When it comes to wearing face masks in Fountain Hills to stem the spread of COVID-19, an ordinance approved by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors on Friday, June 19, sets the standard: They are mandatory.

It’s easy to understand why some might still be confused, though, given the chain of events that led to this final outcome. The Fountain Hills Town Council held a special session Friday afternoon as well, just hours before the county weighed in on the matter. Governor Doug Ducey elected early last week to make potential face mask mandates a local, rather than statewide, matter. As a result, many town and city councils hopped to the task, creating and approving regulations of their own. To create a more cohesive umbrella, though, Maricopa County officials decided to craft an ordinance for all incorporated and unincorporated areas within the county, so residents won’t have to guess which towns do or do not require masks.

They say timing is everything and, for the local council, that certainly rings true. To their credit, members worked through the process as quickly as possible, took comments from the public and included their own personal communications with residents and business owners on the matter. While members debated a clearly divisive matter and made their decision to not require masks, it resulted in no impact following the MCBS decision that shortly followed.

This comment began with the simple statement that face masks are required in public spaces until further notice because that’s the cut and dry, most basic information people need to know to adhere to the new regulation. As you might have guessed, though, there are plenty of additional details including more specific guidelines and exemptions. For a full understanding of the ordinance, visit Maricopa.gov. At the top of the page, highlight the tab for “I want to…” Within that menu, under “Learn About,” click on “County News.” One of the top stories should be “Board approves mask regulations due to community spread of COVID-19.” The article has a summary of the details and, at the bottom, you’ll find a link to read the full ordinance.