State Rep. Bob Thorpe, R-Flagstaff, said he opposed the local mask proclamations and would have preferred if the governor had remained in control of such measures.
“I strongly disagree with Ducey’s latest reversal — now allowing liberal mayors, like here in Flagstaff, to mandate the wearing of masks,” Thorpe told the Arizona Daily Sun.
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Thorpe pointed to the current bed capacity at the Flagstaff Medical Center, which as of now, he said, has not seen a spike in COVID-19 positive patients.
“If FMC sees a substantial spike in COVID-19 patients, it will reduce or stop elective procedures in order to create additional bed capacity,” Thorpe said.
But even before Ducey allowed cities to make their own rules regarding masks, many local businesses had already begun requiring them to be worn by both employees and visiting customers.
Both the Flagstaff Mall and the Old Town Shops were among businesses that required customers wear masks in order to shop.
John VanLandingham, who owns the Old Town Shops, said even before the city’s mandate to wear masks in public, their own decision to require masks was a “no-brainer.”
“While a lot of people seem to look at mask requirements through a political or ideological lens, for us it was and is about safety … the safety of our team, our guests and our community. Even at a limited capacity, our traffic counts often exceed 1,000 people throughout a day,” VanLandingham wrote in a email.