By Mike Sunnucks | Rose Law Group Reporter
Maricopa County and cities across the Valley (including Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa and Gilbert) have approved mask mandates in response to the Arizona’s rise in COVID-19 cases.
There are now 52,390 COVID cases statewide and 30,136 cases in Maricopa County, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.
The mask mandates require face coverings at stores and venues and include potential fines and misdemeanor charges for violators (depending on the city).
The mask orders are getting some push back from Scottsdale City Councilman Guy Phillips and U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz.
Phillips is organizing a rally on Wednesday in downtown Scottsdale that will stress that wearing a mask should be a personal choice not something mandated by the government. The rally is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. at Scottsdale City Hall.
Biggs, a conservative Republican representing the East Valley, penned a column in the Washington Examiner and has posted on Twitter concerns about how mask mandates run afoul of civil liberties.
“As we look at the fork in the road, something seemingly so simple as a universal mask mandate symbolizes where we can choose to go: on a path of renewed freedom or down the path of untethered government control of every aspect of our lives,” Biggs wrote.
The approval of mask mandates by Maricopa County and Phoenix area cities came after Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey issued an order to allowing local actions on the COVID-19 pandemic.
Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego and other local elected officials have pushed for mask mandates to curtail the virus’ spread and the rise in cases. They back the mask orders.
“Community spread is accelerating in Arizona at speeds that should concern everyone,” Gallego said. “It will take the entire community coming together to protect all who live, work and play in our city. Scientists say wearing a simple face covering is something we must do to slow the spread – and Phoenix is listening.”