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Pima County supervisor argues against mask use in schools

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TUCSON (KVOA) - The Pima County Board of Supervisors met on Tuesday to discuss COVID-19 related topics, such as mask resolution enforcement, vaccination numbers and strategies.

Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckleberry said that 500,000 people in the county have had at least one vaccine dose and 57 percent of people age 16 years and older have received theirs.

However, the big COVID-19 topic was the continuing issue of mask use in schools.

"The community is sick and tired of it. They're tired of being told what to do for something that really has no effect on the well-being of the students," Steve Christy, Pima County Supervisor said.

Mask mandates for school districts are up to each individual board to implement.

Supervisor Adelita Grijalva, who also serves as a board member for the Tucson Unified School District, said that masks continue to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

"We do have children that are affected really significantly. I don't wanna be on a board where we have a child die because I've made something voluntary," said Grijalva.

Huckleberry maintains that the health department has not mandated masks in schools, instead they give professional health advice to the districts.

Supervisor Christy said that with transmission rates low among students there is increasing frustration with families.

"There are issues with the continued use of face masks by students, and the parents are the ones that want to decide," said Christy.

Supervisor Matt Heinz says that when we have seen mitigation efforts removed previously in Arizona by the governor the results have not been good.

"That resulted in thousands of Arizonans dying. That's the governor's fault, and that's President Trump's fault as well. So, when it comes to that kind of potential consequence, we need to trust in the medical experts, period," said Heinz.

Currently, many of the largest school districts in the county have decided to keep mask mandates in their schools.

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Mark Mingura

Mark Mingura joined KVOA as a Multi Media Journalist in October 2019. Originally from the valley and with ties to Tucson, Mark is excited to get back to his home state and tell the stories of the Old Pueblo.

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