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Continued confusion on mask mandate in Pima County

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TUCSON (KVOA) - With Gov. Doug Ducey removing mask mandates across the state and Pima County still enforcing their own, there is confusion on which order must be followed.

With businesses anxious to move past COVID-19 restrictions, it is no surprise to see many adopting the governor's order in their daily operations.

However, the Pima County Health Department says to local businesses that the mask-use resolution is still being enforced in the county.

"Our expectation is that you follow this resolution and should you, as a permit holder, decide to not follow that resolution, we have the ability to potentially remove your permit," said Dr. Francisco Garcia, Pima County's Chief Medical Officer.

The health department says the best way to have your complaint seen is to contact them through their website or reach them by phone or mail.

District 4 Supervisor Steve Christy opposes the continued use of a mask mandate in Pima County, saying that it should be removed immediately.

He believes that the county does not have the authority to go against the governor's executive order.

"We need to remove this mandate. We need to make it at the very best, voluntary," Christy said. "All we're doing at this point is pitting neighbor against neighbor."

The county says the state legislature gives local counties the authority to implement restrictions during a public health crisis.

"Lord knows we're all pretty sick of the pandemic," said Matt Heinz, Pima County District 2 supervisor. "The way we're gonna get through this the fastest is complying with the most sensible public health restrictions."

Christy says disregarding the governor's latest executive order is illegal.

"The truth of the matter is we cannot enforce any of these mandates that Pima County says it can," he said.

Supervisor Christy called a motion to remove the mask mandate in Pima County effective immediately.

The motion did not receive any support.