Gilbert will let mask order expire, but county’s regulation stays in place

face mask requirements
Maricopa County's face mask regulation will remain in place after the town of Gilbert's order expires July 19. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Maricopa County's face mask regulation will remain in place after the town of Gilbert's order expires July 19. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

The town of Gilbert’s face mask order will be allowed to expire at 5 p.m. July 19, but residents must still stay covered under Maricopa County’s regulation.

Gilbert Mayor Jenn Daniels said the town will let its order expire to avoid confusion about community mask requirements between the town and county.

“This will not change anything for our residents,” Daniels said in a statement. “We fully support the use of masks in Gilbert and will continue to educate the community on the county’s regulations, which remain in effect until further notice. We encourage everyone to do their part to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community."

Town Council voted 5-2 June 19 for a 30-day face covering requirement, but the regulation focused on education and had no penalties.

Later that day, Maricopa County’s Board of Supervisors unanimously voted for a countywide requirement. The county’s order includes the following face covering requirements:

  • People over than 6 years old must wear masks in enclosed public spaces where 6 feet of distance cannot be maintained.

  • Adults with children 2 to 5 years old must make a reasonable effort to make them wear masks inside enclosed public spaces.

  • All riders and operators on public transportation must wear a mask.

  • Staff working in public spaces such as restaurants or stores must wear masks.

The order offers categorical exemptions for people in their homes and also includes exemptions for:

  • children under 2 years old;

  • restaurant patrons while they are eating and drinking;

  • people walking or exercising outdoors while maintaining 6 feet of distance; and

  • when in a personal vehicle, office or other personal space.

To be consistent with Gov. Doug Ducey’s executive order June 17 that allowed local jurisdictions to make rules on masks and enforce them, law enforcement is directed to focus first on education before enforcement.

According to the order, people will be given an opportunity to comply before any citation is made. The first offense will incur a warning, and further offenses are subject to a civil penalty of no more than $50.
By Tom Blodgett
Raised in Arizona, Tom Blodgett has spent 30 years in journalism in Arizona and is the editor of the Gilbert edition of Community Impact Newspaper. He is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he now serves as an instructional professional in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and editorial adviser to The State Press, the university's independent student media outlet.


Denise Lopez
Denise Lopez appointed HD South chief

Denise Lopez replaces Kayla Kolar, who left in 2020 to become the executive director of House of Refuge, as HD South's president and CEO.

The new Cracker Barrel Old Country Store location in Gilbert had standing waits outside when it opened its doors Feb. 15. (Tom Blodgett/Community Impact Newspaper)
Cracker Barrel open in Gilbert; Harbor Freight to open March 6 in Chandler and more February news

Read the latest business and community news from February in Gilbert and Chandler.

Western Canal
Gilbert officials wanted to avoid land acquisitions along Western Canal, staff tells residents

When Gilbert staff first addressed the problem of a deteriorating sewer along the Western Canal, they hoped to avoid using eminent domain to acquire land to fix the problem, staff told residents Feb. 25.

Gilbert Public Schools Governing Board Member Lori Wood expresses her concerns about parts of the proposed school calendars for 2022-23 and 2023-24. (Screen shot from YouTube)
Gilbert Public Schools adjusts calendar; downtown Chandler adding business, multifamily and more top area news

Read the top business and community news from Chandler and Gilbert from the past week.

Arizona tourism statistics
State’s tourism struggle greater than Gilbert’s

The tourism industry has been hit hard by COVID-19 statewide, including locally in Gilbert.

Gilbert Public Safety Training Facility
Gilbert opens $85M training facility for growing police, fire forces

Gilbert is ready to open its Public Safety Training Facility under budget and ahead of schedule, officials said, allowing public safety forces to conduct expanded training in town.

Kirk Nelson, Nelson backyard
Residents hoping to save yards prepare to meet with Gilbert Town Council

Neighbors along the Western Canal path between Gilbert and Lindsey roads are hoping a meeting with Gilbert Town Council members can save them from losing their backyards to the town

Higley USD district office
Higley USD high school graduations will head back to campuses

Higley USD is planning for live high school graduations in May, but they will not be held at Arizona State University’s Wells Fargo Arena as they were pre-COVID-19.

The Meeple's Board Game Cafe
The Meeple's Cafe selling its games ahead of closing

The establishment combined food with board game play.

Maricopa County’s election equipment and software passed all tests performed by two independent firms hired to conduct the forensic audit, according to reports by two federally certified Voting System Testing Laboratories. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Maricopa County forensic audit of November election finds no issues with equipment, software

Maricopa County’s election equipment and software passed all tests performed by two independent firms hired to conduct the forensic audit.

Lori Wood
Gilbert Public Schools to start earlier, extend breaks beginning in 2022-23 school year

Final calendars await some modifications before approval, but Gilbert Public Schools will start its school year in July when the calendars take effect.

Farmer Boys
Farmer Boys set to open March 1 at Gilbert's City Gate

The 40-year-old California-based chain purchases its ingredients from local farms and purveyors when possible.