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Scottsdale to remove mask requirements following new CDC guidance

Posted at 6:10 PM, May 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-14 10:38:12-04

SCOTTSDALE, AZ — The city of Scottsdale is removing its mask requirement after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its recommendations so those who are fully vaccinated no longer need to wear a mask indoors or outdoorsin most situations.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased mask-wearing guidance Thursday for fully vaccinated individuals, allowing them to be mask-free outdoors in crowds and in most indoor settings.

Scottsdale is the first Valley city to announce the removal of mask requirements. Scottsdale Mayor David D. Ortega says he is withdrawing the January 13 emergency proclamation related to masks in city buildings and facilities.

The new guidance announced Thursday is a major step toward returning to pre-pandemic life. President Joe Biden said, “Today is a great day for America.”

"Covering one’s nose and mouth when interacting with others is still encouraged, but masks will no longer be required in city buildings and facilities," the city said in a statement Thursday.

The new CDC guidance still calls for wearing masks in crowded indoor settings like buses, planes, hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters, but it will help clear the way for reopening workplaces and schools.

“We have all longed for this moment — when we can get back to some sense of normalcy," said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.

“The CDC’s latest guidance is another signpost on the road back to normal, and it will be a relief to many. But we still have to be smart, and cautious, because COVID-19 is not gone – we cannot declare ‘all clear’ yet,” said Mayor Ortega said in a statement. “Vaccinations are proven effective and have helped us get to this point. We ask people in Scottsdale to treat others with courtesy, respect, and with awareness of the health concerns that remain about this deadly virus.”

According to the Maricopa County Vaccine Dashboard, over 50% of Scottsdale residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The city of Scottsdale remains in the substantial community spread category even though cases have decreased from previous weeks.