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Gov. Ducey: Major league sports can return in Arizona after Friday

General view of action between the Boston Red Sox and the Arizona Diamondbacks during the MLB game at Chase Field on April 06, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced on Tuesday that major league sports can return in Arizona after Friday, given they follow CDC guidelines to protect public health.

“We have had discussions with leaders of some of these leagues and they all know they are welcome to operate, play and perform in the state of Arizona,” Ducey said.

Ducey’s announcement comes on the same day the governor said gyms and pools will open on Wednesday by implementing public health guidelines. Gyms have been closed across the state since March 20. The state’s stay-at-home order is set to expire on Friday.

The latest advancement by Ducey for the state’s progression out of the expiring stay-at-home order follows Ducey opening salons and barbershops on May 8. Those businesses were allowed to reopen with enhanced social distancing guidelines, with restaurants for dine-in options on Monday coming soon after.

Ducey said restaurants and coffee shops will only be able to operate with limited occupancy and with built-in social distancing precautions as the state continues to fight off the coronavirus.

Tuesday’s announcement has the state exiting the expiring stay-at-home order and entering the first phase of reopening after Friday.

Ducey pointed to a decrease in positive test result percentage, adequate hospital capacity and expanded testing numbers for reasons Arizona is ready to begin reopening.

The National Basketball Association and National Hockey League suspended its seasons that were underway in mid-March, while Major League Baseball has postponed the start of its season that was set for the beginning of April.

MLB owners reportedly approved a plan to resume the season in July, which was submitted to the players on Tuesday, a plan they are expected to reject. Spring training would start in early to mid-June.

The NBA opened up team facilities for limited individual workouts beginning on May 8, given that the team’s state had lifted the stay-at-home order to the proper extent.

Phoenix Rising FC of the United Soccer League returned to training sessions on Monday.