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UPDATE:  As of Tuesday, June 23 at 12;15 p.m., the meeting scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 24, will be a work session to discuss the county's FY 2020-21 budget only. Any action on face masks is not on the agenda for his meeting. The Board of Supervisor's office said they are waiting for more information from other communities on face masks.

A special meeting would need to be set to discuss and take action on face masks. The earliest this could occur would be Wednesday afternoon, as the agenda for such a meeting would need to be posted 24 hours ahead of the meeting.

The Pioneer will be checking back with the county website to see if anything has been posted this afternoon.

The La Paz County Board of Supervisors discussed they should mandate county residents were face masks because of the coronavirus pandemic at a special meeting June 22, but they decided to take no action. The Board Chairman, District 3 Supervisor Holly Irwin said they would make a decision at a special meeting Wednesday, June 24.

This came in the wake of Gov. Doug Ducey’s executive order of June 17 that allowed local jurisdictions to decide whether they would mandate their residents wear face mask. The state has seen a major increase in the number of coronavirus cases since May 15, when Ducey’s “stay-at-home” order was lifted. There have been days since then that more than 2,000 new cases have been reported. There have been more than 50,000 cases in the state and more than 1,300 deaths.

At the June 22 meeting, County Health Director Marion Shontz said there had been 279 cases in the county and four deaths. More than 200 of the cases came from the Colorado River Indians Tribes with people being tested at Parker Indian Health Center.

The Parker Town Council met June 19 and did not mandate masks in public places within the town, but they did strongly recommend people wear them. The CRIT Tribal Council voted to make masks mandatory in public places on Tribal lands.

At the start of the discussion at the June 22 Supervisors’ meeting, Deputy County Attorney Ryan Dooley, who was attending the meeting by telephone, said the county would need to declare an emergency to mandate masks in unincorporated areas of the county.

District 1 Supervisor D.L. Wilson was the only one of the Supervisors who said he wanted to mandate masks.

Wilson said he’d been struggling with the matter all weekend. He said La Paz had the fifth highest number of cases per capita of the 15 counties in the state. He noted the county and state haven’t leveled off yet, and are still seeing an increase in the number of cases.

“We need to do something to stop this,” he said. “We need to require masks.”

Irwin said she’d had a lot of conversations about the matter over the weekend. She said she did not believe the government should be telling people how to live. She added she would not ask the Sheriff’s Office to enforce this.

At the same time, Irwin said the county needed to do something.

“We need to take a stand for public health,” she said.

District 2 Supervisor Duce Minor he preferred a campaign to increase public awareness of how people can protect themselves and others more than mandating masks. He said he knew two people who had tested positive for the virus, one of whom shows no symptoms. Minor also did not want to create a rule if the county cannot enforce it.

Minor also remarked there has been a lot of contradictory information on what to do about the coronavirus. He has heard “experts” say masks stop the virus, and other “experts” say masks do more harm than good.

“Today, there’s an expert on everything who will tell you what you want to hear,” he said.

Irwin agreed on the confusing information, and noted the information available seems to be changing from day to day.

“Supposedly, the heat was going to kill the virus,” she said. “Well, that isn’t happening.”

In Call to the Public, the Supervisors heard some strong words from area resident Judy Enrico-Maye.

“You’re weren’t hired as doctors,” she said. “You were hired to run and take care of the county! I have underlying issues and can’t wear a mask. Most masks aren’t effective anyway! This is not what we elected you for!”

After she spoke Enrico-Maye left the Boardroom.

The Board decided to take no action, but to wait until a special meeting set for Wednesday, June 24.

According to figures posted June 22 on the La Paz County Health Department’s website, there have been 279 cases in La Paz County. There have been 54,586 cases in the state, with 31,650 of them in Maricopa County. There have been 1,342 deaths.

