On Tuesday, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed an executive order prohibiting public colleges and universities from requiring students to acquire the COVID-19 vaccine or submit proof of vaccination to attend in-person classes.
Students cannot be made to take a COVID-19 test or wear a mask to remain in school, according to Ducey’s executive order. In addition, exemptions are granted to students who work in hospitals, clinics, group homes, and other healthcare facilities where students or staff may be required to produce proof of vaccination.
According to the executive order, a college or University can only require a COVID-19 test if there is a “significant COVID-19 outbreak in a shared student housing setting that poses a risk to the students or staff,” which would necessitate prior approval from the Arizona Department of Health Services.
“The vaccination is effective, and we encourage Arizona residents to get it. But it is a choice, and we must maintain it,” Governor Ducey stated. “Public education is a public right for which taxpayers are responsible. We must make our public colleges accessible to students who want to return to school. They’ve already missed out on much too much.”
Governor Ducey’s action appears to be in response to Arizona State University’s revised policy requiring all students to receive the COVID-19 vaccine before the start of the fall semester, while it is not mandatory. In addition, students have to upload proof of immunization to the University’s online health portal.
According to the regulation, students who have not been vaccinated are required to submit a daily health check, take a COVID-19 test twice a week, and wear a mask in both indoor and outdoor locations on school. Students who have been vaccinated are not required to obey ASU requirements, according to ASU standards. ASU President Michael Crow stated before the Governor’s declaration that the University’s policies had misconstrued. They were in line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines for colleges, universities, and higher learning and that they could change as the CDC’s guidance changes.
MMR vaccination is required at ASU, Northern Arizona University, University of Arizona, and Grand Canyon University (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella).