Immediately after Governor Ducey issued his latest Executive Order this week shifting responsibility for face covering policies to cities, towns, and counties, I reached out to you all to state that, consistent with my Emergency Proclamation from March 2020, the Town would follow public health expertise -- which currently calls for face coverings in certain situations. Here is what my March 17, 2020 Emergency Proclamation says, and this is what the Town has been following under my direction:
Along with the CDC Instructions and March 16, 2020 Presidential Directive, given the fluidity of the current situation, other instructions that may emerge from qualified governmental public health officials related to COVID-19 and reducing its spread shall be followed to the extent applicable.
This has been our approach because the Town prioritizes public health and safety, but does not have its own health department or in-house public health expertise.
As almost everyone certainly knows, the Town of Paradise Valley is located in the heart of Maricopa County. Late yesterday, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed an order instituting County-wide policies requiring face masks in various settings. We appreciate the County providing this framework in reaction to Governor Ducey’s latest order, which the County has assured us is “based on the recommendations of [Maricopa County] Public Health Department and give residents an understanding of the rules no matter where they are within the County.”
Here are the basics of the applicable face covering regulations as shared in the County’s press release, which are in line with the CDC guidelines that the Town had already stressed everyone should follow, and which have the effect of law in the Town as of midnight tonight (6/20/2020):
· People older than six must wear masks in enclosed public spaces (where 6 feet of distance cannot be maintained)
· Adults with children 2 to 5 years old must make reasonable effort to make them wear masks inside enclosed public spaces
· All riders and operators on public transportation must wear a mask
· Staff working in public spaces (such as restaurants or stores) must wear masks
The regulations include exemptions from wearing masks that include:
· The regulations do not apply to people in homes
· Children under 2 years old
· Restaurant patrons while they are eating and drinking
· People walking or exercising outdoors (while maintaining at least six feet of distance from people not in their household)
· When in a personal vehicle, office or other personal space
A full copy of the County Order, which has the effect of law in the Town, is available here [https://www.maricopa.gov/DocumentCenter/View/61311/Regulations-on-Face-Coverings] and on the Town’s website https://www.paradisevalleyaz.gov/AlertCenter.aspx?AID=COVID19-1.
Last, thank you all for your understanding and cooperation on these matters. I know there are differing views on the impacts of wearing face masks among different people, but let us remember also that we are all friends and neighbors living in the same community. The purpose of these requirements – which arise from the unanimously-accepted recommendations from the same group of County health experts that set health policies for restaurants, swimming pools, mosquitos and rodents, and other matters that can affect public health in Maricopa County -- is to slow the spread of COVID-19. Education and cooperative compliance is the goal. If you have questions about these matters, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or 480-948-7411. Please know that the Town’s first responders and staff have been working extremely hard throughout the pandemic to promote public health and safety, and, consistent with the County’s rules that apply to the Town, I respectfully ask that good judgment is used in not necessarily treating the Police Department as the first point of contact for any perceived infraction of these face covering regulations. Let’s continue to be civil and courteous to each other, and we will certainly get through these challenging times together.