State officials approve reopening of businesses despite failing to meet criteria

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PHOENIX – Arizona state officials are approving businesses to reopen earlier and two of them were given the green light with more options this weekend. However, the criteria published by health officials are not yet fully met.ABC15 learned that as of Friday 95 bars serving food, 89 gyms and five cinemas submitted proposals to reopen.

A spokesperson for the Arizona Department of Health Services confirmed that in addition to providing benchmarks to guide the reopening, they offered businesses a way to reopen earlier.

In an email, an official wrote: “The state has provided a way for businesses to reopen sooner if they submit plans that follow even stricter security practices than will be necessary for those that will reopen when transmission benchmarks will reach the moderate phase.

So far, two companies have been approved and four have been denied.

The two that have been state approved are, EōS Fitness and Training for Warriors – Estrella. However, ABC15 reporter Nicole Grigg is told that ADHS staff will be reviewing more applications throughout the weekend.

“The approved plan submitted by EōS fitness includes limiting the occupancy rate to 10%, requiring electronic bookings for all customers and the suspension of group activities, including group fitness, basketball court and children’s club operations, ”wrote an ADHS spokesperson.

As for those who have been refused, they will have the opportunity to request an informal settlement conference with the ministry.

ABC15 has asked ADHS that benchmarks are not yet met, and a spokesperson said this process allows reopening under more stringent security protocols, subject to review and state approval.



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