Douglas Anthony Ducey Jr. (//; born April 9, 1964) is an American businessman and politician serving as the 23rd and current governor of Arizona since 2015. He previously was the CEO of Cold Stone Creamery, a chain of ice cream parlors based in Scottsdale, Arizona.
A member of the Republican Party, Ducey was Arizona State Treasurer from 2011 to 2015. On November 4, 2014, he was elected to the governorship; he took office on January 5, 2015. He was reelected in 2018.
The Arizona Department of Health Services announced the first case of COVID-19 in Arizona on January 26, 2020, a student at Arizona State University who returned from Wuhan, China. The number of cases rose to nine people by mid-March. On March 11, Ducey declared a state of emergency for COVID-19 and activated the state's emergency operations center.Arizona Department of Health Services announced the first case of COVID-19 in Arizona on January 26, 2020, a student at Arizona State University who returned from Wuhan, China. The number of cases rose to nine people by mid-March. On March 11, Ducey declared a state of emergency for COVID-19 and activated the state's emergency operations center. Ducey also issued executive orders directing the state health department to issue emergency rules to protect residents living in nursing homes and group homes. On March 15, Ducey and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman jointly announced a statewide school closure.
On March 30, 2020, Ducey issued a stay-at-home order for one month until April 30. On April 29, he extended the stay-at-home order until May 15. On May 12, Arizona began allowing certain businesses to reopen. On April 29, he extended the stay-at-home order until May 15. On May 12, Arizona began allowing certain businesses to reopen. The reopening contradicted the advice of academic experts. At the same time that Ducey was reopening the state, he ended cooperation with a team of epidemiologists and statisticians from the University of Arizona and Arizona State University. After public criticism, the department resumed the university cooperation.
In May 2020, Arizona sought a uniform approach to COVID-19 with consistent mitigation requirements statewide. On June 15, mayors and local governments requested the power to move forward with localized face mask ordinances, including a letter to Ducey from mayors of border towns. Ducey gave mayors that power on June 17. Since then, five counties and 47 cities and towns have issued face mask requirements covering more than 90% of Arizona residents. In July, Arizona launched a program to provide free masks to senior citizens and people with medical conditions.
By June 2020, Arizona had become an epicenter of the pandemic. Public health experts said that was predictable given Arizona's failures to implement public health precautions and decisions by top officials. Arizona's COVID-19 cases increased significantly in June after crowded Memorial Day celebrations, the reopening of businesses, and several weeks of protests over racial injustice and the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers. Ducey was criticized for the state's failure to require social distancing, mask wearing and other restrictions.
On June 29, 2020, Ducey ordered some businesses that had reopened, including bars, gyms, and waterparks, to close for 30 days. The order also prohibited large gatherings of more than 50 people. Although Arizona activated a hospital crisis standards of care plan that allowed hospitals to maximize surge staffing and capacity, no hospitals reported rationing health care at the state's infection peak.
On August 6, Ducey, State Superintendent Hoffman, and the Department of Health Services released public health benchmarks for reopening schools. The school benchmarks track COVID-19 statistics by county, including cases per 100,000 people over two weeks, low rates of positive tests, and declining COVID-19 cases in hospitals, for schools to meet before moving to hybrid or fully in-person instruction. Eleven counties met the benchmarks for hybrid schooling in September. On August 10, Arizona's health department released similar benchmarks for reopening higher-risk businesses such as bars, gyms, and movie theaters.
Ducey met his wife, Angela, while attending Arizona State University. They live in Paradise Valley with their three sons, Jack, Joe and Sam. The Duceys purchased land in Paradise Valley, Arizona in 2005, had a house built there, and listed the home for sale in late 2019 at an asking price of $8.75 million.