TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Tucson Mayor Regina Romero announced Thursday, June 18, everyone must wear a face covering while they are in public to help curb the spread of COVID-19. The decision comes one day after Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced county and city leaders could make their own policies regarding masks.
Romero signed a proclamation Thursday afternoon that will take effect Saturday morning at 6 a.m. It states all people 2 years old and older must cover their nose and mouth in places were social distancing is difficult.
Employees working at businesses that interact with the public must wear masks, according to the declaration.
“My hope is that Tucsonans can regulate themselves,” Romero said during a virtual press conference.
However, Romero said, anyone who defies the rule could face a $50 fine or five hours of community service.
“We are not out there to get people but if there is blatant disregard ... then I can see a need to have our police be able to enforce it,” Romero said.
City Attorney Mike Rankin said masks do not need to be a professionally made mask. Homemade masks are sufficient as long as they cover the nose and mouth.
The proclamation does list some exceptions, including a personal office space where the public isn’t interacting, to children younger than 2 years old, to those with developmental disabilities or at restaurants.
“It recognizes some obvious exceptions,” Rankin said.
Both Rankin and Romero said the point of the rule is to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in the community, which has seen a steady rise in cases over the last few weeks.
“If this is not an emergency, I don’t know what is,” Romero said.
Read the full declaration here:
In addition to the proclamation, city leaders said they would delay reopening city buildings until Monday, Aug. 3.