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A place for updates on the pandemic.

Wear a mask everyone!

Banner Photo: Chairman Ramon Valazez, left, and Clerk of the Board Julie Castaneda listen to seven people who spoke before the emergency meeting on Dec. 4, 2020. 


Reader question: Why do some businesses still require masks?

We're answering community questions from readers collected from our Community Conversation Survey!

Today’s question is: “Why are some businesses still requiring masks despite county and CDC guidance?”

Background Information: On March 25, Gov. Doug Ducey issued an Executive Order that downgraded coronavirus safety guidelines from local governments from requirements to recommendations.

While Pima County originally said they would continue to require people to wear masks in defiance of that order, on May 14th the Pima County Board of Supervisors voted to allow fully-vaccinated people to forgo wearing a mask in Pima County. At that time, the board also issued a recommendation that anybody who is unvaccinated or in between doses of the vaccine to still wear face coverings.

Answer: Regardless, private businesses still have the right to set their own safety standards as they see fit and the right to refuse service to those who chose not to wear masks. Reasons vary for why businesses still enforce mask policies.

According to Grill on the Green General Manager Mike Cochran, the restaurant made masks optional about a month ago.

Cochran explained, “We still have a very small following of customers that are wearing masks when they come in, and we still have a small number, probably 12-15 percent, of our workers that still like to wear the masks themselves because they have not gotten the vaccine.”

Employees haven’t gotten vaccinated because either they “disagree with getting the shot, are still concerned about the safety, or they don’t feel like they want... (More)


Seeking interviewees for story on vaccine hesitancy

Hello NABURs,

My name is Jamie and I’m currently working on a story for our Sunday edition about vaccine hesitancy.

Pima County, along with many other agencies,  has been focused on a vaccination encouragement program. 

I'm looking for a couple people to interview on the phone today or tomorrow who have either:

  1. Not received a vaccine yet and are hesitant to.
  2. Were originally hesitant but have since received a vaccine.
  3. Do not plan to get vaccinated.

I can offer anonymity to anyone who is interested in speaking with me.  

Please email me at so we can connect. 


Are masks required? Here's a list of businesses and their mask policies

Pima County adopted new mask guidelines on Friday, allowing people who are fully vaccinated to resume most indoor activities without a mask or physical distancing. However, regardless of this policy, businesses are still allowed to enforce mask wearing on their property. We compiled a list of the mask policies being enforced by businesses. To see the list, click here. 

What do you think of the new mask policies? 


Hey Andy,

I think the best idea at this point is to call ahead to any restaurant you're interested in to ask what their current policy is. Everything has been changing quickly and could easily change again. Based on my reporting on this topic, I'd say keeping that list current and accurate would be a bit challenging.

There's currently a question or some debate over who has the authority on this subject: the state or the county. Gov. Ducey said the power to determine mask policies in businesses is now in the hands of the business owners. They don't have to require masks but can if they choose.

Pima County said they have the authority and are keeping their mask requirement for businesses in the county in place. The county has been responding to reports of non-compliance.

Until we get another update from Pima County, I'd say call a restaurant before you go to make sure.

I can tell you I know the Grill on the Green is still requiring the masks. Twist and Shout, 19th Hole and Longhorn were making it optional last time I spoke with them.

I know a lot of the national chains are also still requiring them.

I encourage Naburs here to chime in with what they know about local restaurants as they are going out places.

Sorry I don't have a better answer for you. Email me at jverwys@gvnews.com6 if you have any more questions on the topic or you can respond here with... (More)