The cities of Phoenix, Tucson, Peoria, Tempe, and Flagstaff have all announced reinstatement of their mask mandates following the updated CDC guidance. The mayors of these cities directed their officials to mandate masks in city facilities regardless of vaccination status. Tempe and Tucson’s mandate went into effect on Wednesday, Peoria’s mandate on Thursday, and Flagstaff’s mandate on Friday. Phoenix’s mandate will go into effect on Monday.
As The Arizona Sun Times reported, the CDC recommended on Tuesday that everyone – even fully-vaccinated individuals – wear masks inside public spaces where high transmission rates exist. The CDC claimed that this reversed guidance was influenced by the surge of Delta variant cases. The CDC mentioned that certain data necessitated this change, but hasn’t published it.
“#DeltaVariant surging in U.S. New data show Delta much more contagious than previous versions of #COVID19,” wrote the CDC. “Unvaccinated people: get vaccinated and mask until you do. Everyone in areas of substantial/high transmission should wear a mask, even if vaccinated.”
#DeltaVariant surging in U.S. New data show Delta much more contagious than previous versions of #COVID19. Unvaccinated people: get vaccinated & mask until you do. Everyone in areas of substantial/high transmission should wear a mask, even if vaccinated. https://t.co/tt49zOEC8N
— CDC (@CDCgov) July 27, 2021
Governor Doug Ducey criticized the CDC’s backtracking on masks and vaccinations. Ducey asserted that this updated guidance proved the Biden administration’s incompetence and would only weaken confidence in the vaccine.
“This is just another example of the Biden-Harris administration’s inability to effectively confront the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Ducey. “Public health officials in Arizona and across the country have made it clear that the best protection against COVID-19 is the vaccine. Today’s announcement by the CDC will unfortunately only diminish confidence in the vaccine and create more challenges for public health officials – people who have worked tirelessly to increase vaccination rate[s].”
The same day that the CDC updated their guidance, the Department of Justice (DOJ) published an opinion that COVID-19 vaccines, currently only under emergency use authorization from the FDA, may be mandated.
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