“Now that we’ve proven to you that masks work, you will be forced to wear one until there are exactly zero new cases for a month straight, or else when 40% of the population get a vaxx some day.”
THE COUNTYWIDE MASK MANDATE WORKING?
The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a countywide mask mandate on June 20 in response to a rapid increase in cases. Almost exactly 14 days later, COVID-19 case numbers plateaued and began to decline. Other states and cities who have implemented similar mask requirements have also seen a significant decline in case rates 14 days after the requirement was implemented.
While other policies were implemented nearly simultaneously, such as closing bars and gyms statewide, Public Health is confident that the mask requirement played a critical role in reducing the spread of COVID-19 in Maricopa County.
HOW LONG WILL THE MASK MANDATE REMAIN IN EFFECT?
Maricopa County Public Health recommends that the mask requirement be kept in place until one of two situations occur:
- Until there is no community spread of COVID-19 documented in Maricopa County as defined by a 28-day period during which no new COVID-19 cases are reported to public health
- Until a COVID-19 vaccine is widely available with at least 40% of the population vaccinated.
If there is no COVID-19 circulating, then masks are not required to prevent spread.
If there’s a vaccine and approximately 40% of the population is vaccinated (about the same percentage that gets the flu vaccine every year), there will be enough immunity to prevent a rapid increase in cases. Additionally, those who are at highest risk will be able to protect themselves with a measure other than social distancing.