Does Antigen testing at the “Testing Blitz” sites cost money?

Each testing site has their own procedures for billing. Make sure to call or visit the website prior to visiting your selected testing location.  

The next update will cover alternatives for home disinfectants. If you would like to learn more about this and other topics related to COVID-19 in Arizona, please complete the next AZCOVIDTXT survey that you will receive via text in about a week.


View Updates from Past Weeks:
Update from week of May 4th (English | Spanish)
Update from week of April 27th (English | Spanish)
Update from week of April 20th (English | Spanish)

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