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The Yuma City Council approved a motion of support for Mayor Douglas J. Nicholls to issue an amendment to the March 15, 2020, Proclamation of Emergency requiring face coverings consistent with Governor Ducey’s Executive Order 2020-40, focused on containing the spread of COVID-19.
The action came during a Special City Council meeting at 2 p.m. on Friday, June 19 at the City Council Chambers. At the special meeting, City Council heard from Dr. Robert Trenschel from YRMC about the impacts of masks from the medical community perspective, as well as from Yuma Police Chief Susan Smith who described how her agency would respond to the mask requirement if the Council supported the idea.
The City requested that Yumans voice their input about the topic by sending comments via email to the City up to one hour prior to the meeting. The City received nine-hundred and three comments from the public, with a 2 to 1 ratio of support for the City to require face coverings while in public.
“I want to thank all Yuma residents who voiced their opinions, and to the entire City Council for their advice and wisdom on the issue,” said Mayor Nicholls. “This situation is unprecedented and we are putting this temporary policy in place to save lives, keep people healthy and conserve hospital capacity all the while striving to protect our hard-hit economy amidst a spike in COVID-19 cases across Yuma.”
Mayor Nicholls called the Special City Council meeting on Thursday, June 18, following Arizona Governor Doug Ducey’s announcement to allow mayors to set their own policies regarding COVID-19 safety measures. Previously, the Governor’s executive order(s) set all COVID-19 health and safety-related policies and restricted cities and towns from having the ability to make those decisions for their individual jurisdictions.
The mandate for face coverings inside businesses in the State of Arizona is regulated by the Governor’s Executive Order 2020-40 and the publications titled, “Requirements For Businesses” and “Requirements for Restaurants and Bars Providing Dine-In Services.” This City proclamation and order adds no further regulations to businesses than what Governor Ducey has already mandated.
The policy governing face coverings will be effective at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, June 19, 2020. Public health conditions leading to this order will be monitored daily and may be repealed or revised at least every two weeks consistent with Governor Ducey’s Executive Order 2020-40.
View the amendment to the proclamation of emergency, here.