COVID-19 cases in Pima County dropping due to mask efficacy, officials say

Mask effectiveness across Pima County

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The number of coronavirus cases in Pima County continues to drop at a steady rate which health care officials say “is exciting.”

The county puts a great deal of credit on its mask resolution which was passed in June.

Even though the resolution was challenged by a small group of Republicans, health care officials convinced Arizona Governor Doug Ducey of the efficacy of masks.

Even though the Governor has not instituted a statewide mask policy, he has allowed cities, towns and counties to pass and enforce their own mask policies.

Pima County has issued this memo tracking the number of cases and shows it has a causal relationship with the passing of the mask resolution.

The Governor did shut down bars, gyms, restricted restaurant seating and water parks near the same time which has also likely contributed to the lowering the case numbers.

“I just want to remind people the more people who wear masks, the greater impact we have,” said Dr. Theresa Cullen, the Pima County Medical Director. “The mask wearing and what the governor implemented, I think have resulted in this.”

The county still has people report when a business is not complying by requiring face masks. It had 52 complaints last week, about a third of the total two weeks ago.

That may signal more people are wearing masks and more businesses are enforcing the mask wearing directive.

Dr. Cullen calls that “community normalization.”

“If enough people in a community do something, it seems normal,” she said. “So the hope is mask wearing becomes normal during a pandemic.”

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