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Pima County mandates use of masks in public amid COVID-19 spike

PIMA COUNTY, Ariz. (KVOA) — Pima County Board of Supervisors signed an emergency proclamation on Friday, mandating the use of face masks and coverings while in public as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Arizona.

On Wednesday, Gov. Doug Ducey announced that he will allow local government to craft their own policies for face make requirements during a COVID-19 briefing.

RELATED: Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19

The following day, Tucson Mayor Regina Romero signed an emergency proclamation to require the use of face masks and covering in the city starting at 6 a.m. Saturday. Other area towns and cities around the county soon followed, sharing how their plans for handling protocols with face masks and coverings.

On Friday, the Board of Supervisors held a special meeting to discuss how the county will address the use of face masks and coverings with county limits.

Board of Supervisors to discuss Pima County's face mask policy

WATCH: Pima County Board of Supervisors hold a special meeting to discuss potentially mandating face masks in Pima County. https://bit.ly/3fB9BZa

Posted by News 4 Tucson - KVOA on Friday, June 19, 2020

The board moved on a 3-2 vote to mandate masks and face coverings in the county. Supervisors Steve Christy and Allie Miller voted against the mandate.

Pima County Face Mask Mandate

Under this proclamation, Pima County residents must wear a face covering that covers one's nose and mouth when in public or a situation where the individual cannot practice social distancing protocols.

A public place was identified as any location indoor or outdoor, including businesses, public buildings, officers, highways, parks and public transportation.

Exemptions to the 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

According to the proclamation, the enforcement of this mandate will focus on education, similar to the City of Tucson. Officials say notices will be given to violators before receiving penalties.

In addition, establishments that are non-compliant to the mandate can also have a permit or license suspended where applicable.

COVID-19 statistics

Arizona logged a record number of coronavirus cases on Friday. Confirmed cases of the new coronavirus went up to 46,689, with 3,246 new cases. The statewide death toll is now 1,312.

In Pima County alone, there have been 5,019 positive cases of COVID-19 reported. Of those, 240 have resulted in death.

For the latest information about Pima County's efforts regarding COVID-19, visit webcms.pima.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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