Resolution 2020-96

Frequently Asked Questions

What authority does the County have to require people to wear masks?

There are several statutes that give the County the authority to require the wearing of masks: ARS 11.251(17), ARS 36.183.02, ARS 36.624

Are masks required in the cities and towns?

Yes. Board of Supervisors Resolution 2020-96 applies everywhere in Pima County under the County Health Department’s broad statutory authority to protect the public health.

Do all businesses have to require customers wear face masks?

Yes and no. Board of Supervisors Resolution 2020-96 applies to everyone in the County, and everyone in the County should be wearing a mask. Business establishments are required to have employees wear masks under Resolution 2020-96 (Section 3). All members of the public are required to wear masks unless they are exempt under Section 2 of the Resolution. Businesses must request that a person inside the establishment leave if the person is not exempt under Section 2 and is not wearing a face covering. 

Do businesses have to enforce physical distancing among customers?

Yes, in concert with wearing of masks. In other words, if everyone – workers and patrons – in an establishment can maintain physical distancing, then masks are not necessary. If they can’t, then masks are necessary. Physical distancing works hand-in-glove with the face mask requirement.

Do dancers at topless bars have to wear masks?

Not if they are respecting physical distancing and remaining 6 feet away from customers or staff. If not, then yes.

How will mask requirements be enforced?

Under Resolution 2020-96 (Section 5) A violation of Section 1 of this Resolution is a civil infraction that carries a penalty of $50 per infraction. A violation of Section 3 of this Resolution by an establishment is a civil infraction that carries a penalty of $500 per infraction. In addition, if the Pima County Health Department investigates and finds noncompliance at an establishment, it may recommend to any governing body that issues a permit or license to that establishment, including when applicable the Arizona State Liquor Board, that the permit or license be suspended.

Do businesses have to provide masks for customers who don’t have them?


Will the County provide masks to members of the public who can’t afford them?

No. While there was once a shortage, cloth masks are now available all over the County for only a few dollars each.

Will the County provide masks to businesses that need them?


Can a business require me to wear a mask even if I fall under an exemption?

No. But it can prevent you from patronizing the business if it chooses, or provide you an alternate accommodation, such as online service, instead.

How do I prove I have a health exemption to mask regulations?

You don’t need to. Board of Supervisors Resolution 2020-96 does not require anyone claiming an exemption to the mask wearing rule to provide proof.

Is there any scientific proof that masks slow the spread of illness?

Yes. There are numerous studies. Doctors and nurses have been wearing face coverings for decades to prevent the spread of illness based on well-established and widely accepted scientific evidence. As for COVID-19, there is mounting authoritative evidence that widespread use of masks, especially cloth face coverings, is essential for slowing the spread of the virus. You can find links to many of these studies at

Don’t masks inhibit breathing and potentially cause illness?
 Wouldn’t wearing a mask trap the CO2 from my own breath and potentially  cause harm?

No. For many, many decades medical professionals, farm workers, painters, construction workers, manufacturers, landscapers and members of many other professions all have been wearing masks for extended periods of time without any breathing or health problems. However, the County recognizes that some people with severe respiratory problems or other medical issues may have trouble wearing masks, which is why they are exempt.

Wearing a mask is uncomfortable for me – can I take it off when I’m not around others?

You can take short mask breaks, preferably outside in the open, when you’re not around others. Remember to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after putting on or taking off your mask, or if touch the outside of the mask. Put the mask back on before coming within 6 feet of other people or entering a business. You can also try finding a different mask – some people can find one type of mask uncomfortable, but other masks more comfortable. Find the mask that’s right for you.
Follow Us Share this page

Health Department

3950 S. Country Club Road
Ste. 100
Tucson, AZ 85714

(520) 724-7770

Department Home
Department News
Department Directory

phab logo