As local Yuma lawyers, we are providing an easy summary of the new requirements for face coverings and face masks in the City of San Luis, City of Somerton, City of Yuma, and Yuma County. We have also included a summary of Arizona Governor Ducey’s latest Executive Orders regarding face coverings, and links to the Executive Orders to help Yuma County residents and small business owners stop the spread of COVID-19 and be in compliance with the new rules.

On June 17, 2020, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed Executive Order 2020-40.  This Executive Order allowed the City of Yuma, City of Somerton City of San Luis, and Yuma County to “adopt policies regarding the wearing of face coverings in public for the purpose of mitigating the spread of COVID-19.” 

The City of Somerton, City of San Luis, and Yuma County all state that a face covering with a one-way valve that makes exhaling easier does not meet the requirements of a “face covering” for the purposes of their respective proclamations.

As of June 22, 2020, Somerton and San Luis have similar requirements and exclusions in their orders regarding face covering and masks. The biggest difference we noted during our review was that the City of Somerton explicitly requires employers to provide employees with face coverings at no cost to the employee.

City of San Luis

Mayor Gerardo Sanchez of the City of San Luis signed a Proclamation and Continued Declaration of Emergency on June 17, 2020 regarding Face Coverings in Public Space

The City of San Luis requires a face covering to enter city government buildings and facilities, including open spaces.  

Children under the age of 2 and people with medical conditions that would preclude them from wearing face coverings are not required to do so.

Face coverings are required within the San Luis city limits:

  • In a public space and in proximity to people
    • indoors if another person is present,
    • outdoors if another person is 30 feet away (about the length of a school bus, this gives pedestrians time to put their Face Coverings on as they see the person 30 feet away),
  • In the public areas of business or government building, and
  • While waiting in line.

Face coverings are not required: 

  • Inside your own home,
  • While alone in a vehicle or in the vehicle only with people you live with, 
  • While eating, 
  • While exercising outdoors alone or with people you live with, 
  • While swimming, and
  • In workspaces not open to the public (but still recommended, or if required by ADOSH or a business or employer)

City of Somerton

Mayor Gerardo Anaya of the City of Somerton signed a proclamation a on June 18, 2020 requiring Face Coverings in Public

The City of Somerton requires employers to supply (upon the employee’s request, at no cost to the employee, a face covering to comply with the City’s proclamation.

Otherwise, the City of Somerton and the City of San Luis have nearly the same requirements for when and where a mask must be worn, and who must wear a mask.

City of Yuma

Ocean to Ocean bridge lit up at night

Yuma Mayor Doug Nicholls signed a Third Amendment to the Proclamation of Emergency on June 19, 2020 regarding Face Coverings.

The City of Yuma has civil penalties for non-compliance with the face covering order.  The first violation will result in a warning, focused on education and best practices. A second violation is a civil fine of $50.  Each subsequent offense is a civil fine of up to $100.

The City of Yuma requires face coverings (masks): 

  • In all places of public accommodation, 
  • If people will be in contact with others who do not live in their household, and 
  • In spaces where it is difficult or impossible to achieve and maintain physical distancing.

Exceptions for face coverings (masks) include:

  • Anyone who cannot wear a face covering because of a medical or mental health condition or developmental disability, or who is unable to remove the face covering without assistance. A person who cannot wear a face covering because of a medical condition is not required to produce medical documentation of the condition, provided that an employer may require such documentation from an employee in accordance with state and federal law.
  • For children under 4 years old.
  • For people whose religious beliefs prevent them from wearing a face covering.
  • For individuals exercising outdoors, or while walking or exercising with other people from the same household, as long as physical distancing from others is maintained.
  • For individuals congregating outdoors with other people not in their same household, face coverings are required when physical distancing is not maintained.
  • In settings where it is not practical or feasible to wear a face covering, including when obtaining or rendering goods or services, such as the receipt of dental services, medical treatments or while swimming.
  • When a person is in a personal or work office or vehicle (or similar space) where others are not present as long as the public does not regularly visit the space.
  • While exclusively with members of a family or the same household.
  • For public safety employees and/or emergency responders and/or field employees when wearing the face covering would interfere with or limit their ability to carry out their duties or functions.
  • For individuals complying with the directions of public safety employees.
  • For active duty military personnel while on base or conducting military activities that would otherwise conflict with this proclamation.

