TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The Pima County Health Department and the University of Arizona are collaborating to increase face mask use on Tumamoc Hill.
Tumamoc Hill, managed by the University of Arizona in partnership with Pima County, requires all users to wear masks while exercising, due to the difficulty of maintaining 6 feet of physical distance from others during peak walking hours. Face mask use on Tumamoc Hill has been around 60% in the mornings, but lower in the evenings, between 30-40%.
The Health Department is staffing a table during peak hours on Tumamaoc this September to hand out free masks and answer any COVID-19 related questions community members have.
“We know some people may not realize face masks are required on Tumamoc Hill right now,” said Emily Bressler, Program Specialist with the Health Department. “Our goal is to inform people how effective wearing a mask is in stopping the spread of COVID-19, and to help hikers wear masks to make sure Tumamoc can remain open.”
With the holiday weekend coming up, more visitors are expected on Tumamoc Hill.
“A wonderful thing we have seen reinforced during this time is how important Tumamoc Hill is for the Tucson community,” said Dr. Ben Wilder, Director of the Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill. “This partnership with the Health Department is a fantastic example of how we can better educate and support our community, and find ways to strike a balance between needed exercise and connection and keeping each other safe and healthy.”
The Pima County Health Department will be handing out free masks at Tumamoc Hill on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., and Saturdays from 5:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. through the end of September 2020.