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(8) comments

sam whittemore

i have an idea! if you are the average american, you know, obese, eat 3000 calories a day and don't burn them, sucking on your big macs, big gulps, drink booze like a fish, smoke, and just have generally abused yourself your whole life, and NOW all of a sudden don't want to die, then YOU wear a mask, stay home and leave the rest of us alone.... if need need to drive a scooter and suck on an oxygen tank, have gimungous swollen ankles, they you are at risk for everything anyway. YOUR fear is not the problem for us that have taken care of ourselves. if you want to be afraid and want free money from the Gov, then move to kalizuelastan. its just west of us on I -10. the few of us left that have a brain and can think for ourselves realize this is a FARCE.

nb

Hey Sam... one article you’re an ex-fireman... the next you’re a “medical professional”... in all of your comments you can’t spell or use grammar correctly at all. The only thing you do is attack the tribes and focus on obesity... both of which have had nothing to do with any of the articles you are commenting on. Why don’t you go back to medical school and find a new argument. Better yet... just go...

sam whittemore

not ex. retired. then went to PA school. fingers get in way on keys and misspell. don't bother to correct sometimes. thanks for the sharp eye. be a good sheep! my problem with CRIT is forcing everyone to wear masks who wants to shop at stores in town on CRIT land. go back and find ALL my comments, don't cherry pick. if you think you're at risk, take care of yourself. leave the rest of us out of it. now go bother someone else, and be a good tax payer.

sam whittemore

oh, and BTW, if you would go educate yourself, you would see not only the link to being obese, and or having hypertension to being at risk for the kung flu, but also to just about every other serious condition you would not want to have. why do i mention CRIT, again, go back and read the comment. NATAMs happen to have an extremely poor health record across the country, which puts them at a much higher risk of kung flu. as they shut down and stay put, they come out with directives that affect everyone elses right to choose. thats my gripe. maybe if we had people in better health overall in this country, we would have not allowed this lockdown crapola. you dont quarantine healthy people. only the sick ones. not even during the spanish flu pandemic of 1918 was that done. but apparently murikans prefer safety over freedom. we dont deserve either anymore hey if you have the time or money, go drive thru navajo nation and see how bad they have it. its all preventable. and its all pretty damm sad.

nb

1- are you a Native American? If not you have zero right at all to comment on their health, their lifestyle, or to make such bigoted And ignorant comments about their children or race as a whole. You are obviously the one who needs to go re-educate himself if you think you can get away with blaming an entire tribe for an outbreak that already existed spiking because out of towners didn’t stay home like they were supposed to- instead flooded our small town, raided our stores, and stayed here at their vacation homes instead of at their actual homes where their stay-orders were actually placed. Our spikes are a collection of reasons. Not just the tribes. And their health and “obesity” issues that constantly rant about is also a collection of issues- GENETICS being a big factor, a good number of them have diabetes. So again- MR PA- YOU educate yourself.

Are you even from here or are one of those lovely out of towners that thinks he gets to call shots around here too?

sam whittemore

i like the buzz words. looks like youre a lefty. a cuck or karen at the minimum. better get back to CHAZ. i hear its closing soon.

nb

I’m not a lefty, righty, or in betweeny... and I’m hardly a Karen.... I’m anti-CHAZ, anti-ANTIFA, anti-KKK, anti-HATE... and anti-a-hole. Your assumptions of me could not be farther from the truth, I’m just pro-humanity and human decency which you very obviously lack that and just general kindness. Parker doesn’t need jerks like you spewing your toxic opinions on every single article posted. Maybe you need to take your very small mind and move on to whatever rock you crawled out from under and stay there.

RiverAngel

Because of inadequate testing and tracing we have no ability to know who has the novel coronavirus. Anyone could be a carrier If indoor facilities with many people do not require masks the numbers of infections, hospitalizations and deaths WILL increase significantly. Being a rural area we were not impacted as quickly as others, but it is here now. Our hospitals and medical centers are becoming overwhelmed in this state with requirements for beds, medical personnel, and medical equipment. Some of our citizens refuse to take the responsible and simple step of wearing a mask in public. They demand their right to not be inconvenienced, yet deny their responsibility to protect others’ right to health (and possibly life). it is the responsibility of our elected officials to ensure that the health of our community, not the desires of certain others. I’m adding my voice to that of others who are demanding that our elected officials take a stand to protect the health of the community as a whole. Please make mask use in buildings mandatory.

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