Lake Havasu City will require face masks in public starting Friday, according to Mayor Cal Sheehy.
The order goes into effect on Friday and lasts until July 27.
Havasu's mandate follows similar proclamations made this week by the cities of Bullhead City and Kingman.
Sheehy cited the region's sharp increase in coronavirus cases as well as the large crowds expected in Havasu for the holiday weekend.
"Within Mohave County and Lake Havasu City, we are experiencing a growing community spread that increases risk to the well-being of citizens and poses potential strains on the healthcare facilities and workers in our community," he said in a news release.
Everyone over 6 years old is required to wear a face covering over their nose and mouth at any business that serves the public within city limits, according to his proclamation. Face masks are not required at businesses that don't interact with the public as long as social distancing guidelines are followed. Exceptions are also being made for religious ceremonies, at designated seating areas in restaurant,s and outdoor exercise activities.
Sheehy asks that residents avoid calling 911 to report noncompliance with the mask order.
Sheehy had faced increased pressure to issue the proclamation, including from some of his counterparts on the City Council. Councilwoman Michele Lin said she had been in contact with Sheehy about mask requirements and was frustrated that an order wasn't issued earlier.
“I am, personally one councilmember who believes that it absolutely should be mandatory," she said on Wednesday afternoon, prior to Sheehy's order. "I think that everybody should be wearing them. With the amount of people coming into down we are going to double our population. So to protect our own citizens we need to do the right thing and everybody should be mandated to wear them.”
As recently as Tuesday, Sheehy had said he preferred prioritizing community education over any kind of mandates. "The situation is very fluid," he said on Tuesday. "It has been my stance from the beginning that people are strongly encouraged to physically distance themselves, or to wear masks if they can't physically distance."
On Wednesday, Sheehy said the order was needed in response to the influx of visitors and rise in cases. “The health and safety of our residents is my primary concern," he said in the news release. " I thank all of our residents who responded to our educational efforts over the last few weeks. This action is needed now in response to the influx of visitors and the rise in cases.”