Dr. Bob England, director of the Pima County Health Department, clarified how the county health department would enforce the new guidelines approved by the Pima County Board of Supervisors yesterday.
"We are not going to have people sitting in the bushes while you eat," Dr. Bob said. "If there's one thing I've learned about our registered sanitarians and others in the year I've been here, it's that they want to help businesses do the right thing."
Education and assistance will be the health department's focus while the new regulations are in place, Dr. Bob said. The regulations will stay in place until the pandemic is declared over by Pima County's chief medical officer, Dr. Francisco Garcia.
"Actual enforcement of any kind is going to be a last resort," Dr. Bob said. "We want all of us to continue to do what we know we should to prevent transmission in this disease."
Dr. Bob also wanted to let businesses know that the county health department will be unable to assist them with procuring the necessary PPE to protect their staff. They don't have any to share and are still waiting on orders they placed two months ago.
"We can't give away stuff we don't have," Dr. Bob said. "We have a lot of material on backorder since March."
The county is expecting a large shipment of N-95 masks which will be going straight to health care workers, Dr. Bob said. He also cautioned against using an N-95 mask if you are not trained. Improper use could pose a risk for catching COVID-19, according to Dr. Bob.
"You need to be fit tested or at the very least trained to use it," Dr, Bob said. "If you put on an N-95 mask and you don't know what you're doing, you're going to draw air in around the side that's unfiltered."