/ Modified jun 26, 2020 4:32 p.m.

Surge in cases prompts mask ordinance in Nogales

Mayor Arturo Garino said cases increased following holidays in May.

A surge of COVID-19 cases led the city of Nogales to require face coverings in public. Mayor Arturo Garino told Lorraine Rivera spikes occurred around holidays and graduations in May, leading him to believe people gathering in large groups failed to wear masks or maintain social distancing. While breaking the ordinance is considered a misdemeanor, Garino said it’s unlikely a person would be cited.

“I spoke to the police chief and the city manager and I said I didn’t want to go with citations. I wanted to go with education first,” Garino said. “As a matter of fact, police officers carry masks with them in case they find someone that is in need of a mask and they cannot social distance.”

Garino said businesses have reported that the vast majority of customers wear masks. The city has more than 1,500 confirmed cases and 14 deaths out of a population of about 20,000.

“Everybody probably in Nogales, for the size of the community, probably knows somebody that’s being hospitalized right now,” Garino said.

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