Masks are not required at Phoenix facilities, but the emergency declaration stays

Published: Monday, March 21, 2022 - 5:46am

Sunday marked two years since Phoenix leaders declared a local emergency due to COVID-19.

When Mayor Kate Gallego and the City Council members unanimously approved the declaration of a local emergency on March 20, 20920, it gave them more power to address public health and safety.

For two years, council meetings and other important city meetings have been held virtually, not in person. Appointments are still required to do business at City Hall and the Calvin Goode municipal building downtown but masks have not been required at city facilities since Feb. 28. That’s when Maricopa County dropped to moderate transmission levels.

Masks are still required at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport and buses and light rail because aviation and public transit departments must follow federal requirements. Phoenix Municipal Court must follow Arizona State Supreme ,and Maricopa County Superior courts requirements.

A Phoenix spokesperson told KJZZ the council must vote to remove the emergency declaration and, “the city has evolved its COVID protocols through the last two years, using transmission rates and CDC guidelines to protect the health of our employees and community members. ... Given the unpredictability of COVID transmission rates, which continue to impact our community, there is no estimated date to completely lift the emergency declaration.”