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Tolleson News

Posted on: June 18, 2020

Mandatory Face Coverings in Tolleson because Community Health Matters

Tolleson, AZ (Thursday, June 18, 2020) “Declaring regulations and advisories is necessary for public safety and protection of life and to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. We can save lives by simply wearing face coverings. I will require face coverings because your life matters to me,” stated Mayor Anna Tovar.

The most current local data relating to COVID-19 as provided by the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) and Maricopa County Public Health Department (MCPHD) show that Maricopa County is experiencing significant community-based transmission of COVID-19 and an increasing pace of viral spread. Current local conditions demonstrate that cases of hospitalizations for COVID-19 are increasing in Maricopa County. The increase in new cases in not entirely attributable to an increase in testing. The rate of positive test results is either steady or increasing. Confirmed reported cases in Maricopa County on June 1, 2020 totaled 10,427, and on June 16, 2020, there were 22,232 positive cases– an increase of more than 100% in just 16 days. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recognizes the critical role that face coverings have in containing and mitigating the spread of COVID-19, which is why face coverings will be required in public settings in Tolleson.

Mayor Anna Tovar signed a proclamation, which will go into effect June 20, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. requiring face coverings in public places. The proclamation and its orders will remain in effect until it is rescinded, terminated or modified. Every person who is over the age of two (2) is required to cover his or her nose and mouth with a face covering when in a public setting, including, but not limited to, within retail establishments and grocery stores where maintaining a six-foot physical distance from other persons is difficult or impossible. Adults accompanying minor children shall use reasonable efforts to cause those children to wear face coverings when they are in a public setting

In the proclamation, a “Public Setting” means:

indoor spaces that are accessible to the public such as grocery stores, retail stores, pharmacies and health care facilities, restaurants and bars, gyms and similar facilities, and any other places where the public is allowed to enter; and

outdoor spaces such as playgrounds, parking lots, and other areas such as those where persons stand in lines for entering an establishment; and in or on public transportation such as a bus or other public transit vehicle, a taxi or ride-sharing vehicle or any other vehicle for hire, or at a transit stop or waiting area for any public transportation. Public setting does not include a personal vehicle.

“Face Covering” means a covering made of cloth, fabric, or other soft or permeable material that covers the nose and mouth and surrounding areas of the lower face. A face covering may be factory-made, or may be handmade and improvised from ordinary materials, and can include a bandana or scarf. The face covering should fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face, include multiple layers of fabric, allow for breathing without restriction, and be able to be laundered and machine-dried without damage or change to shape. Face coverings need to cover the nose and mouth at all times and should remain in place until taken off safely.

The proclamation does include some exceptions. A face covering is not required under the following circumstances:

  • When a person is in a personal office (a single room) where others outside of that person’s household are not present as long as the public does not regularly visit the room, but that person must put on a face covering when coworkers are working within six feet, when being visited by a client/customer, and anywhere members of the public or other coworkers are regularly present.
  • For any child under the age of two (2).
  • 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. A person who cannot wear a face covering because of a medical condition is not required to produce medical documentation of the condition, provided that an employer may require such documentation from an employee in accordance with state and federal law.
  • When a person is inside or obtaining services at a business or establishment, and the person is engaged in eating, drinking or sleeping, or the individual is in an area of the facility that is not designed for community gathering, such as a sleeping area.

Face coverings are not a replacement for adhering to other social distancing and hygiene protocols recommended by the CDC. Mayor Tovar encourages all businesses, including those providing Essential Functions, to allow their employees to work from home through telecommuting or other means to the greatest extent possible in order to limit the gathering of employees at the work site. 

There will be a public discussion on face coverings at the next City Council meeting on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 at 6 p.m. on ZOOM. For details on how to log onto the council meeting and to see the proclamation in its entirety, visit

 Follow the link for CDC information on face coverings.

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