UA sees number of mask wearers climb after mask mandate

Monitoring mask use on Tumamoc Hill

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - As COVID-19 continues to spread, Tumamoc Hill could face another closure.

A mask mandate is now in place at the popular site and if requirements are not met over the next two weeks, it will close. 

Around 1,000 people walk on Tumamoc Hill every day, which is why officials say masks are a must for safety.

Just a week ago, officials were seeing a very low number of people wearing masks, anywhere from just 20 to 30 percent.

Since implementing this mandate on Friday, that number has now climbed to over 60 percent.

Officials say it's good news, but we still have a long way to go.

They're not going to police people by standing around the entrance or on the trail. Rather, closing Tumamoc Hill will be their way of enforcement.

They say the goal isn't to make things difficult, but safer for all.

“I get it. Wearing a mask in 90+ degrees, walking up an 800 ft. mountain, that’s not easy. But Tumamoc Hill is about health. It’s about the community. Wearing a mask right now is probably one of the best things you can do on both those fronts,” Benjamin Wilder, Director of the Desert Lab on Tumamoc Hill said.

If Tumamoc Hill closes this time, Wilder says there isn’t really a timetable for reopening.

They’re working with health experts and will take it day by day, but he’s hoping it doesn’t come to that.

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