By Stephanie Innes and Alison Steinbach |Arizona Republic
Residents in nine of Arizona’s 15 counties, including Maricopa County, should be wearing face masks in indoor public places because of COVID-19 levels, updated federal guidance says.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “community level” guidance for COVID-19 mitigation measures is updated weekly and ranks counties as low, medium and high or green, yellow and orange.
Masks are recommended in public indoor places, including in schools, when a community level is designated as “high.”
CDC guidance updated Thursday says the nine Arizona counties designated at the “high” level, where masks are recommended, are Maricopa, Pinal, Apache, Coconino, Gila, La Paz, Mohave, Navajo and Yavapai.
Only about one in five counties in the U.S. was designated at the “high” level in the latest update, the CDC guidelines say, suggesting Arizona is one of the higher risk areas in the country.
Thursday’s update also marks the first time Maricopa, Coconino and Yavapai counties have been rated “high” since the CDC began posting the data in late February.