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Tusayan requires masks be worn in public

As of June 27, the town of Tusayan is requiring masks be worn in public. (Lo Frisby/WGCN)

As of June 27, the town of Tusayan is requiring masks be worn in public. (Lo Frisby/WGCN)

TUSAYAN, Ariz. – On June 26, the town of Tusayan announced residents as well as visitors to the area will be required to wear facial coverings in public places to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The mandate went into effect at 8 a.m., June 27.

Currently, Arizona has one of the highest rates of infection and deaths in the country. As of June 29, Arizona had 73,908 confirmed cases and 1,588 known deaths, with 16 confirmed positive cases in the Grand Canyon/ Tusayan area.

The mandate states that everyone must wear a facial covering or mask as per CDC guidelines (i.e. properly-fitting, that covers the nose and mouth with no gaps), and will apply to everyone who enters a public space, especially indoor spaces, or any area where maintaining adequate social distancing is not possible. Masks will not be required for dine-in service once guests are seated, however if guests wish to leave their table to use the restroom, etc., a mask will be required. The mandate does not apply to small children, or to those who cannot wear masks due to medical or religious factors.

Tusayan Mayor Craig Sanderson stated that he is in favor of wearing masks and recognizes CDC guidance in the effectiveness of mask wearing, in combination with social distancing and hand washing, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Sanderson and council members expressed gratitude to the Tusayan business community for being in support of the mandate.

“We are in complete agreement,” said Councilor Becky Wirth.

Vice Mayor Brady Harris stated that he wanted to make sure that the council’s decision to protect residents and guests of Tusayan, Grand Canyon and neighboring tribal communities.

“Is a matter of courtesy rather than an infringement on personal rights,” he said.

The Navajo Nation, which is located just outside of the Grand Canyon, currently has one of the highest rates of infection per capita, with 7,469 confirmed cases.

Tusayan’s mandate will not include a provision for enforcement by law enforcement, however, it does allow for businesses to enforce rules at their own discretion.

More information is available at tusayan-az.gov.

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