Tempe will lift its facemask mandate in public spaces effective Friday, May 21, although the city continues to urge those who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 to continue to mask up.
Masks also are strongly recommended when near those who are vulnerable, such as unvaccinated children and immune-compromised people.
FULL TEXT OF MAYOR’S MASK PROCLAMATION Mayor Corey Woods said that, as with this decision, the city would continue to be guided in its COVID-19 response by science and data, and that it will roll out at the City Council’s May 27 Work Study Session a dashboard accessible to the public with Tempe-specific metrics about the coronavirus.
Rolling back the mask mandate “is only possible because of the incredible response by the Tempe community in taking advantage of vaccination opportunities and heeding the advice of public-health officials,” according to the mayor.
“It is encouraging to see members of our community take the necessary steps to gradually get back to a state of normal,” Woods said. “For this, I thank you.”
His proclamation to rescind the city’s June 2020 mask mandate is in accordance with guidance for fully vaccinated individuals from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with increasing COVID-19 vaccination rates coupled with decreasing diagnosed cases in the Tempe area, Woods said.
The upcoming dashboard will contain vaccination rates, case numbers, any COVID-19 presence in wastewater, coronavirus related EMS calls for service and number of positive tests for the virus, according to the mayor.
“This will be a tool to guide future responses,” Woods said. “We still strongly recommend that those not vaccinated continue to wear face covers.”
The mayor left it up to businesses and schools to determine whether masks will continue to be required on their premises. Tempe Police Officers will respond to calls from businesses about patrons who refuse to comply and are trespassing on private property.
Tempe City Hall and other city facilities, such as Tempe Center for the Arts, have all but shut down for the past year during the pandemic. Woods’ proclamation lifts the mask requirement in those facilities for those who are vaccinated, however mask use will be requested for unvaccinated people in city facilities. Some city-administered programs that serve vulnerable or unvaccinated populations, such as Kid Zone, still will require masks.
Face coverings will continue to be required on all public transit by federal order, and at Tempe Municipal Court by order of the Arizona Supreme Court.
Businesses and community members who have questions should contact Tempe 311 at 480-350-4311.