By Recker McDowell —
Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane has issued an emergency proclamation requiring masks or other face coverings be worn in public places, restaurants, bars, fitness centers and stores to help curtail the rise in COVID-19 cases. Businesses that serve the public will also have to require employees to wear masks.
There are exemptions for children under 6 years old, those at religious services and individuals exercising at parks or with health conditions that masks would exacerbate. The order goes into place today (June 19th) at 5 p.m.
“We cannot afford another shutdown of businesses or restaurants,” Lane said. “So, we need each individual to make responsible decisions for the sake of our entire community – wear your mask when out in public.”
Arizona now has 46,689 COVID-19 cases with 3,246 new ones reported today. There have been 1,312 deaths in Arizona from the Coronavirus.
Violators in Scottsdale will be given an opportunity to abide by the order but could have misdemeanor charges if they disobey the mandate.
“I recognize completely the intrusive nature of this directive. I understand the resistance that many have to the loss of your personal freedom to choose how you respond and react during this health crisis. In this emergency, however, like any other, we have a civic responsibility to act and sometimes accept actions that are important for recovery. As hospitalization utilization continues to rise and trend toward threatening levels it becomes imperative to slow the contagion rate – and wearing masks is a simple step recommended by public health experts We cannot ignore the numbers as COVID-19 cases mount. As government we are balancing the need to act for the sake of community-wide public health, while also allowing as much personal freedom as we can,” Lane said.