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Governor updates guidelines to let local governments 'implement mask and face-covering policies'

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Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons | The Daily Wildcat Governor Doug Ducey speaking at the 2016 Arizona CEO Summit hosted by Greater Phoenix Leadership at the Phoenix Marriott Tempe at the Buttes in Tempe, Arizona.

This afternoon, Gov. Doug Ducey updated guidance so that local governments are given the power to implement mask and face-covering policies after requests from mayors around the state.

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego tweeted out shortly after, "On our next agenda, Phoenix City Council will vote to mandate face masks for residents going to essential businesses and in public spaces. I fully support this measure. We will only overcome this virus by working together."

Percent positive tests in counties around Arizona, as of the week of June 7


Source: Arizona Department of Health Services

Ducey talked about how two border counties, namely Yuma and Santa Cruz, are being hit harder than other counties. As of June 17, Santa Cruz has an infection rate of 31% and Yuma at 20%.

The state of Arizona recently partnered with Arizona State University to make a diagnostic saliva test more widespread to the public. Ducey said that testing in Arizona is up 600% since April 15, but he is also calling upon the National Guard to help with contact tracing measures.

"By July 1, Public Health has the capacity to contact 400 to 500 cases a day," said Marcy Flanagan, executive director of the Maricopa County Department of Public Health, according to ABC15.

RELATED: Congressman Ruben Gallego and two health experts hold press conference for spike in COVID-19 cases

Tucson Mayor Regina Romero said in a tweet that she directed the city attorney to work on an emergency proclamation that would require masks to be worn in public. 

"Public health experts agree  ⁠— the time to #MaskUpTucson is NOW," Romero said.

Ducey wants all Arizonans to remember that "COVID-19 is widespread in the state of Arizona."


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