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How county health department enforces mask, safety measure compliance

Pima County starts safety complaint reporting system
Posted at 10:08 AM, Oct 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-25 18:45:51-04

TUCSON, Ariz, - Mask and safety requirements for businesses in Pima County have been in place for months, and now we're getting insight into how these requirements are enforced.

Over the past few months the county has allowed residents to submit complaints against businesses they believe aren't complying with mask and safety requirements.

“We get complaints on the phone, we get complaints in letters, we get complaints submitted through portals," said Dr. Francisco Garcia, the Pima County Chief Medical Officer.

Dr. Garcia told KGUN9 that since the mask complaint system has been in place, there have been more than 1,100 complaints submitted. He said every single complaint is vetted by a Pima County Health Department staff member.

“Especially early on a lot of those calls were purely educational like, hey did you know that people are suppose to be wearing masks, and early on people didn’t," he said.

Dr. Garcia said in most cases businesses that receive a complaint only require a reminder of the rules. Inspectors with the department only step in when a business receives multiple complaints.

“We do assign it to an individual to go out and look at that business," said Dr. Garcia.

If an inspector is assigned to a business that has not complied with safety requirements after multiple visits, they end up on a list on the Pima County Health Department website.

The website lists businesses the county says have violated the mask requirement.

“If they take care of the problem, they end up coming of," said Dr. Garcia.

Dr. Garcia told KGUN9 the intent behind the list is not to shame any businesses, instead, keep customers aware.

“We just want customers to know that certain actors are not following the rules," he said.

The county has a online portal that allows residents to file a complaint against a business they believe is not adhering to mask and safety requirements. Click here for the portal.