by Craig McFarland, Mayor, City of Casa Grande
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted people worldwide and remains the worst public health crisis faced in the United States in over a century.
More than 33 million Americans contracted COVID-19 with 882,691 cases landing in Arizona. Over 590,000 Americans have lost their lives including 17,653 Arizonans. Nearly 900 of them were Pinal County residents.
A trending decrease in virus caseload has finally taken hold nationally along with an upward tick of local vaccinations. In turn, the City of Casa Grande rescinded the mask mandate effective June 2021.
I am proud of how Casa Grande residents came together to create a significant decline in the number of cases. As more get vaccinated, we will get closer to achieving responsible herd immunity.
In accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations, fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing masks or physically distancing except where required by federal, state, local, tribal or territorial laws, rules, and regulations including local business and workplace guidance.
While this order rescinds the requirement for face coverings in City-owned facilities, the City Court remains subject to the direction of the Arizona Supreme Court and Superior Court of Pinal County and may continue requiring face coverings on and in its premises.
Nothing in this new order affects requirements for wearing face coverings in public transportation or as otherwise currently required by federal law or regulation.
Restaurants have resumed full-capacity dining without restrictions, and events are no longer limited to size or mitigation measures. City libraries, parks, and recreation centers have returned to normal business hours. Residents have resumed in-person attendance at City Council, Boards, and Commission meetings.
The moratorium on late fees for unpaid utility billings and shutoffs has expired, as well as the extension of pet or business licenses.
Businesses still may set their own stricter standards for masking and social distancing or refuse access to anyone not in compliance with their private standards. Folks who have yet to receive vaccinations are still urged to wear face coverings and physically distance, according to the CDC.
I urge all citizens to continue to practice good hygiene and to remain socially aware and conscious of the continued presence of the virus in our community. It’s up to all of us to make sure we continue to succeed.