PHOENIX, AZ (STL.News) In alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance, Governor Doug Ducey and the Arizona Department of Health Services today rescinded orders that direct K-12 schools to require masks.
“Nearly 2 million Arizonans are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with many teachers and school faculty now fully vaccinated after being some of the first in line for vaccine prioritization,” said Governor Ducey. “Teachers, families and students have acted responsibly to mitigate the spread of the virus and protect one another, and our school leaders are ready to decide if masks should be required on their campuses. We will continue to work with public health professionals and Arizona’s schools as more students return to the classroom and our state moves forward.”
Today’s action aligns with CDC guidance and rescinds a section of Executive Order 2020-51, issued by the Governor in July directing schools to require face masks, and Emergency Measure 2020-04, issued by the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) outlining requirements for mask usage in schools.
“Across the state, almost 4.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered,” said ADHS Director Dr. Cara Christ. “Many families and communities are further protected from COVID-19, and our schools are ready to decide their next steps when it comes to masks. We encourage all Arizonans to get the vaccine — it’s safe, effective and absolutely free to the public.”
The CDC in March issued updated recommendations for preventing COVID-19 in schools. On March 29, ADHS adopted the CDC’s recommendations in its K-12 School Guidance for COVID-19.
K-12 school districts and charter schools still maintain the right to institute and enforce policies to mitigate against COVID-19 spread, including the use of masks. Arizona schools are encouraged to continue to take actions consistent with the CDC recommendations, the Roadmap, and the Guidance to mitigate the spread of the virus, including measures such as:
- Washing hands with soap and warm water;
- Using hand sanitizer;
- Cleaning and maintaining health facilities; and
- Staying home when sick.
Today, an indoor vaccination site at Northern Arizona University’s (NAU) Fieldhouse launched thanks to a partnership between the State, Coconino County, NAU, and Northern Arizona Healthcare. The site will operate seven days a week from 7 a.m.-5 p.m., with the potential to expand hours to 7 p.m. It will offer around 1,000 appointments per day to start but will be able to administer more than 4,000 doses daily. The state is currently operating six vaccination sites, with one more location opening as a state-run site this month.
Information about all vaccination sites across Arizona, including pharmacies, Federally Qualified Health Centers, pop-up events in specific communities, and health care providers offering vaccination, can be found at azhealth.gov/findvaccine.
To learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and vaccination, please visit azdhs.gov/COVID19Vaccines.
View the Executive Order from Governor Ducey HERE.
View the Emergency Measure from ADHS HERE.