ARIZONA, USA — Gov. Doug Ducey allowed individual Arizona cities to create their own policies about face-covering requirements and enforcement on June 17.
A face covering has proven to be effective at limiting the spread of COVID-19, according to the CDC. The virus is primarily spread by in-person contact through sneezes and coughs.
Many local government leaders across the state are either working on mask requirements for their cities or have already put them in place.
Below are frequently asked questions about mask policies in Arizona.
Does my city require a mask?
Many cities are now requiring masks. You can see our full list of cities, counties and communities in Arizona with mask policies below.
What is a face covering/mask?
A face covering is any cloth or well-secured fiber that covers your nose and mouth. Surgical and N95 masks are not required.
“Just a cloth mask," Will Humble, Executive Director for the Arizona Public Health Association said. "Doesn’t have to an N95. Doesn’t have to be sophisticated. Just some kind of covering. If the population as a whole wear it, it brings down transmission substantially.”
How do I wear a mask?
Experts have said that homemade or cloth masks do little to protect a healthy wearer from catching the virus, but it can help prevent someone who has COVID-19 from spreading it to others.
The World Health Organization updated its guidance, recommending everyone wear face masks in public in regions where the disease is spreading.
Below is a video explaining how to properly wear a mask.
What if I have a doctor's note?
Most cities have an exception for those with underlying health conditions that prohibit them from wearing a mask.
Avondale, Carefree, Flagstaff, Gilbert, Glendale, Mesa, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, Tucson, Tolleson and Maricopa County all specifically mention exceptions for those with medical conditions that can not wear a mask.
Do I have to wear a mask at the gym?
The answer is yes, in most cities. Most cities with mask requirements are requiring people to wear masks in all public places, especially inside indoor businesses, including gyms.
Avondale, Flagstaff, Mesa, Scottsdale, Tempe and Tolleson all mention gyms specifically in their requirements. In Tucson, persons exercising indoors must wear a face covering when it is difficult or impossible to maintain physical distancing.
If your city has a mask requirement and you're unsure where exactly you need to wear one, visit your city's official website.
Do children have to wear masks?
Most cities with mask requirements in the state are making an exception for young children, but some note different ages.
In Mesa, children over six years old have to wear a mask.
In Scottsdale and Flagstaff, children ages 5 and older must wear masks.
In Tucson, Avondale and Tolleson, children over the age of 2 must wear a mask.
In all other Maricopa County cities, children 6 years and older must wear a mask.
If your city has a mask requirement and you're unsure of whether your child is required to wear one, visit your city's official website.
I had COVID-19 but I have recovered, do I need to wear a mask?
If your city requires a mask in public, you still need to wear one even if you've recovered from COVID-19.
How will mask requirements be enforced?
Every city is different. If your city has a mask requirement, visit your city's official website to see how it is enforcing the mask requirement.
In Scottsdale, individuals will be given a chance to comply before any enforcement action, but continued failure to comply with an emergency proclamation is a class one misdemeanor.
Tempe and Tucson mention that education will be the first approach for individuals not wearing masks prior to possible citations.