Pima County board member proposes indoor masking mandate

December 18, 2021 GMT

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — A member of the Pima County Board of Supervisors wants to help curb the spread of the coronavirus by imposing a countywide mandate for people to wear mask while inside indoor public places and cannot easily social distance.

A resolution proposed by Supervisor Matt Heinz has been added to Tuesday’s meeting agenda.

Heinz said that the pandemic is at “a critical moment” and that the lack of a masking mandate would hurt businesses because people may stop patronizing local businesses.

The omicron variant “has already been identified in Pima County, and people are looking for assurances that it remains safe to go about their lives,” Heinz wrote Thursday in a memo.

In another development, state health officials on Saturday reported 3,467 additional confirmed COVID-19 cases and 29 more deaths, increasing Arizona’s pandemic totals to 1,334,067 cases and 23,516 deaths.

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COVID-19-related hospitalizations statewide dipped slightly, with 2,533 virus patients occupying inpatient rooms as of Friday, according to the state’s coronavirus dashboard.

According to Johns Hopkins University data, Arizona’s seven-day rolling average of daily new cases dropped over the past two weeks, falling from 3,324.6 on Dec. 2 to 3,058.6 on Thursday. The rolling average of daily deaths more than doubled during the same period, increasing from 31.4 to 77.1.