Yuma County announced on Friday the launch of a new countywide COVID-19 Face Cover Information Line and email address to serve residents who live in unincorporated areas of the county.

The face cover information hotline is 928-373-1180, and will be administered by the County Administrator’s Office. Operators will respond to calls from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays-Fridays, along with emails sent to mask@yumacountyaz.gov.

County residents will be able to ask questions about the wearing of face covers and moving about the county while wearing them, as well as receive information about the recent proclamation issued by the chairman of the Yuma County Board of Supervisors requiring their use.

On June 18 Yuma County, based on the risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus faced by the residents who live in unincorporated areas of the county, joined Somerton and San Luis in issuing a proclamation that mandated the use of face masks.

These actions came after Gov. Ducey gave counties, cities and towns permission to adopt their own policies on the use of face coverings to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

However, Sheriff Leon Wilmot said he could not enforce the mandate, citing a lack of resources. He instead asked that county residents voluntarily comply, saying it was a measure recommended by local Health Department experts.

The following week, on June 24, the chairman of the Yuma County Board of Supervisors issued an amended proclamation that “recommended” the use of masks, instead of requiring their use.

All face coverings must cover the person’s nose and mouth and must be fitted to the face. They are not required at home or when alone in a vehicle or in the vehicle only with people a person lives with, when eating, when swimming or when exercising outdoors.

Children who are 2 years old or younger and people diagnosed with certain medical conditions are precluded from wearing masks. A person who declines to wear a face covering because of a medical condition will not be required to produce documentation verifying the condition.

According to the proclamation, residents as well as visitors to Yuma County bear a responsibility to assist the county in its efforts to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Specifically, the proclamation suggests that all customers and visitors to businesses wear face coverings to provide additional protection for employees and customers alike. It is up to individual businesses to establish the protocols for their establishments.

Businesses may also refuse service to anyone not wearing a face covering.

Businesses, however, must ensure they are aware of and comply with all orders related to COVID-19, at the state, county, and city levels.

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