The mask policy was not something I took lightly. The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to implement a countywide mask regulation under its statutory emergency powers for public health to slow the spread of the virus for hospital bed capacity.
Nine months have passed. I have heard from many people reacting to this board action ranging from operational questions, thankfulness and anger.
This virus is very serious. I know firsthand because I was one of many Arizonans that had it. Thankfully now, our families, friends and neighbors are receiving vaccine from the state, the county and our partners at a steady pace. The seven-day average of Maricopa County’s highest case counts were in January at over 6,000.
The seven-day average count now is below 400, almost what it was in May 2020. Now, Arizona’s economy is reopened and we can all be pleased by that.
Based on this information, I have told many of my constituents over the past month that I believe and support it is time for a reevaluation of this policy, and to allow mask-wearing to be voluntary not mandatory.
If this policy is revisited in the future, many people can and will still choose to wear masks and businesses would continue to have the right to implement their own mask policies.
Some did so even prior to this action last year. I am grateful to all of my constituents who have taken the time to share their opinions on this important issue.
Republican Steve Chucri represents county District 2 on the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. He also is president and CEO of the Arizona Restaurant Association, which represents thousands of restaurants around the state.