On March 31, 2020, Gov. Doug Ducey and the Arizona Department of Health Services declared people in Arizona need to continue practicing “social distancing” as a way of preventing the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.
The “stay-at-home” order, which will stay in effect until at least April 30, directs Arizonans to self-isolate in their homes, leaving only in a limited set of circumstances, such as to visit essential businesses like grocery stores and pharmacies, receive health care or assist a family member in doing so, serve an essential work function, or get outdoor exercise. Anything that is not deemed as an essential need should be avoided.
What Is Social Distancing?
Social distancing, also called physical distancing, means keeping space between yourself and other people outside of your home. To practice social or physical distancing:
- stay at least 6 feet away from other people
- do not gather in groups
- stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also recommended that people wear masks when they go out in public. This recommendation includes going to a medical appointment. The CDC has instructions on how to make your own masks, since most stores do not have them in stock.
Social Distancing and Your Health
Pharmacies are still able to provide prescriptions. Most pharmacies prefer to distribute medication through the drive-thru window, if they have one available. If you need to go inside the pharmacy, they have also set up markers inside stores to help customers stay six feet apart.
As a provider of essential health care, Planned Parenthood Arizona is open for its regular services. Regular screening services, such as pregnancy tests, birth control, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and breast exams are all medically necessary. We know your sexual and reproductive health care can’t wait, and don’t want you to worry about your birth control, your pregnancy options, accessing STD tests, or cancer screenings.
At Planned Parenthood Arizona, existing patients may be able to receive birth control refills by phone, rather than coming in for a visit. Additionally, anyone with a smart phone can maintain social distancing through the Planned Parenthood Direct app. This app provides patients with access to certain methods of birth control and treatment for urinary tract infections (UTIs), with full payment taken by credit card or debit card. Insurance isn’t accepted through the Planned Parenthood Direct app at this time.
In uncertain times like this, Planned Parenthood is as committed to patients as always. We will provide as many people as possible with the critical sexual health information they need to stay safe and healthy. If you are nervous about coming into one of our health centers, you can still get advice through one of our digital tools such as Roo and the Spot On app.
Planned Parenthood Arizona has offered health care options for more than a century. Your health and well-being have been our highest priority — it’s all that matters to us. We are doing everything we can to make your life easier during this difficult time and get you the information and care you need. Whether we provide services in person, online, or by phone — we’re here for you.
Stay up to date on the progress the CDC is making to help slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.