TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Tempe is the latest Arizona city to say it won't ditch its mask mandate just yet. On Thursday, the mayor and the City Council reaffirmed the city's rule that everyone must be wearing a mask in public areas and businesses. They met to discuss maintaining the COVID-19 safety restrictions in city facilities and programs. The council decided it was best to keep things the way they are and not get rid of the mandate. But city staff will work on developing criteria for the future to determine when it will be safe to lift the mask mandate, which has been in effect since June 18.
"Given the discussion amongst the Tempe City Council, City Manager Andrew Ching will work with city staff and outside entities such as Arizona State University and the Arizona Department of Health Services to establish science-based, objective thresholds for Tempe so that we will have indicators about when to responsibly end our city mask mandate," Mayor Corey Woods said in a statement.
Tempe follows Phoenix, Flagstaff and Tucson as Arizona cities who have defied Gov. Doug Ducey's executive order late last month that lifted many COVID-19 restrictions, including banning local mask mandates. Businesses could now make their own policies. Pima County also said it would enforce its mask mandate, too.