Mohave County’s three largest cities have rescinded their mandates on wearing face masks in public, with Kingman the latest to do so.
The Kingman City Council on Tuesday voted to lift its mask requirement, which had been in effect since July 1.
Local businesses are still permitted to require customers to wear face coverings, and a mask mandate in city government buildings remains in effect.
Arizona doesn’t have a statewide mask law. Gov. Doug Ducey in June gave local governments authority over the issue. Health and education leaders have been urging cities to keep their requirements in place.
Kingman instead followed suit with countymates Bullhead City and Lake Havasu City, which lifted their mandates last month.
The decision came while COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have been trending upward statewide.
The percent positive for diagnostic testing in the northwestern Arizona county is 8.7% over the course of the pandemic, below the 10.4% for all of Arizona.
Twelve new coronavirus cases and one additional death were reported for Mohave County on Wednesday, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services. That brought the county’s totals to 4,223 documented COVID-19 infections and 230 fatalities.
Statewide, health officials reported 975 new coronavirus cases and 17 more deaths on Wednesday, putting Arizona’s totals at 233,912 infections and 5,854 fatalities.
Earlier this month, the Mohave County Board of Supervisors failed to pass a motion that would have rescinded the county’s public health emergency declaration by a 3-2 vote.
Before that vote, the board had asked county officials to investigate the repercussions of rescinding the declaration, since the county has received more than $9 million in federal coronavirus relief funding.
All but $1.5 million has been spent or allocated into the county’s contingency fund for future use. The concern was that they would have to return the aid to the government if the declaration was rescinded.
The CDC strongly advises wearing masks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.