TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Arizona’s largest healthcare system, Banner Health, said on Sep. 23 that it is strongly against any decision or consideration to relax existing mask mandates.
According to Banner, the decline in COVID-19 infection rates is the result of diligent action by city and county officials to require masks, social distancing and implementation of COVID protocols.
“Our health care heroes on the front lines and all those supporting their efforts have been lifted up during the toughest times thanks to our communities doing the right thing to slow the spread,” said Peter Fine, president and CEO of Banner Health. “For their sake, and everyone’s sake, we must stay the course on masking and distancing for the foreseeable future.”
Banner says its medical experts recognize and acknowledge the community’s COVID-fatigue, but it doesn’t believe it’s the right time to ease up just yet- especially with the positive results that have come from mandating safety guidelines.
And with flu season right around the corner, it’s an even bigger concern for Banner.
Banner experts say masking and getting a flu shot are the best one-two punch to stay healthy and stop the spread. The virus is still very prevalent in our community and signs point to another surge later this year.
“We know—and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirms—wearing a mask reduces the spread of infection. Retaining the mask mandates is the right thing to do.”