Arizona universities announce new mask usage requirements for fall semester

Maricopa County Community College District announce similar policy Thursday

ASU+and+NAU++and+U+of+A+announce+that+facial+coverings+will+be+required+when+social+distancing+is+not+possible

Kevin Dooley (Flickr)

ASU and NAU and U of A announce that facial coverings will be required when social distancing is not possible

Ole Olafson, Reporter

Story updated August 12

Update:  At 2:00, Thursday afternoon, Maricopa County Community College District faculty, staff and students received a district-wide alert that facial coverings would be required while indoors at all MCCCD schools and District Offices.  Scottsdale Community College students also received a college-wide alert announcing the same updated mask usage requirements.

 

Disregarding Arizona Governor Doug Ducey’s Executive Order 2021-15, which prohibits schools from requiring student to wear masks,  Arizona’s largest universities announced just such a rule earlier Wednesday.

The June 15 Executive Order provides guidance to schools and universities about situations which might require students to provide proof of vaccination or undergo mandatory testing for COVID-19.

It also states that universities and community colleges in general cannot require students to be vaccinated against COVID-19, or limit any sort of participation based on vaccination status.

Additionally, the order proscribes that those schools cannot require students to be tested for COVID-19 or be made to wear facial coverings.

On July 30, following the CDC adjusting its guidance on mask usage, ASU released a statement informing students that masks would be strongly recommended but not required except in certain situations.

But Wednesday, the school announced that facial coverings would be required in basically all indoor settings where physical distancing is not possible and some outdoor situations as well.

The statement also urges students to get vaccinated.

KTAR reported that following ASU’s announcement, Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff announced that they too would require everyone, regardless of vaccination status to wear masks in all indoor and outdoor settings where physical distancing is not possible.

KVOA Tucson reporter Eric Fink tweeted an emailed statement from U of A president Robert Robbins, on Wednesday evening.

The statement, outlines the university’s own new masking mandate, similarly requiring students wear facial covings when appropriate distancing is not possible.