The mayors of Bullhead City and Kingman issued proclamations requiring the use of face coverings this week, but Lake Havasu City Mayor Cal Sheehy is reluctant to follow suit.
A new wave of business closures has swept across Arizona after a mandate by Doug Ducey. With confirmed coronavirus cases on the rise, more communities including Kingman and Bullhead City are instituting measures to protect the public. As of Tuesday afternoon, Sheehy had not issued an order requiring masks for visitors and residents – but didn’t dismiss it as a future possibility.
“The situation is very fluid,” Sheehy said 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.”
As of this week, there were 74,553 confirmed coronavirus cases in Arizona, with an average of about 2,857 new cases per day, according to Ducey. Arizona has been one of almost 30 states to see increases in coronavirus cases since last week.
With an abundance of weekend visitors from Nevada and California, the rising number of coronavirus cases could prove problematic not just for Havasu, but for Arizona’s neighboring states as well.
“It’s unfortunate that people seem split on the issue,” Sheehy said. “We know that people can slow the spread of the virus by wearing masks or face coverings. Over the past week, I’ve seen more residents wearing them. I’m thankful for those who are doing their part to slow the spread and thinking of their neighbors. I’m asking that all of our citizens wear a mask when they can’t socially distance.”
In Kingman and Bullhead City, municipal employees have been asked to help enforce the masking requirement. Police will work to “educate the public” about the order and provide face coverings when possible. Upon complaint, officers will communicate with residents and businesses that aren’t in compliance. The City of Kingman asked that residents avoid calling 911 to report violations.
Sheehy is participating in a special “Coffee with the Mayor” session on Facebook Live on Thursday morning at 8:30 a.m. City Manager Jess Knudson will also participate.