Safford Mayor Kouts addresses Governor Ducey’s direction regarding mask usage

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: Safford Mayor Jason Kouts said the city council will discuss Governor Doug Ducey’s recommendation to wear masks in public at its next council meeting on June 22.

“While the number of cases has increased in our region, the magnitude of the changes we are experiencing does not warrant operational changes at this time.”

Safford Mayor Jason Kouts

Staff Reports

SAFFORD – On the heels of Governor Doug Ducey’s recommendation to wear masks while in public to slow the spread of COVID-19, Safford Mayor Jason Kouts issued the following statement.

“Following the presentation of the governor regarding his latest executive order, the city of Safford continues to support the state of Arizona’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19. I have requested that an item be added to the city council agenda scheduled for Monday, June 22 to discuss this issue. In the meantime, the city will continue its ongoing efforts designed and implemented to stem the spread of COVID-19. These efforts are in keeping with the Governor’s latest executive order.

To be clear, the city is still encouraging the following:

1. Adherence to physical distancing guidelines

2. Implementation of increased sanitizing of areas open to the public and city workspaces

3. Continuing to utilize a variety of operational adjustments, already put in place, and intended to maximize the safety of employees and the public.

During the June 22 council meeting, we will discuss other items contained in the governor’s executive order, such as guidance to the business community regarding the latest executive order.

It is important to remember that the executive (order) is specifically designed to provide flexibility at the local level. While the number of cases has increased in our region, the magnitude of the changes we are experiencing does not warrant operational changes at this time. Should conditions change, we will revisit the issue and discuss any potential adjustments that may be required. Our managers will continue to meet regularly to monitor the situation and provide and additional guidance.

As mayor, I am pleased with our regional efforts to date in managing this crisis. It is important for this to continue as we develop any new measures to keep our community safe in our response to the most recent executive order. I want to continue seeing our community work together to develop common standards designed to ensure consistency for our business community and our residents.”

In his recommendation to wear masks while in public, Governor Ducey stopped short of issuing a statewide mandate. Instead, Ducey on Wednesday said city and county governments can implement and enforce their own mandates.

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