Maricopa County’s mask mandate, and some local ones, remain as Arizona’s COVID-19 cases drop

By Sasha Hupka | Arizona Republic

While Palm Valley Golf Club illustration

By Sasha Hupka | Arizona Republic

Maricopa County’s mask mandate, implemented as Arizona’s COVID-19 cases spiked in June, remains in place as the health crisis improves.

County and other health experts attribute the improvement in part to wearing masks in public. 

Clint Hickman, chairman of the County Board of Supervisors, said he doesn’t have a specific benchmark in mind to begin discussing a change to the mandate. As some students returned to school campuses on Aug. 17, Hickman said how school reopenings go will “absolutely” factor into decisions regarding the mask mandate. 

“I am hoping that at some point, anything we can do to get kids into the classroom is where we can be helpful,” he said. “That’s our main focus right now, is getting schools open and having schoolchildren back involved with their schools.” 

Students return to school on Aug. 17, 2020, at Faith Mather Sossaman Elementary School in Queen Creek. The Queen Creek Unified School District reopened all of its schools for in-person classes.

In June, cities and counties across Arizona rushed to create mask mandates after Gov. Doug Ducey signed an executive order allowing communities to make their own rules on face coverings. Now, leaders must decide whether the orders will stand, be revised or be repealed entirely.

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