Arizona cities declare state of emergencies for COVID-19; order closures of bars, restaurants, gyms and more

Cities and counties across the state have declared states of emergency and some have even ordered closures to combat the threat of the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Cave Creek, Flagstaff, Phoenix, Tolleson, and Tucson have all ordered closures of bars, gyms and other indoor facilities, as well as ordering dine-in restaurants to transition to take-out and delivery only.

Below is a list of cities and counties that have declared a state of emergency, and their recommendations or orders on businesses.

MORE: Phoenix, Tucson order closures of bars, restaurants


The city of Avondale declared a local emergency on Wednesday, March 18 in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The city is asking all restaurants and bars to adhere to the Arizona Department of Health Service's guidelines; they are also discouraging dine-in traffic and opt for curbside pickup, delivery or drive-through.

Avondale City Hall will remain open, but other buildings and services have been closed or canceled.


Buckeye Mayor Jackie A. Meck issued a proclamation to declare a local emergency on Thursday, March 19 in response to COVID-19. The mayor says they've canceled and postponed all events, as well as closing buildings.

All utility services must be conducted by phone, by email or through the customer service portal on the city's website. Programs, park rentals or services interrupted by this situation will receive credit or refunds.

The city says they'll continue to follow CDC, state and county recommendations and it encourages its residents to do the same. There was no mention of restaurants or bars.

Cave Creek

Mayor Ernie Bunch declared a local emergency for the city on Wednesday. All restaurants must serve food for takeout only; bars, performance venues, libraries, museums, and gyms are all closing Thursday, March 19.


Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke signed an emergency declaration on Thursday, March 19 against COVID-19.

The mayor is urging residents to practice social distancing at gatherings and businesses where there are more than 10 people. The city is also strongly encouraging restaurants, bars, coffee shops, cafes, and other food establishments to follow the CDC guidelines.

Chandler has closed four libraries, four recreation centers, a senior center and six aquatic centers and pools to the public through March 31. Special events on city property through April 30 have been postponed or canceled.

El Mirage

El Mirage issued a local state of emergency on Tuesday, March 17 in response to the spread of COVID-19. The mayor closed public access to city facilities through April 3. El Mirage also canceled special events and community workshops through May 10. Police, fire, water, sewer and trash services will continue to operate.

There was no information on if the city plans to close down bars and restaurants.


Flagstaff was the first city in the state of Arizona to issue a local state of emergency on Sunday, March 15.

Mayor Coral Evans ordered the closure of bars, gyms, dine-in restaurants, libraries, museums, and recreational or entertainment facilities. Grocery stores, pharmacies, food banks, and cafeterias in health care facilities or high-learning institutions have stayed open.

Coconino County also declared a local emergency on Wednesday, March 18 to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The proclamation orders the shut down of bars, entertainment venues, libraries, museums and gyms, and dine-in restaurants must switch to drive-through services, take-away or curbside pickup.


Gilbert Mayor Jenn Daniels declared a state of emergency on Monday, March 16. Gilbert municipal buildings, except for Gilbert Municipal Court, will be closed until April 10. Gilbert-run events have been rescheduled or postponed. Gilbert public meetings will not be available to the public, however, you can watch on the town's website or call +1-415-655-001.


Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers issued an emergency proclamation on Wednesday, March 18 in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The city asked all restaurants, bars, and dining establishments to voluntarily stop dine-in service and to transition to curbside pick-up, takeaway, or drive-through services.

Mayor Weiers also asked for those who are 70 years of age and older to self-quarantine for their own safety. He called on leaders in the faith-based community to develop and provide a plan and volunteers to help those at risk.

Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Clint Hickman signed a proclamation of a local emergency to respond to the coronavirus outbreak.

“Having a local emergency declaration in place is an important administrative step to ensure that Maricopa County is in position to receive any state and federal resources that may be made available for activities associated with responding to the COVID-19 event,” says Robert Rowley, Maricopa County Emergency Management Director.


The city of Mesa declared a local state of emergency on Tuesday, March 17 due to the coronavirus. Facilities like the Mesa Convention Center, Mesa Amphitheatre, Mesa Arts Center, recreation centers and aquatic centers are closed to the public. The city has also canceled all events managed by Mesa through the end of April.

