At a special meeting today, the Sierra Vista City Council voted unanimously to authorize Mayor Rick Mueller to issue an emergency declaration. Mueller issued an emergency declaration requiring that people over the age of 10 wear face coverings or shields while in public in Sierra Vista when physical distancing of at least 6 feet is not possible, effective Saturday, June 27.
Commercial establishments have until midnight July 1 to comply with the order. All schools, childcare centers, nonprofits that provide food or shelter, and houses of worship are requested to establish and publish their own guidelines for the proper wearing of face coverings or shields in spaces that are accessible to the public.
“Cases of COVID-19 are increasing rapidly throughout our state and we have community spread in Sierra Vista,” Mueller says. “I want to commend our citizens who have proactively practiced precautionary measures in the last several weeks and months. We must ask our citizens to be even more vigilant.
“Data supports the use of face coverings as a vital measure to slow the spread of COVID-19 and now is the time to do everything we can to protect our community,” Mueller says. “This requirement will remain in place until we see downward trends in positive cases, or until the state takes an action that lifts or supersedes our local authority.”
Enforcement of this order will focus first on education to promote best practices to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Before any enforcement action is taken, a person shall be notified of the violation and be given an opportunity to comply. Refusal to comply may result in a citation for a class 1 misdemeanor.
At a press conference on Thursday, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey urged all Arizonans to stay home when they can and to wear a mask whenever they go out in public.
Face coverings are not required:
- When at home.
- When alone in a vehicle or in a vehicle with people you live with.
- When a person is at a commercial establishment for the purposes of eating, drinking, or sleeping.
- When exercising outdoors alone or with people they live with and while using public sports or practice fields.
- While swimming.
- In workspaces not open to the general public.
- For any person who cannot wear a face covering because of a medical condition, mental health condition or developmental disability, or who is unable to remove the face covering without assistance.
- In an emergency situation where the wearing of a face covering is not feasible.
City to close some indoor facilities
The City of Sierra Vista will close some indoor facilities that reopened when the state moved into phase 1 of its reopening plan.
The Cove and all City lobbies are now closed until further notice.
The Vista Transit Center will remain open, while the number of people in the building will be limited to ensure safe physical distancing can be maintained. Transit service will continue under current operations, with the additional policy that drivers will not allow riders to board unless they are wearing a face covering.
Outdoor facilities currently open will remain open.