• Joshua C. Black

Time to Mask-Up at Work? New Executive Order from Governor Ducey

By: Sara N. Tulane, J.D.


In a press conference held on June 17, 2020, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey (“Gov. Ducey”) discussed Executive Order 2020-40 which he says is aimed at protecting “Arizona’s most vulnerable” from the recent increase in confirmed cases of COVID-19 within the state. [1] The press conference focused on continuing “Arizona’s substantial efforts to boost testing, expand contact tracing, secure PPE for health care and frontline workers, and fast-track resources to the most affected areas and more.” [2]

Additional efforts announced by Gov. Ducey included:

  • Continuing to boost diagnostic testing, including expanding rapid testing capability;

  • Amplifying contact tracing in partnership with counties, including utilizing National Guard assets and providing additional resources to counties;

  • Increasing awareness of distancing and face-covering guidelines, including authorizing local governments to implement enhanced mitigation measures;

  • Continuing to focus on long-term care settings, including providing $10 million for additional PPE and face masks; and

  • Enhancing guidance for establishments to limit congregating and enforce mitigation policies. [3]

Local Governments to Determine Mask and Face-Covering Policies


A major update included the authorization of local governments to determine mask and face-covering polices. Due to the increase in cases throughout certain regions in Arizona, the Arizona Department of Health Services (“ADHS”) provided new guidelines, including guidelines “allowing local governments to implement mask and face-covering policies and determine enforcement measures.” However, Gov. Ducey added “Arizonans should continue to stay physically distant, stay home when sick and wear face masks.” [5]


This policy gives local governments, cities, and municipalities the authority to determine what is best for their individual citizens. The policies determined by local governments will likely apply to individuals living and working within the boundaries. Employees and business owners will need to closely follow their city’s guidelines to determine their requirements regarding mask and face covering policies. It is important to keep up to date with what each local government is requiring in the area of your permanent residence and where you work, as the regulations maybe different.


Updates on Executive Order Issued May 12, 2020

Additionally, Gov. Ducey included further updates on Executive Order 2020-36 issued on May 12, 2020. [6] The executive order was directed at businesses who were considering opening at the time. The order “requires businesses and other entities operating in the state to implement health and safety plans to protect workers and customers and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.” [7] Gov. Ducey updated the prior guidance stating that open establishments are required to:

  • Implement physicall distancing of 6 feet;

  • Providing employees with face-coverings and requiring usage;

  • Conducting symptom checks for all employees before shifts;

  • Requiring sick employees to stay home;

  • And increasing the frequency of employee hygiene, cleaning and disinfecting.” [8]

Gov. Ducey added that local law enforcement agencies will have authority for enforcement of these guidelines. The purpose of this regulation is to continue to protect the heath and safety of all Arizonians during these unprecedented times.

Additional Information Regarding Returning to Work


If you have any additional questions or concerns about returning to work during COVID-19 please do not hesitate to reach out to the author at the Law Office of Joshua Black, PLC by telephone at 623-738-2225 or through the firm’s website www.azemploymentlawyer.com.


[1] Governor Ducey Announces Enhanced COVID-19 Action Plan. https://azgovernor.gov/governor/news/2020/06/governor-ducey-announces-enhanced-covid-19-action-plan. Last visited June 18, 2020.

[2] Id.

[3] Id.

[4] Id.

[5] Id.

[6] Arizona’s Stay Healthy, Return Smarter, Return Stronger Executive Order 2020-36 issued on May 12. https://azgovernor.gov/executive-orders. Last visited June 18, 2020.

[7] Governor Ducey Announces Enhanced COVID-19 Action Plan. https://azgovernor.gov/governor/news/2020/06/governor-ducey-announces-enhanced-covid-19-action-plan. Last visited June 18, 2020.

[8] Id.



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