Do I Need to Wear a Face Mask?

With three-digit temperatures  in some parts of Arizona, many people are asking if they really need to wear a mask when in public. While it might be uncomfortable, wearing a cloth mask continues to be one of the best ways to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. One of the main reasons to wear a mask is that some people who are infected might not have any symptoms and wearing protects those around you. 

But what is the best way to wear a face mask? Should it cover my nose, mouth and chin? When it’s hot out, it’s a bit more comfortable to only cover the mouth and leave the nose exposed. Is this okay? And when can it be removed? Getting into a hot car can make it hard to breathe, even more so with a mask. Should you wait until you get home to take off the face mask? Then, there’s the best way to take off the mask. What part of the mask should I avoid touching? How often should it be washed (if not disposable)?

To help answer some of the questions related to the proper use of face masks, AHCCCS shares tips from The Center for Disease Control (CDC) on how to safely wear and take off a cloth face covering. 


  • Wash your hands before putting on your face mask
  • Put it over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin 
  • Try to fit it snugly against the sides of your face 
  • Make sure you can breathe easily
  • Do not place a mask on a child younger than 2 years old


  • Wear a face mask to help protect others in case you’re infected but don’t have symptoms 
  • Keep the mask on your face the entire time you’re in public 
  • Don’t put the mask around your neck or up on your forehead 
  • Don’t touch the face mask, and, if you do, clean your hands


  • Wait until you get home to take off your face mask
  • Untie the strings behind your head or stretch the ear loops 
  • Handle only by the ear loops or ties 
  • Fold outside corners together 
  • Place face mask in the washing machine
  • Wash the mask after each use or dispose
  • Wash your hands with soap and water


  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others 
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick 
  • Wash your hands often, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds each time 
  • Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available


If you have mild symptoms or know you’re infected, follow your doctor’s advice around isolation and avoid exposing others. If you can’t avoid going out (e.g., going to the doctor), wear a mask to protect others.


On International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day, Remind Survivors of Available Resources

International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day, Saturday, November 23, is an occasion for survivors to join together for healing and support through their shared experience. Originally designated in 1999, the weekend before Thanksgiving is always recognized as Survivor Day since the holidays can be a difficult time of remembrance for those who have lost loved ones to suicide. 

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) coordinates over 300 events in the United States and worldwide, recognizing that this issue affects people from all walks of life. This year two events will be held in Arizona–in Tempe and Sierra Vista. While each event is different, all will feature a short AFSP documentary that shows families navigating the loss of a parent, child, sibling, or friend, in all different stages of grief. Regardless of one’s place in healing, Survivor Day aims to connect people to a network of communities that understand grief through shared experiences.

This year’s documentary is titled Pathways to Healing: Hope after Suicide Loss, and follows a community’s healing journey following the loss of a son, brother, and friend: Chris Taddeo. Watch the trailer here

On Survivor Day, take time to recognize your own strength and the strength of those around you. Recognize those that have been in ultimate despair and managed to carry on; recognize those that are finding their own path to their new normal. If you need help, seek it. If you want to talk about your loss, talk about it freely. 

Register to attend an event or see past documentaries


You Can Help Stop Medicaid Fraud, Waste, and Abuse

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) investigates reports of suspected fraud, waste, and abuse of AHCCCS programs. Each year, OIG recovers and saves tens of millions of dollars in fraudulent claims from members and providers against Medicaid.

In SFY19, OIG recovered and saved more than $52.6M.

The primary way AHCCCS discovers fraud is through referrals from people like you. 

What does fraud look like?

Fraud is when someone lies or gives false information with the intent to receive benefits or payments for which they are not legally eligible. Members and Providers commit fraud in a variety of ways; here are just a few:  


  • Provide incorrect household composition information
  • Falsify income or fail to report income 
  • Hide employment or self-employment information
  • Falsify Arizona or US residency status


  • Make false statements and false claims
  • Billing for services and supplies not provided
  • Double billing, over billing, and incorrect coding
  • Committing prescription and pharmacy fraud

If you suspect Medicaid fraud, don’t hesitate to report it. Anyone can anonymously report fraud, waste, or abuse. OIG depends on people like you–employees, members, providers and the general public to provide these referrals for investigation. 

To report possible Medicaid fraud, visit

You may also submit attachments and/or additional information by email to