UPDATE: City of Tucson expected to require masks in public

Decisions coming for Pima County and Oro Valley; Marana and Sierra Vista not likely to mandate masks in public
Updated: Jun. 18, 2020 at 11:39 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The city of Tucson is expected to start requiring people to wear masks in public.

Mayor Regina Romero, who has been outspoken about wanting to make masks a city-wide requirement, said she is going to sign an emergency proclamation Thursday, June 18.

The order will go into effect 24 hours after she signs it.

Romero’s announcement came as Gov. Doug Ducey held and news conference and said he will allow local governments to implement their own mask and face covering policies and method of enforcement.

Pima County officials have scheduled an emergency meeting for Friday and requiring masks in public will be discussed.

Marana Mayor Ed Honea told KOLD News 13 he does not plan to mandate requiring masks in public.

Oro Valley Mayor Joe Winfield said he supports making a mask requirement and plans to discuss further with his council members.

On Thursday, Sierra Vista said it would recommended masks, but would not require them.

According to Garret Archer, The AZ -- abc15 - Data Guru on Twitter, Tucson would join Phoenix, Mesa, Nogales and Flagstaff in requiring masks.

“Given the increase in community spread that wearing masks by the public would be a very important action for the governor to take,” Winfield said.

He said a state-wide mandate may not be necessary, but believes Oro Valley citizens would follow a local requirement if needed.

"Our median age is 50 plus, so we're a bit older than some of the surrounding communities on average," Winfield said. "I think this overall would be received well."

Honea said he supports people wearing masks but doesn't plan to require them in public places.

"I don't know who would police the mask wearing and no matter where you are there's going to be that percentage, a third or 40% that won't wear them," he said.

In the difference of opinions there is agreement on the purpose of masks.

"The idea of a mask is to protect each other and ultimately that's what we're trying to do," Winfield said.

Honea said wearing a mask helps others from getting exposed to COVID-19.

"It protects the person you're coming in contact with more than yourself," he said. "I always say if you're coming in close contact with someone wear a mask.

Ultimately, Honea said compromise is what's needed.

“One group is saying shut everything down and the other group is saying open everything back up and the true answer is in the middle,” Honea said.

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