• Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb said on the department's Facebook page he had tested positive for coronavirus
  • Lamb said in May he would not enforce Gov. Doug Ducey's stay-at-home order, saying he considered it unconstitutional
  • Arizona has experienced a surge in coronavirus cases since Lamb's original comments and is considered one of the three biggest hotbed states in the U.S. for the pandemic

A Sheriff in Arizona who said he would not enforce the governor’s stay-at-home order in response to the coronavirus pandemic said he had tested positive for the virus. Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb shared the news in a post on Facebook Wednesday, saying he believed he contracted it during a campaign event he held on Saturday.

See posts, photos and more on Facebook.

Lamb was one of two sheriffs, along with Mohave County Sheriff Doug Schuster, who were critical of Gov. Doug Ducey’s extension of the state’s stay-at-home order in May. They said while they would speak to anyone found violating it, neither would arrest someone for a violation.

“I think people want to know that we’re going to support their constitutional rights,” Lamb told AZCentral on May 2. “I felt (Ducey) pushed me into a position where I needed to make our stance clear.”

Lamb took it a step further, saying at the time the number of cases did not justify Ducey’s decision.

“The numbers don’t justify the actions anymore,” Lamb said. “Three hundred deaths is not a significant enough number to continue to ruin the economy.”

At the time of Lamb’s comments, Arizona had 7,962 confirmed cases and 330 reported deaths from coronavirus. Since then, Arizona has experienced a surge of coronavirus cases and become one of the three biggest hotbeds of cases in the U.S. Health officials said Thursday the number of confirmed cases reached 42,751 and reported deaths had hit 1,259. The surge has put renewed strain on the state healthcare system, with several hospitals saying their intensive care units were at or near capacity and they needed more beds.

Health officials have pushed Ducey to make masks mandatory in the face of the surge, but the governor has instead deferred to local officials. He said because transmission levels have varied district-to-district, local officials should be allowed to craft rules in line with number of cases.

coronavirus MiroslavaChrienova, Pixabay