Will masks return to Yuma County?

The rise in cases is causing a local city to take a step backwards – CBS 13 reported April Hettinger

SAN LUIS, Arizona (KYMA, KECY) – Arizona was one of the first states to ditch masks, but will the Delta variant force a mask comeback in Yuma County?

San Luis took the first step in this direction on Monday when Mayor Gerardo Sanchez signed a proclamation reinstating the city’s mask mandate. It is reassessed when the delta variant no longer poses a threat.

The Yuma Regional Medical Center (YRMC) has never done without masks. It doesn’t expect things to change that quickly.

“Whatever this peak, it will be another 3 to 4 weeks that will be our delta peak because we are still very fortunate to have a vaccination rate of 47-48% in our community,” said Dr . Bharat Magu. Chief Medical Officer of YRMC.

The hospital uses random samples to test for the virus strain.

“The majority of them are now delta variants, whoever we’re testing. So I think we can generalize that what we see is mostly the delta,” explained Dr. Magu. “You know, I think the last time we had a random sample of five, three of them were Delta.”

YRMC says almost all hospital admissions related to the coronavirus are unvaccinated.

Although mask guidelines are important, Dr. Magu that people still have to do something to protect themselves and the public from the virus.

“Masks are important, but not as important as vaccinations,” said Dr. Magu. “I think I would say if … ideally we should do both.”

Yuma County says it doesn’t expect to bring the mask mandate back, but if cases continue to increase, it might reconsider that decision.

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