ARIZONA NEWS

Maricopa County official says he’s rethinking face mask policy

Mar 23, 2021, 1:15 PM | Updated: 3:07 pm
face mask shopping...
(Pexels Photo)
(Pexels Photo)

PHOENIX – A member of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors said he’s ready to rethink the county’s face mask mandate now that COVID-19 numbers have fallen.

“I have told many of my constituents over the past month that I believe and support it is time for a re-evaluation of this policy, and to allow mask-wearing to be voluntary not mandatory,” District 2 Supervisor Steve Chucri said in a newsletter Tuesday.

Chucri, who is also president and CEO of the Arizona Restaurant Association, revealed in the newsletter that he is one of the more than 800,000 people in the state who contracted COVID-19.

“This virus is very serious. I know firsthand because I was one of many Arizonans that had it,” he said.

“Thankfully now, our families, friends and neighbors are receiving vaccine from the state, the county and our partners at a steady pace.”

One of four Republicans on the five-member board, Chucri said the county’s average daily coronavirus case count is down to about 400, near what it was in May 2020 and just a fraction of the January surge above 6,000.

The Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to enact the mandate for metro Phoenix on June 19, 2020, two days after Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey gave local jurisdictions the authority to regulate face coverings in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“If this policy is revisited in the future, many people can and will still choose to wear masks and businesses would continue to have the right to implement their own mask policies,” Chucri said. “Some did so even prior to this action last year.”

Maricopa County’s face mask regulations have been the minimum required in the Valley.

Under the county order, people older than 6 must wear masks that cover their mouth and nose in enclosed public spaces where 6 feet of distance cannot be maintained. Several exceptions exist, including for eating and drinking.

Some county cities, including Phoenix, have their own mask mandates that wouldn’t be impacted if Maricopa County lifts its requirement. Gilbert was among the suburbs that let its mask order expire, choosing to defer to county regulation of the matter.

A bill proposed in the Arizona Legislature would allow businesses to ignore mask mandates.

More than 130 physicians from across the state have signed a letter urging lawmakers to reject the GOP-backed bill, saying it would lead to another surge in COVID-19 cases and cause needless deaths.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(ADOT Photo)...
Associated Press

1 person dead in wrong-way crash involving 4 vehicles in Phoenix

A wrong-way collision on a Phoenix freeway early Saturday involved four vehicles and killed the wrong-way driver..
14 hours ago
(Airbnb photo)...
Tom Kuebel

Airbnb names Phoenix family as top new hosts in Arizona

Owners of a Charming Coronado Casita with 123 ratings in its first year were named as the top new Airbnb hosts in Arizona.
14 hours ago
FILE - A dose of a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at Lurie Children's hospital, Nov. 5, 2021, ...
KTAR.com

Arizona reports 3,655 new COVID-19 cases, 47 deaths on Saturday

Arizona health officials on Saturday reported 3,655 new COVID-19 cases and 47 deaths.
14 hours ago
FILE - In this Monday, Nov. 18, 2019 file photo, the logo of Google is displayed on a carpet at the...
Ken Colburn, Data Doctors

In need of Gmail storage space cleanup tips? Here are a few to get you started

If you haven’t done much in the past to keep the clutter from building up in your Gmail account, there are a number of places where you can free up valuable storage space.
14 hours ago
(Gilbert Police Department photo)...
KTAR.com

Gilbert Police Department hoping for leads in 1991 missing persons cold case

It's been more than 30 years since the disappearance of 23-ear-old Gilbert resident Lisa Jameson, and police are still hoping for tips that may lead to solving the case.
14 hours ago
(Facebook Photo)...
KTAR.com

ASU police wellness check turns into interstate effort to help lost elderly couple

Arizona State University police officers last weekend performed a wellness check that became an interstate effort to help a couple who authorities say were confused about where they were.
14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Sanderson Ford

Sanderson Ford offers cars and deals for all this holiday season

Sanderson Ford’s No! Vember Black Friday sale is giving an opportunity to purchase a new 2021 vehicle just in time for the holiday season.
...
DISC DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

What you need to know about spine health

With 540 million people suffering from lower back pain, it remains the leading cause of long-term disability. That’s why World Spine Day on Oct. 16 will raise awareness about spinal health with its theme, BACK2BACK. “BACK2BACK will focus on highlighting ways in which people can help their spines by staying mobile, avoiding physical inactivity, not overloading […]
...
PNC Bank

How one organization supports early childhood literacy for the most vulnerable

Nearly two out of every three children in low-income communities don’t own a single children’s book, a fact that ultimately could have profound impacts even before entering kindergarten, according to Arizona nonprofit Southwest Human Development.
Maricopa County official says he’s rethinking face mask policy