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Oro Valley mayor mandates use of masks while in public, adopting portions of Pima County’s mandate

ORO VALLEY, Ariz. (KVOA) - The Town of Oro Valley will officially will require the use face masks and covering while in public after the mayor issued an amendment to the town's COVID-19 emergency proclamation Thursday.

Back on June 19, Pima County Board of Supervisors signed an emergency proclamation, mandating the use of face masks and coverings while in public as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Arizona.

After this decision was made, the Town of Oro Valley began crafting their own amendment, adopting portions of Pima County's resolution and specifying the language on other sections.

“In an effort to provide clear and consistent messaging, I am issuing an amendment to the Town’s Emergency Proclamation to support this measure here in Oro Valley,” said Oro Valley Mayor Joe Winfield. “I encourage Oro Valley residents to remember why it’s necessary to wear a mask. We’re doing this as a community to see a reduction in the spread of COVID-19, to protect our vulnerable populations, and to keep our businesses open. I encourage everyone to heed this guidance from Pima County health officials and mask up. Thank you Oro Valley. Stay strong.”

Under Oro Valley's adopted amendment, residents who are 5 year old and older are required to wear a mask while in public locations, including "businesses or other establishments where people assemble or members of the general public may enter; offices; public buildings, highways and parks, and public transportation including taxis and ride-sharing."

Similar to the county's mandate, businesses must also "require that its employees wear face coverings", and are allowed to refuse customers who do not wear a mask or face covering if social distancing measures cannot be implemented.

According to the amendment, the exceptions will be determined by a case-by-case basis. The mayor said "there are several commonsense exceptions for medical and other reasons."

Exemptions under Pima County's mandate are listed below.

  • Children under the age of five
  • People who cannot medically tolerate wearing a face covering
  • People who are hearing impaired or communicate with the hearing impaired
  • Law enforcement officers and other individuals who would create risk related to their work as determined by local, state federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines
  • People who are receiving a service that involve their nose, face or head
  • People who are eating or drinking at a restaurant or food and beverage service establishment.
  • People who are in a public place together and live in the same household or a part of a party of 10 or less
  • People who are engaging in outdoor work, recreation or exercise
  • People who are incarcerated
  • People who are swimming

Oro Valley residents are advised to report mask violations by using the Pima County web page for violation reporting  or calling 520-229-4949. Residents should not contact 911.

The mayor said their enforcement will focus on education over enforcement. This follows how the county has decided to handle enforcing the mandate.

There are currently 6,546 positive cases of COVID-19 in Pima County. Of those, 272 resulted in death.

For more information about Oro Valley's policies, visit orovalleyaz.gov.

Anthony Victor Reyes

Anthony Victor Reyes is the lead digital content producer at News 4 Tucson. The award-winning journalist previously worked as a community reporter in Jasper County, Iowa.

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