ARIZONA NEWS

Sen. Mark Kelly would like to see mask mandate for all of Arizona

Dec 7, 2020, 10:18 AM | Updated: 1:10 pm

WASHINGTON, DC - Senator-elect Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) and his wife, former U.S. Rep Gabrielle Gifford...

WASHINGTON, DC - Senator-elect Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) and his wife, former U.S. Rep Gabrielle Giffords walk into the U.S. Capitol for his swearing-in on Dec. 2, 2020, in Washington, DC. Kelly, 56, a former astronaut, defeated Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) last month. (Getty Image Photo/Tasos Katopodis)

(Getty Image Photo/Tasos Katopodis)

PHOENIX – Recently installed U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly said a statewide mask mandate would keep Arizona safer during a time when coronavirus cases are surging.

“We’ve got rising infection rates. I talked to the governor about a statewide mask mandate requiring them. We don’t have many things in our toolbox to slow the spread of the infection and that’s one of them,” Kelly told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News on Monday.

Gov. Doug Ducey has left masking policies up to local governments and they are in effect in 90% of the state, including the most populous region, Maricopa County.

Until Monday when Arizona health officials reported 1,567 new coronavirus cases, the state had endured four straight days of at least 5,000 reported cases.

“I understand that there’s an argument that mayors have imposed [mask edicts] but if it came from the governor, as well, there are folks that would listen who are not listening now,” Kelly said.

The Democratic freshman senator was sworn into office Dec. 2. He defeated Republican incumbent Martha McSally in a special election Nov. 3.

“It’s important that folks in the position of the governor need to listen to the epidemiologists and public health officials and then come up with a comprehensive plan that also includes the economic impact of this,” Kelly said.

“I would hate for us to wind up in the situation California is, where we have to start shutting down sectors of the economy,” he said.

California has imposed a temporary stay-at-home order as COVID-19 cases soared.

“We’ve got the holidays coming up. This is going to be a tough time for so many families if we wind up in this situation,” Kelly said.

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Sen. Mark Kelly would like to see mask mandate for all of Arizona