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The latest on COVID-19 in Arizona.

San Luis, Somerton Make Face Masks in Public Mandatory

San Luis appears to be the first city in Arizona to make wearing face masks in public required. It was soon followed by Somerton.

On Wednesday evening, San Luis Mayor Gerardo Sanchez signed a proclamation and continued declaration of emergency mandating face coverings in public spaces that went into effect immediately. 

Mayor Sanchez said there will be a grace period of educating the public on the proclamation. He was joined at the signing by Vice Mayor Cecilia Cruz, City Manager Tadeo De La Hoya, San Luis Police Lt. Marco Santana and Fire Chief Angel Ramirez, all of whom were wearing masks.

The City of Somerton will also now require residents to wear a face mask in public to slow the spread of COVID-19 beginning Thursday.

Somerton Mayor Gerardo Anaya joined six other elected officials in southern Arizona including Sanchez in writing a letter to Gov. Doug Ducey on Saturday seeking the authority to make face coverings required. On Wednesday, Ducey said that would be possible.

“We can’t control every aspect of life," Mayor Anaya told KAWC. "People are still congregating in homes. No matter how much we try to spread the message, some people just don’t care but at least what we have in our power, in our public streets, in our walkways and in our businesses, we’re going to require masks. I am sure that’s going to have a positive effect.”

Yuma County Supervisor Tony Reyes also signed the letter to Ducey from the Arizona Border Counties Coalition. Tucson Mayor Regina Romero also made national headlines when she said she would ask the governor for the authority to make face coverings mandatory. Romero said she will sign the order for Tucson Thursday.

Officials in Yuma and Yuma County have not made any announcements on any such ordinance.

Victor is originally from West Sacramento, California and has lived in Arizona for more than five years. He began his print journalism career in 2004 following his graduation from Georgetown University in Washington D.C. Victor has been a reporter for the following daily newspapers: The Monterey County Herald, The Salinas Californian and the Reno Gazette-Journal, where he covered stories including agriculture, education and Latino community news. Victor has also served as a local editor for Patch, a national news organization with hyperlocal websites, in Carmichael, California in the Sacramento area. He also served as the editor for The New Vision, the newspaper for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson, which includes Yuma and La Paz counties. Victor lives in Somerton. He enjoys spending time with his family and friends and following most sports.
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