Fact Finders: Pima County complaints process for masks, restaurants

Fact Finders: Pima County complaints process for masks, restaurants

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Hundreds of complaints have been filed through Pima County’s online reporting form since it was launched amid the coronavirus pandemic.

There are two types of complaints:

1. Complaints about businesses, primarily restaurants, not complying with all of the requirements to operate from the Board of Supervisors May 21 Proclamation.

2. Complaints about people not following the resolution requiring face coverings, approved on June 19.

Mask-Related Complaints

According to the county, 158 mask-related complaints were received during the week of July 1 to July 9. Two required a site visit because of multiple complaints. Zero complaints were determined to be valid during the site visit.

In a memo filed by Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckleberry, complaints were about customers and employees not wearing masks or lack of social distancing. These are the steps taken if a complaint if about a customer or customers not wearing masks:

- Email to the complainant states while it is up to the establishment whether or not they refuse entrance, the establishment will be contacted.

- During calls to the establishments, county official asks for owner and staff to encourage mask wearing through signage, which many establishments are now posting.

Overall, the memo stated most establishments appeared receptive and appreciative of the information.

Complaints About Safety Measures (Proclamation)

According to the county, 74 complaints were received for the week of July 1 to July 9. 56 complaints were resolved through phone calls and emails and eleven required a site visit. Five of the eleven will require a virtual follow-up visit, but none of the complaints needed a second visit with validation.

When a complaint is sent to the Pima County Consumer Health and Food Safety Division of the Health Department:

- Email response is provided to complainant letting them know that the business or establishment will be contacted and educated about the requirements.

- Phone call is made to the establishment to notify the person in charge about the complaint and a copy of the applicable resolution or proclamation is then emailed or mailed to the establishment along with a link to the County’s COVID-19 webpage.

- If a second complaint is received 48-hours after contact was made with the establishment, a site visit is made to verify the complaint and provide additional education.

- During the site visit, a full Proclamation assessment is conducted. If a third complaint is made regarding the Proclamation and is determined to be valid during the next site visit, then it is posted online.

According to the county, repeat offenders will be referred to the Board of Supervisors for enforcement. Repeat offenders located in Marana and Sahuarita will first be referred to their Town Manager’s Office.

The Board can direct the County Attorney’s Office to pursue civil or criminal actions against the establishment.

Anyone can submit a complaint through an online form.

A Pima County Health Department spokesperson told KOLD News 13 a total of 395 complaints for both masks and safety measures were filed from June 22 through July 6.

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