Gov. Ducey issues executive order to prevent mandatory vaccinations at state universities

Published: Jun. 15, 2021 at 12:22 PM MST|Updated: Jun. 15, 2021 at 4:20 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - One day after Arizona State University released its vaccination and face mask policy for the upcoming school year, Gov. Doug Ducey issued an executive order to stop it.

On Monday, June 14, ASU said it would require students to be fully vaccinated two weeks ahead of the first day of class Aug. 19. The school also said students would be required to show proof of vaccination. Unvaccinated students would still be welcome. However, they would need to participate in daily health checks, twice-weekly testing and be required to wear face coverings in all indoor and outdoor spaces on campus.

Following Ducey’s announcement, the Arizona Board of Regents said the state’s public universities would comply with the order.

“The health and well-being of our students, faculty and staff remain an utmost priority for the board,” said ABOR Chair Larry E. Penley. “We will work with the governor to ensure our universities remain open and continue to provide voluntary testing and vaccinations for campuses and members of the community as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Monday evening, the University of Arizona released a similar statement.

“We will comply with the governor’s executive order and continue to monitor our public health conditions to help ensure the health and well-being of our students, faculty and staff,” a spokesperson said.

Ducey’s order states “students cannot be mandated to take the vaccine or submit vaccination documents. Students also cannot be mandated to be tested or wear masks in order to participate in learning.”

The EO, which can be read HERE, has exemptions for students participating in medical or clinical training

“The vaccine works, and we encourage Arizonans to take it,” Ducey said. ”But it is a choice and we need to keep it that way. 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. From K-12 to higher education, Arizona is supporting in-person learning.”

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