TUCSON, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Arizona cities are bringing back the mask mandate for their buildings. Tucson Mayor Regina Romero directed all members of the public on Wednesday, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, to wear a face mask in city facilities effective immediately. The city will provide face masks at each facility for anyone who does not have one.
The City of Peoria announced on Tuesday similar measures to take effect beginning Thursday, July 29, requiring all city employees and visitors to wear masks inside city buildings. The City of Tempe joined in, saying that starting on Friday, everyone at indoor city-run facilities will have to wear masks until further notice. That means the vaccinated and unvaccinated have to mask up. Kids under 6 years old are exempt. Tempe officials said the new rules won't apply to city parks, playgrounds or outdoor facilities. Tempe City Council meetings will be virtual starting on Aug. 5.
Tucson's mayor said the move was necessary because of the new guidelines from the feds. "This announcement follows updated Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for vaccinated individuals to wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission. The CDC has designated Pima County as an area with 'substantial transmission.' This action is specific to city facilities and does not apply to private businesses or establishments. Private businesses and establishments continue to have the ability to require mask-wearing inside of their premises if they choose to," Romero said in her statement.
Most Arizona counties, including Maricopa and Pinal counties, fall in these categories of "substantial" and "high" transmission described by the CDC. Check all counties in Arizona here. Some cities in Arizona have already started updating their mask policies as well.