(UPDATED) Ducey defers to Cities on the Wearing of Masks during Coronavirus; Mayors quickly Act.

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Governor Doug Ducey, appearing at today’s press gathering wearing a mask, has, for the moment, refound reality and deferred to local authorities on whether or not residents should be allowed to publicly wear masks during the Coronavirus.

Photo from AZ Family

At the event, Mr. Ducey finally said what others have known for a while about COVID 19 in Arizona:

“Looking at … the last two weeks of data, there is a trend. And the trend is headed in the wrong direction.”

He also announced that the Arizona National Guard will assist in Contact Tracing.

Mayors across Arizona have already started to take steps to institute mask-wearing procedures to combat the spread of the Coronavirus.

Flagstaff Mayor (and Legislative District Six State House Candidate) Coral Evans issued a statement on social media which read:

“I have directed our City Attorney to begin work on amending our local emergency proclamation to require wearing masks in public.”

“Public health experts agree – the time to #MaskUpAZ is NOW.”

So has Tolleson Mayor (and Corporation Commission Candidate) Anna Tovar who stated:

Mayor and Arizona Corporation Commission Candidate Anna Tovar

“I also have directed our City Attorney to work on amending our local emergency proclamation to require wearing masks in public. ‬I remain committed to placing the health and safety of our community first!

‪Public health experts agree – the time to #MaskUpAZ is NOW.‬”

Tucson Mayor Regina Romero also issued a similar statement. It read:

“I have directed our City Attorney to work on amending our local emergency proclamation to require wearing masks in public.”

“Public health experts agree – the time to #MaskUpTucson is NOW.”

At 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 18, 2020, Mayor Romero issued the proclamation mandating the wearing of masks in public places where “social distancing is difficult or impossible.”

Please click on the full proclamation below:

FINAL Proc 6.18.20 – Signed

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego issued a statement which relayed:

“Today Governor Doug Ducey gave the power back to cities to implement our own health and safety measures to fight rising #COVID cases. This is the needed step to allow cities to protect residents. The Governor has stated that he believes that the “government closest to the people” is the most effective. We agree, and we hope that the expertise of cities is considered as we continue our fight against a virus that has killed too many Arizonans.”
“On our next agenda, Phoenix City Council will vote to mandate face masks for residents going to essential businesses and in public spaces. I fully support this measure. We will only overcome this virus by working together. #MaskUpAZ”

More mayors will undoubtedly follow these four mayors lead and institute proper mask-wearing procedures for their local city or town.

Mesa, Gilbert, Tempe, Scottsdale, Glendale, Chandler, Surprise, Peoria, and Nogales, according to additional reporting by AZ Central, are all considering, to varying degrees, implementing mask-wearing procedures ranging from executive proclamations to city/town council votes to study sessions.

On June 18, 2020, the following cities and towns, according to Yellow Sheet, have moved towards mandating the wearing of masks:

Avondale, Bisbee, Casa Grande, Payson, Sahuarita, San Luis, Wickenburg, and Yuma

Unfortunately, others will not.

Apache Junction, Chino Valley, Maricopa, Prescott, Prescott Valley, and Sierra Vista have decided not to.

While Governor Ducey should be commended for (belatedly) finding reality, intensifying contact tracing, and giving local leaders the power to keep their residents safe in this area, he also has potentially created a situation where the Grand Canyon State is divided among cities and towns require mask-wearing and those that do not.

The Arizona Medical Community, as reported by AZ Central, largely feels the same way. stating that a statewide comprehensive approach was merited.

A real leader would not have pushed the decision off on other people.

Local legislative leaders like Legislative District 18 State Representative Mitzi Epstein seems to agree. She posted on social media:

“↗ Now he says there’s a trend.
😷 Now he says wear a mask.
🕑 Now he will enforce physical distancing at businesses.
… Well, actually he is not doing those things but he is finally going to allow cities and counties to step up and make local safety requirements.
💲He still does not have a plan for unemployment insurance when the federal $600 per week stop next month.

Gov. Ducey waited until Arizona had the worst COVID-19 rates in the world, and then he decided to act.

His “Later timing and Lighter touch” have amounted to ” Do nothing and see what happens.”

Instead, we should have opened businesses with
😳 Preventive timing and an
👍 effective touch to
support business while also safeguarding public health.

Now it’s on us to support our mayors to show real leadership to pull us together and turn this trend around.”

Ducey should have made wearing masks mandatory for the whole state.

 

 

 

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David Gordon
Living in Arizona since his family moved to Tempe from New York in 1982, David Gordon has three degrees from Arizona State University and the University of Phoenix in History, Political Science, and Secondary School Administration. A highly qualified Social Studies instructor and Certified School Principal, Mr. Gordon owned his own charter school, Grand Canyon College Preparatory Academy from 1997-2016. The school served students in grades 6-12 in the East Valley of Maricopa County. Many of the graduates of GCP earned college credit for free while still attending high school, some completing the first year of college before graduating. Among the speakers at the school's graduations were noted figures in Arizona Politics like Harry Mitchell, David Schweikert, Juan Mendes, Andrew Sherwood, and John Huppenthal. Mr. Gordon also participated in the revisions of the Arizona History and Social Studies standards. In January 2017, Mr. Gordon started the political blog Twenty-First Century Progressive Bull Moose. It has a global following and routinely comments on the political events of the day. Mr. Gordon also helps administer the Facebook page Living Blue in Arizona. He is also currently writing a series of Young Adult science fiction novels which incorporate the themes of time travel and its impact on history. Mr. Gordon is very happy to be asked to join the Blog for Arizona team and hopes to spread the progressive word to make Arizona a better place for everyone.

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