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Based on current data and updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Coconino County Health and Human Services (CCHHS) recommends residents wear masks in indoor public places.
In line with this recommendation, Coconino County will reinstate mask requirements in all county buildings effective Wednesday, August 4, at 8 a.m.
On July 27th, the CDC updated its COVID-19 guidance for fully vaccinated people, recommending everyone wear a mask in indoor public settings in geographic areas with substantial and high transmission, regardless of vaccination status. Coconino County COVID-19 case numbers have followed an upward trajectory over the past several weeks and the county is currently in “high” COVID-19 transmission.
“Vaccination is the path out of this pandemic, and is the best way to protect you, your family, and your community. We are in a race against time to increase vaccination coverage and stop other variants from developing. Unvaccinated individuals should get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible. And while we are in substantial or high transmission, both the vaccinated and unvaccinated should wear a mask in public indoor settings to help prevent the spread of Delta and protect others,” said CCHHS Director Kim Musselman.
The CDC masking decision was made considering data demonstrating that the Delta variant of COVID-19 infection is nearly twice as infectious as previous variants. While virtually all hospitalizations and deaths continue to be among the unvaccinated, some vaccinated people can get Delta in breakthrough infection and may be contagious.
The masking recommendation was updated to ensure the vaccinated public would not unknowingly transmit the virus to others, including those not yet eligible for vaccine, such as young children, or immunocompromised loved ones. Data demonstrate that the vaccines are preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death and are effective against the Delta variant.
In alignment with the CDC guidance, the County is requiring face masks be worn by employees and the public while in county buildings to protect customer and employee health and safety.
The Courts operate under orders from the Arizona Office of the Courts (AOC) and will follow AOC policy.
CCHHS also supports CDC masking guidance which recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors in K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. CCHHS recommends that children return to full-time in-person learning in the fall with layered prevention strategies in place, such as wearing face masks, washing hands frequently, and physical distancing to the extent possible. As the public health authority, Coconino County Health and Human Services may adopt updated quarantine and additional mitigation measures to prevent the spread of an infectious or contagious disease.
The Coconino County Weekly COVID-19 Report is available at https://www.coconino.az.gov/2598/Vaccine-Data-Dashboard, COVID-19 testing information is available at https://www.coconino.az.gov/2338/Testing-Information, and COVID-19 vaccination locations are available at https://www.coconino.az.gov/2580/COVID-19-Vaccination-Locations.