PHOENIX - The Phoenix City Council has unanimously voted to lift the city's mask mandate for fully vaccinated people following new CDC guidance issued last week.
The city will follow federal guidelines at airports and on public transportation, but businesses will be able to determine if they want to continue requiring face masks.
"The change means those who are fully vaccinated are no longer required to wear masks when in both indoor and outdoor public places throughout the city of Phoenix," a statement read on the city of Phoenix's website.
"Let’s remain vigilant by getting vaccinated and wearing a mask when recommended," said Mayor Kata Gallego.
On May 13, CDC officials eased mask-wearing guidance for the fully vaccinated, allowing them to stop wearing masks outdoors in crowds and in most indoor settings.
The guidance still calls for wearing masks in crowded indoor settings like buses, planes, hospitals, prisons, and homeless shelters, but it will help clear the way for reopening workplaces, schools, and other venues — even removing the need for social distancing for those who are fully vaccinated.
The mask mandate declaration was issued on June 20 of last year and required residents to cover their nose and mouth in public spaces or whenever they are within six feet of someone outside of their household.
Arizona reported 540 new confirmed COVID-19 cases and 17 new deaths on Wednesday.
The state dashboard posted the latest virus related data on May 19, bringing its pandemic-wide totals to 874,605 and 17,497 deaths.
The number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 rose slightly to 607. Of those, 176 were in ICUs.
Arizona’s seven-day rolling average of daily new cases was around 568 Monday, according to Johns Hopkins University data. It’s the lowest average since March 31.
The seven-day rolling average of daily deaths was around 8.
Meanwhile, almost 5.6 million vaccine doses have been administered in Arizona. Over 3.1 million people, or 44% of the state’s eligible population, have received at least one dose. Over 2.6 million are fully vaccinated.
Arizona health officials are hoping for a higher demand as this marks the first full week where children ages 12-15 can get vaccinated.
The Associated Press contributed to this reports.
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