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Sept. 4, 2020

Community Partnership Hands Out Free Masks on Tumamoc Hill

The Pima County Health Department and the University of Arizona are partnering to increase facemask usage on Tumamoc Hill. 

Tumamoc Hill, managed by the University of Arizona in partnership with Pima County, requires all users to wear masks while exercising. This is due to the difficulty of maintaining 6 feet of physical distance from others during peak walking hours. Facemask use on Tumamoc Hill has been around 60% in the mornings and concerningly lower in the evenings, around 30-40%.

The health department is hosting a table throughout September during peak hours to hand out free masks and answer any COVID-19-related questions community members have.

"We know some people may not realize facemasks are required on Tumamoc Hill right now," said Emily Bressler, program specialist with the health department. "Our goal is to inform people how effective wearing a mask is in stopping the spread of COVID-19 and to support hikers and make sure Tumamoc can remain open."

With the holiday weekend coming up, more visitors are expected on Tumamoc Hill.

"A wonderful thing we have seen reinforced during this time is how important Tumamoc Hill is for the Tucson community," said Ben Wilder, director of the Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill. "This partnership with the county health department is a fantastic example of how we can better educate and support our community and find ways to strike a balance between needed exercise and connection and keeping each other safe and healthy."

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Media contact:
Ben Wilder
Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill
Office: 520-621-6949 | Cell: 520-971-2486

The University of Arizona, a land-grant university with two independently accredited medical schools, is one of the nation's top public universities, according to U.S. News & World Report. Established in 1885, the university is widely recognized as a student-centric university and has been designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education. The university ranked in the top 20 in 2018 in research expenditures among all public universities, according to the National Science Foundation, and is a leading Research 1 institution with $687 million in annual research expenditures. The university advances the frontiers of interdisciplinary scholarship and entrepreneurial partnerships as a member of the Association of American Universities, the 65 leading public and private research universities in the U.S. It benefits the state with an estimated economic impact of $4.1 billion annually. For the latest on the University of Arizona response to the novel coronavirus, visit the university's COVID-19 webpage.