On Monday, March 30, 2020, Governor Ducey issued a stay-at-home order (EO 2020-18), which will become effective on Tuesday, March 31, 2020 at 5:00 PM. This order applies to all individuals and businesses operating within Arizona. The order is designed to promote physical distancing, while also encouraging social connectedness, in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Impact on Individuals

The stay-at-home order directs individuals to limit their time away from residence to the following activities:

  • Obtaining necessary supplies and services for family, household members, and pets. Necessary supplies include, but are not limited to, groceries, food, and supplies for household consumption and use; supplies needed to work from home; school assignments for distance learning; and products necessary to maintain safety, sanitation and essential maintenance of the residence.
  • Engaging in essential health and safety activities, including, but not limited to, seeking medical, behavioral health, or emergency services for oneself, family members, household members, or pets; and obtaining necessary medical supplies or medication.
  • Caring for a family member, friend, or pet in another household or residence, including transporting that family member, friend, or pet for essential health and safety activities or to obtain necessary supplies and services.
  • Engaging in outdoor exercise activities, such as walking, hiking, running, biking, or golfing, so long as appropriate social distancing practices are used (e.g., maintaining the recommended distance between other individuals who are hiking the same trail).
  • Working or volunteering in an “Essential Function” and transporting children to child care services before and after working or volunteering in an “Essential Function.” For a more information on essential functions, see below.
  • Engaging in constitutionally-protected activities such as speech and religion.
  • Engaging in legal or court proceedings.

When outside of their residences, individuals are directed to maintain at least a six-foot distance from any other person. They are also directed to limit their use of public transportation to those times when it is absolutely necessary to obtain or conduct one of the above-listed activities or to go to work in an “Essential Function.”

The order encourages Arizonans to maintain social connections, with an emphasis on minimizing the mental-health impact of social isolation.

The order prohibits anyone from demanding individuals provide documentation or proof of their activities in order to justify their time outside of the home. It also prohibits any enforcement action unless a person has first been notified and given an opportunity to comply with the stay-at-home order.

Impact on Businesses

The stay-at-home order limits the activity of businesses that do not perform “Essential Functions.” For more information on “Essential Functions,” see below. Those business that do not perform “Essential Functions” may only conduct the following activities:

  • Activities that do not require in-person, on-site transactions.
  • Basic operations that maintain the value of the business’ inventory, preserve the condition of the businesses physical plant and equipment, ensure security, process payroll and employee benefits, facility employees’ ability to work remotely, mail pickup, and other related functions.

For single-owner businesses whose activities do not require in-person, on-site public interaction, the order permits normal activity to continue. It also allows sole proprietors or those who work for a family-owned business to conduct work in an office space that is separate from their home so long as the business is not open to serve the public.

Those businesses performing “Essential Functions” are permitted to remain open and operational, but they are required to implement rules and procedures that facilitate physical distancing of at least six feet and other recommended measures as established by the U.S. Department of Labor or the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Again, the order prohibits any enforcement action unless a person has first been notified and given an opportunity to comply with the stay-at-home order.

What is an “Essential Function?”

Governor Ducey issued a previous executive order (EO 2020-11) on March 23, 2020, defining “Essential Functions.” The list of essential functions in Arizona is fairly broad in comparison to what other states and the federal government have issued. The executive order defining essential functions may be found here: If you have questions about whether your business performs an essential function, AWD is available to assist.

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