In response to those rising numbers, Governor Doug Ducey announced in a press conference Monday afternoon that bars, movie theaters, gyms and water parks would all be closed again.
But even before the governor’s announcement, a number of local business owners, including Conley, had taken initiative and decided to voluntarily close.
In downtown Flagstaff alone, Uptown Pubhouse, the Old Town Shops, Karma Sushi and the Weatherford Hotel all announced they would either be closing or reducing operations in response to the skyrocketing numbers of new cases.
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Additionally, Fratelli Pizza closed its Fort Valley location “for at least the next few days” to allow employees to be tested after an exposure to COVID, according to a post on Facebook.
Conley said he isn’t sure when Salsa Brava and Fat Olives will reopen. He’s prepared to be closed for a long time and has told all his employees to file for unemployment in the hopes that additional federal assistance is incoming.
He said he feels the state has, for the most part, abdicated authority on the issue of coronavirus, and it is now up to local business owners to make the right decisions in order to protect their communities.
“Right now, we’ve got a total lack of leadership,” Conley told the Arizona Daily Sun. And that situation is unlikely to improve until “we have a governor that grows some balls,” he added.