BULLHEAD CITY — In a move aimed at stemming the rapid growth of COVID-19 cases in the city, Bullhead City Mayor Tom Brady on Monday issued a proclamation requiring face coverings at all business locations open to the public in the city.
“Anyone entering a Bullhead City business must wear a cloth covering over their face and nose, effective 1 a.m. on July 1,” said a release announcing the proclamation. “All Bullhead City businesses are required to enforce the face covering requirement. City staff will educate the public and businesses as needed.”
The proclamation, Emergency Proclamation No. 2020-2, noted that the Bullhead City Council declared an emergency on March 17 to address COVID-19. On May 12, Gov. Doug Ducey allowed some businesses that previously were ordered closed to reopen in compliance with federal guidelines. On June 17, Ducey recommended — but did not mandate — wearing face coverings in public where other physical distancing measures were difficult to maintain and authorized local jurisdictions — at the county and city levels — to enact regulations.
At that time, both the Mohave County Board of Supervisors and the Bullhead City Council declined to make face coverings mandatory but recommended that businesses do so. Some businesses have; others have not. Now, in order to comply with the city proclamation, all will be required to do so.
The proclamation noted that “COVID-19 presents a continuing danger to the health, safety and welfare of the public” and that “the reopening of the state has led to more contact between individuals and Bullhead City has seen a significant upward trajectory of new COVID-19 cases.”
Cases in Bullhead City have risen from 94 confirmed positive as of June 1 to 490 by Monday with deaths increasing from five to 25. Countywide, cases have more than doubled in the last month, from 403 on June 1 to 1,055 after Monday’s report of 22 new cases — all in the Bullhead City service area.
According to the proclamation:
“An individual in an enclosed place of business and in areas open to the public must wear a face covering while in that business whether or not six feet of social distancing may be accomplished. A face covering includes a surgical mask, cloth cover or other similar material that covers the mouth and nose.
“All persons who own, manage or are employed by a business located in the city must wear a face covering while on-duty and having direct or indirect customer contact, including persons working in a kitchen or otherwise preparing or serving food or beverages to customers.
“Each business must post signage notifying individuals of the requirements to wear a face covering as provided by this order.”
The proclamation exempts children under the age of 6, persons with one or more medical conditions that prevent wearing a face covering, persons communicating with an individual who is hearing impaired who needs to see the mouth of the person speaking; individuals obtaining a service involving the nose or face for which temporary removal of the face covering is necessary to the service; public safely, police, fire and other life safety and health care personnel whose personal protecting equipment requirements are governed by their respective agencies and employers; a person in a federal, state or county government building; persons eating or drinking at a restaurant — with the intent that a face covering be worn at all other times; business owners, managers and employees who are in an area of the business that is not open to customers, patrons or the public; persons in a lodging establishment inside a lodging unit; persons at private or public schools within the city as they have their own governing board policies and procedures; City Hall or other city buildings that are closed to the public — if public access is allowed, employees and visitors will wear a mask; and individuals engaged in outdoor work or recreation.
All mass gatherings of 50 or more are stopped per the governor’s orders. Bullhead City will not approve any special events for at least the next 30 days. The city’s annual Splash Bash, normally scheduled for early August, has been cancelled.
The city is closing its splash pad until further notice. The municipal pool will remain open for activities of 10 people or less. All open swim sessions have been cancelled for at least the next month. All swim lessons have been cancelled.
Parking at Community Park will be limited to 500 vehicles daily for at least the next 30 days. The parking restrictions will limit the number of people allowed into the park, which will allow adequate physically distancing inside the expansive park.
The proclamation makes no mention of penalties for non-compliance or enforcement.
“It is the intent of this proclamation to educate and obtain the voluntary compliance of all responsible citizens within the city.”
The order will be in effect from 1 a.m. Wednesday through July 31 “unless extended by the mayor of Bullhead City.”