Photo by Anshu A via Unsplash

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signs to remove mask and vaccine mandates in all state colleges and public universities. 

Students, under this ban, are no longer obligated to comply with the mask/vaccine mandate. They are also not obligated to submit any form of proof of receiving a vaccine to their public college or university. 

RELATED: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Signs Law Banning COVID-19 Vaccine Passports

Gov. Ducey writes to Twitter in regard to his decision:

“In Arizona, getting the #COVID19 vaccine is a choice – not a requirement. Today, I issued an Executive Order protecting access to Arizona’s public universities and community colleges for all students. 1/” (Gov. Ducey, Twitter.)

Exemptions from this ban include medical students working inside hospitals, clinics, or any other healthcare places of work. 

The alternative options prior to this ban were that students who weren’t planning on getting vaccinated were to either get vaccinated and provide proof of the procedure or to get tested for COVID-19 twice a week with mandatory worn masks and a daily completed health assessment. 

The ban was thus created in response to these requirements by Arizona’s State University’s (ASU) updated policy.

Ducey’s executive order also mandated that students cannot be required to get a COVID-19 test or be required to wear a mask in order to be on campus.

“Public education is a public right, and taxpayers are paying for it. We need to make our public universities available for students to return to learning. They have already missed out on too much learning.” Ducey said during a statement on April 19.

A college or university can only require a COVID-19 test in the event of a “significant COVID-19 outbreak in a shared student housing setting that poses a risk to the students or staff,” a move that would require prior approval from the Arizona Department of Health Services, according to the executive order.

RELATED: UC Reverses Decision and Will Require All Students, Faculty and Staff To Be Vaccinated Against COVID-19 Prior To Full FDA Approval of Vaccines

This executive order also applies to state agencies, counties, and cities. Businesses, thus, can no longer require masks worn by individuals to enter a building. Private businesses are also exempt from the executive order and may continue requiring documentation/masks. 

“The vaccine works, and we encourage Arizonans to take it. But it is a choice and we need to keep it that way.” said Ducey.

ASU President Micheal Crow, however, worries that the ban can make Arizona State University a new virus hotspot.

“We’re going to be bringing in students from all fifty states, we’re going to be bringing in students from 130 countries all gathered at one point, at one time, in one place,” Crow told KTAR News.

Written ByRachelle Barrett

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