Breaking down Arizona’s stay-at-home order


On Tuesday March 31, at 5 p.m., Doug Ducey’s executive order went into effect just one day after being unveiled.

Titled “Stay Healthy, Stay Safe, Stay Connected,” the stay-at-home order is scheduled to remain in place until April 30 unless extended. It’s the most recent in a series of measures taken by the Arizona Governor since declaring a public health emergency on March 11.

The five page document (available in full as a PDF on the Arizona Department of Health Services website) urges Arizonans to exercise social distancing while not forcing people to stay indoors. Here’s a quick rundown of what this means for everyday life.

When are you allowed to leave your home?

Ducey’s plan calls for Arizonans to stay home unless you are:

  • Participating in “Essential Activities”
  • Going to work or volunteer for “Essential Functions”
  • Going to work at an outside office provided it is not open to the public
  • Utilizing “Essential Businesses”

What are Essential Activities?

Ducey’s order breaks down Essential Activities into six basic categories:

  • Obtaining necessary groceries, supplies, and equipment (i.e. food and home sanitation)
  • Taking care of health care needs (includes behavioral as well as physical health)
  • Providing care for a family member, friend, or pet in another household
  • Engaging in outdoor activities as long as physical distancing is exercised (specific examples include walking, hiking, running, biking and golfing)
  • Going to work or volunteer at “Necessary Functions”
  • Engaging in speech or religious activity

According to the order, those performing Essential Activities are to maintain a six foot distance between themselves and others whenever possible.

Public transportation will remain open, but only for those utilizing it for Essential Activities. Individuals “shall limit the use of Public Transportation to when absolutely necessary” and maintain the aforementioned six foot physical distance from one another whenever possible.


Homeless residents are exempt from the order but are “strongly urged to obtain shelter as soon as possible and to the maximum extent practicable.”

Additionally, individuals at homes that are “unsafe or become unsafe, such as victims of domestic violence, are permitted and urged to leave their home and stay at a safe alternative location.”


According to Arizona law (Arizona Revised Statute 26-317), violation of this order carries with it a class 1 misdemeanor, the maximum sentence for which is six months in prison and a fine of no more than $2,500.

However, the language of the order makes it unlikely that it is intended for prosecution, stating “prior to any enforcement action being taken…a person shall be notified and given an opportunity to comply.”

This language is in line with Tucson Police Department policy that “police response to people who unknowingly violate emergency orders is to provide them with a warning and education on the importance of social distancing. However, if the attendees are uncooperative, they could be cited.”

The stay home order also assures residents that “no person shall be required to provide documentation or proof of their activities to justify their activities.”

According to TPD Sergeant Pete Dugan, officers “will not be pulling people over to check why they are out of their homes or to ask for papers of ‘proof’ that they are going to/from work.”

However, Tucson Police Chief, Chris Magnus, has made clear that those caught throwing house parties while the order is in effect will face consequences and could be charged with the misdemeanor. “Not surprisingly, house parties are not listed as an ‘essential activity” in his order,” Magnus said.

12 thoughts on “Breaking down Arizona’s stay-at-home order

  1. Excellent story.. it’s just too bad that not everyone thinks the same way and’my son, my severely mentally ill son is being thrown out of his home with his cats in tow. But we believe in loving God and Karma’s a b**c#!!!

    1. Our Gov. Ducey has stated that no one can be evicted from their residence during the first 120 days of the viruses in Arizona. I don’t think it’s right to evict an disabled individual from anywhere unless they are given the proper time frame in order to obtain suitable housing. But then I’m not some greedy ass person with no soul.

  2. hello, so i am currently having to go drug test for probation at averhealth in phoenix and everytime i have gone there its packed full if people coughing all over each other. they are packed in there like sardines. im really upset because i not only have family members with heart problems i live with someons with health issues. i shouldnt have to expose myself to that. if i dont feel safe i should have the option to leave. this stay at home order is for people to not go out and spread germs and to be able to stay at home and be safe. i dont leave my home unless i have to drug test. it scares me. and shouldnt be allowed.

    1. you can call up the person who is asking you to drop if they can please do home visits so you dont have to go out an put your life an your familys life in jeporady. and /or still call the drop line everyday an document the days you have to drop by calling your probation office or who ever an leave them a message that you have to drop an could they please drop by an do a feild test or validate that everything is ok with you.Thats just my opinion,but thats what i would do.

  3. I don’t understand if they are not going to ask for documentation then why did both of my jobs send me a letter of proof that I am an essential employee and told me to have it on me at all times??

  4. So in my mind as a hair dresser there is no way I can do my job and stay 6 feet away from my client so I have shut my shop down until at least April 30th even though our Governor won’t deem us non essential??? What is his motive ???? Money over safety and life ????

  5. With Easter approaching are immediate family allowed to get together as long as all are healthy and not a large group?

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