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Mass confusion about mask mandates

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Posted at 4:45 PM, Apr 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-07 21:35:24-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN9) — Local businesses are reacting to mass confusion about mask mandates in our area.

Governor Doug Ducey and Pima County continue to be at odds over legalities around enforcement.

“They’re telling people they don’t have to wear masks, I guess is it lifted? I don’t really know,” said Viviana Valencia on her way into a bookstore on the northwest side of town.

The governor’s order said local mandates could no longer be enforced, but Pima County says its enforcement continues.

“It has definitely been challenging especially in the last month with those changes and contradictions,” said Tyler Leveque, owner of Baja Café on Ina. He says the confusion has even led to arguments with a few customers.

“It makes it a lot harder on servers, hosts and front of the house staff,” he said. “They have really had a hard time being the police for the rules, because we are following the {Pima County} health department.”

The Arizona Attorney General has recently weighed in with an informal opinion. He says the governor's order cannot bar Pima County from enforcing its mandate, but said the governor could go through the state health department to do so.

“We are reviewing the Attorney General’s informal opinion, what impact it has, or authority it may assert,” said Governor Ducey’s spokesperson C.J. Karamargin. “But, given local governments' inability, ineffectiveness and unwillingness to enforce mask ordinances when they were most necessary, we believe it is largely inconsequential.”

“For me I'd feel comfortable if I go to the store to wear a mask,” said Valencia.

Most of the people we talked to say they are happy to wear a mask as a courtesy to others, but are looking forward to when the controversy and pandemic are over.