On Thursday, Mesa Mayor John Giles signed a proclamation that mandates all restaurants and bars to close. Drive-thrus, pick-ups and delivery options will still be available. The mandate goes into effect at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, March 20.


On Thursday, March 19, Peoria Mayor Cathy Carlat declared a state of local emergency in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. 

“As we continue to understand the impact of COVID-19, limiting community engagement is intended to support slowing the spread of this virus," Carlat said. "I want to ensure Peoria residents that our core services, including police, fire-medical, water, solid waste, etc. will continue without interruption.”

The city of Peoria is adhering to the social distancing guidelines recommended by the CDC. Mayor Carlat told restaurants, bars and other dining establishments in "areas of known community spread, which includes Maricopa County" to discourage dine-in customers to switch to curbside pickup, takeaway or drive-through service.


The city has closed all libraries, indoor recreational centers, gyms, bars, and other dine-in restaurant areas. Restaurants can only serve food-to-go.

Queen Creek

The town of Queen Creek approved an emergency declaration on Wednesday, March 18. All events within Queen Creek were canceled, as well as recreation programs. The use of town facilities was suspended. All municipal buildings will be closed effective March 19 at 6 p.m. However, it will continue to provide services to the public online and via phone at 480-358-3000.

There is no mention of the closure of establishments like bars, restaurants, gyms or other venues.


Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell announced on Thursday that all Tempe bars, restaurants, and other recreational or entertainment venues were to close by 8 p.m. Thursday evening. Tempe gyms were mandated to close by 1 p.m. that afternoon.

"This decision comes with a heavy heart for those affected in our community, but I know this is the right decision because safety and stemming the spread of the coronavirus is a number one priority," said Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell.

By Thursday afternoon, Downtown Tempe is, is the words of one person, pretty much a ghost town, with barely any cars driving through Mill Avenue, and no sign of students from Arizona State University walking around the area.

Some restaurants are already feeling the financial impact.

"With our location, we rely so much on foot traffic, and it’s just not here and bar traffic. All the bars are closed. Nothing’s left open," said Nate Cruz co-owner of Slices on Mill.

Cruz says sales have dropped about 90% this week.

“I don’t know. This is unprecedented. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around it. I’ve been paying attention to the news, trying to see what the future plans are. Hoping the government bails out small businesses, but it’s definitely worrisome and concerning and been pretty stressed out," said Cruz.

Cruz has already sent his employees home.

"I mean, the reality is we're not gonna do enough business," said Cruz.


Tolleson Mayor Anna Tovar declared a state of emergency on Tuesday, March 17 to stop the spread of COVID-19.

All restaurants are required to offer curbside pickup, takeaway or delivery, while bars, performance venues, fitness facilities, libraries, and other recreational or entertainment facilities have all closed.


The city of Tucson declared their state of a local emergency on Tuesday, March 17. 

Bars, movie theaters, museums, gyms, and other recreational facilities have closed to the public. Restaurants are required to serve food for takeout only. Service centers and lobbies at city buildings will be closed throughout March.


Mayor John W. Moore declared a state of emergency for the city. However, city officials note the social distancing proclamation made by Coconino County is now mandatory within the City of Williams. The city is recommending all businesses in the city comply with the county's proclamation.

Pima County's Board of Supervisors also unanimously passed a state of emergency on Thursday, March 19.

This proclamation prohibits the serving of food and beverages on the premises of any food establishment, but take-out dining is acceptable. The board also ordered the closure of theaters, museums, gyms, and any other entertainment facilities. This order is until March 31.

“Let’s be very clear, this is going to cause real pain in our community and the Board knows l that this will put people out of work. That is very painful to me personally, but I know it is the right thing to do. We took these actions to protect public health. We all take seriously the repercussions of our actions today,” said Pima County Board of Supervisors Chairman Richard Elías.

Yavapai County Board of Supervisors also declared a countywide emergency on Thursday, March 19. While there are currently no cases of COVID-19 in Yavapai County, but the proclamation allows the county to work in coordination with local cities and towns shoudl the need arise.