COVID-19: CDC officials recommends indoor mask use in parts of Arizona

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Arizona, officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are recommending that people wear mask indoors in nine Arizona counties where community level spread of the disease is high.


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The recommendation covers the following counties:

  • Apache
  • Coconino
  • Gila
  • La Paz
  • Maricopa
  • Mohave
  • Navajo
  • Pinal
  • Yavapai

During its weekly COVID-19 update on June 29, officials with the Arizona Department of Health Services added more than 16,000 new cases and 63 more deaths. Results for PCR testing currently show a 28% positivity rate, but many people take at-home tests, and don't always report the results.

Arizona Public Health Association Executive Director Will Humble says there is an increase in patients hospitalized with COVID in the general wards, but not in the ICU. He says that is a good sign.

"The virus is having a field day right now, but its infecting people who have already been infected once before, at least once before, or people that are already vaccinated, and so, it's not resulting in superbad outcomes," said Humble.

Humble, however, also expressed doubts on increased mask use by some Arizonans.

"I do support the community levels approach that CDC has. I just think it's, at this point, almost pie in the sky to expect more than a small fraction of people to follow those recommendations, because people are pretty burned out on this."

In order to protect yourself from a possible infection, the CDC recommends: 

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Monitor your health daily