Flagstaff council objects to Ducey order on mask mandates

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In this Dec. 2, 2020, file photo, Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey arrives for a news conference to talk about the latest Arizona COVID-19 information in Phoenix. Ducey is prohibiting government mask mandates and allowing bars and nightclubs shuttered for months to open their doors without restrictions. Ducey's move Thursday, March 25, 2021, leaves in place few of the restrictions he implemented to curb the spread of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, Pool, File)

The Flagstaff City Council is casting a critical eye on Gov. Doug Ducey’s executive order barring local governments from enforcing mask-wearing mandates to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

The council on Friday issued a statement saying it doesn’t plan to rescind the city’s proclamation requiring mask-wearing but won’t enforce it while studying Ducey’s order Thursday that also lifted the state’s own remaining COVID-19 restrictions on businesses and events.

COVID-19 continues to spread, and Ducey’s order ”is not in the best interest of public health and further erodes home role,” the Flagstaff council’s statement said.

Arizona on Saturday reported 776 additional confirmed COVID-19 cases and 14 more deaths, increasing the state’s totals to 839,334 cases and 16,912 deaths, according to the state’s coronavirus dashboard.

COVID-19-related hospitalizations dropped to 581 as of Friday, down from 626 as of Thursday.

The number of infections is thought to be far higher than reported because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.

Republished with the permission of the Associated Press.