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Maricopa County medical group wants Ducey to mandate mask policy

(Victoria Jones/PA via AP)

PHOENIX — A group of Maricopa County medical professionals wants Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey to mandate a mask policy in public as cases continue to rise across the state.

The Maricopa County Medical Society sent a letter to Ducey on Friday asking the Republican governor to put a measure in place, saying it would help slow the spread of the virus.

“We gave people a chance to do it voluntarily. They haven’t done it,” Dr. Lee Ann Kelley, the society’s president, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Wednesday. “Our cases are rising significantly, so at this point I think we have no choice but to mandate the use of wearing masks in public.”

Medical professionals from across the state have also sent letters to Ducey recently requesting the mandatory wearing of face coverings.

State and local health officials have started to recommend individuals wear masks in public, but there is currently no requirement.

Arizona has seen a steady rise in COVID-19 cases recently, including a single-day high of 2,392 on Tuesday.

Cases in Maricopa County eclipsed 20,000 on Tuesday, a total that has almost doubled in the past two weeks.

“We are concerned to a significant degree about the rise in cases recently,” Kelley said. “Arizona citizens have become pretty lax in their efforts.”

Kelley said that masks would be helpful until at least a good treatment or vaccine for coronavirus was developed.

She prefers residents wear them at least until the spread is once again slowed.

“To be realistic, at least until our numbers are on the downswing and not on the upswing as they are now,” Kelley said.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Griselda Zetino contributed to this report.

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