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  • Supervisors lift face mask mandate for fully vaccinated; ask unvaccinated to mask up

    May 14, 2021 | Read More News
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    The Pima County Board of Supervisors this spring voted 4-1 to follow the lead of the Centers for Disease Control and no longer require people who are fully vaccinated to wear a face mask in Pima County. Since there are still a few hundred thousand people in the county who have yet to be vaccinated, the Board passed a new Resolution that recommends the unvaccinated and people who are between their first and second doses of the vaccine to keep wearing their face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

    The Board’s vote repealed Resolution 2020-96, which mandated mask wearing, and replaced it with Resolution 2021-35, which includes guidance that follows the CDC’s masking guidance released May 13, and the Public Health Advisory issued today by Health Director Dr. Theresa Cullen.  

    The Advisory defined fully vaccinated as: People who are two weeks past their second dose in a two-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines; and people who are two weeks past a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine. 
    FEMA pod
    There are still instances where it will be recommended that fully vaccinated people continue to wear face masks. The Board resolution, the CDC, and the County Public Health Advisory recommend mask wearing in the following circumstances:
    • People who are not fully vaccinated.
    • People on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in transportation hubs such as airports, bus, train or other transit stations.
    • Residents and employees of correctional facilities, homeless shelters, congregate living facilities and health care facilities regardless of vaccination status. 
    • Students, teachers, school administrators and staff should continue mask use in accordance with the CDC’s school guidance.
    • People who are attending large indoor events that have more than 1,000 people attending. 
    People who are vaccinated and develop symptoms of COVID-19 should resume mask use and get tested for COVID-19. Fully vaccinated individuals who are immune-compromised, including those undergoing transplant or cancer treatment, should seek the guidance of their clinical care team before discontinuing mask use.

    For people who for a variety of reasons delayed getting a second dose of Pfizer or Moderna, or who chose not to get it, who now want to get their second dose so they don’t have to wear a mask, Dr. Cullen said second doses can be administered even if several months have passed since the first shot. Anyone seeking a vaccination can go to www.pima.gov/covid19vaccine to find a location nearest to them. Most no longer require an appointment. 

    According to the CDC’s data tracker, more than 418,000 county residents over the age of 12 are fully vaccinated. More than 76 percent of residents over the age of 65 are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC. There are more than 842,000 people in Pima County over the age of 18, which means almost half of eligible adults in the county are fully vaccinated. According to the Arizona Department of Health Services vaccination data dashboard, more 511,000 county residents have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. 

    “We have made tremendous progress since we started vaccinations in December, but we still have a way to go. There are still 400,000 people eligible to be fully vaccinated,” Cullen said. “We are still seeing dozens of cases of COVID-19 each week and people are still ending up in the hospital with severe illness.  We need everyone to get vaccinated to stop the spread of this deadly disease.
    “If you haven’t been vaccinated, please go get your shot. If you don’t like wearing a face mask, the solution is easy: get vaccinated,” she said.