Yuma County

Yuma County sign for face covering required

Marco A. “Tony” Reyes, the Chairman of the Yuma County Board of Supervisors, signed a Proclamation Requiring Face Coverings for the Purpose of Mitigating the Spread of COVID-19 on June 19, 2020.

Yuma County’s proclamation created a hotline that is funded by Yuma County Administration, for the public to report possible violations of the proclamation.  The proclamation does, however, allow for regulatory agencies to call a law enforcement agency if there is an immediate threat to public safety, or significant and willful violations.

Yuma County’s face covering order requires that all businesses post conspicuous signs at their entrance stating that employees, customers, and visitors must wear face coverings, pursuant to the County’s, order to be admitted into the premises. If a customer refuses to wear a mask or cloth face covering for non-medical reasons, a business may decline entry to the individual. Yuma County has provided a free example of a sign for businesses to use.

Yuma County’s proclamation requires face coverings at all times when inside of:

  • Stores (retail, grocery, pharmacy, etc);
  • While providing or using services of any taxi, car, livery, ride-sharing or similar service
  • While providing or using any or means of public transportation;
  • While within an enclosed or semi enclosed transit stop or waiting area.

The county’s proclamation permits the same exemptions as the cities of Somerton and San Luis, namely that face coverings are not required:

  • When at home
  • When alone in a vehicle or in the vehicle only with people you live with
  • When eating
  • When swimming
  • When exercising outdoors alone or only with people you live with

Arizona Governor Ducey Executive Orders

Governor Ducey’s Executive Order 2020-40 also included separate requirements for businesses and restaurants with dine-in services.

Requirements for Businesses
All businesses that physically operate in Arizona and either serve the public or have employees must develop and enforce policies that adopt guidance from the CDC, Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and Arizona Department of Health Services to limit and mitigate the spread of COVID-19, including:

  • Promoting healthy hygiene practices;
  • Intensifying cleaning, disinfection and ventilation practices;
  • Monitoring for sickness;
  • Ensuring physical distancing;
  • Requiring face coverings when physical distancing is not feasible;
  • Providing necessary protective equipment;
  • Allowing for and encouraging teleworking where feasible;
  • Providing plans, where possible, to return to work in phases; and
  • Limiting the congregation of groups of no more than 10 persons when feasible and in relation to the size of the location.

Requirements for Restaurants with Dine In Services
Executive Order 2020-40 also included requirements for restaurants with dine-in services, including:

  • Enforcing physical distancing of at least 6 feet between customers.
  • Continuing to provide options for delivery, pick-up, or curbside service even if a location offers dine-in. 
  • Requiring cloth masks and frequent handwashing for all servers, hosts, and employees who interact with customers (even if local government requirement does not require it).
  • Posting signs at restaurant entrance prohibiting individuals who are symptomatic from entering the premises.
  • Supporting healthy hygiene practices for both employees and customers.
  • Intensifying cleaning, disinfection, and ventilation practices. 
  • Restaurants should sanitize tables, tablecloths, chairs, condiments and condiment holders, and any other surface a customer is likely to have touched after each sitting with EPA-registered disinfectant.  
  • Implementing symptom screening for employees prior to the start of their shift. 
  • Eliminating instances where customers serve their own food, including salad bars and buffets. 
  • Avoiding using or sharing items such as menus, condiments, and any other food. 
  • Considering assigning duties to vulnerable workers that minimize their contact with customers and other employees. 
  • Training all employees in the above safety actions. 

This is simply a summary of available information, is not intended as legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship.

If you are a small business owner, our Yuma lawyers are available to help you develop a written policy to comply with these new requirements.  Contact our office for an appointment.

Contact the Yuma Lawyers in our office today for a consultation