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Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, University Of Arizona Will Require Masks In Classrooms

All three of Arizona's public universities will require masks in classrooms and other indoor settings. The schools made separate announcements on Wednesday.

Arizona State University was the first public university in the state to require masks after an executive order by Gov. Doug Ducey and new state law banning mask mandates in public colleges and universities were passed. Prior to this, ASU was only strongly recommending masks.

“The Governor’s Executive Order and state legislation prohibit state universities from requiring unvaccinated students to wear masks as a condition of participating in academic activities. There are no other masking prohibitions that apply to colleges and universities,” the university said in a Wednesday statement.

ASU will now require masks in certain indoor settings where social distancing may not be possible. This can include classrooms, teaching or research labs and meetings rooms. Face masks may be recommended in certain outdoor setting or activities where distance is not possible. 

ASU continues to strongly recommend COVID-19 vaccines.

Northern Arizona University has announced it will also require masks in classrooms, research labs and other indoor and outdoor settings. The Flagstaff-based institution will also soon start random mitigation testing as well as monitor wastewater. While testing will be voluntary, NAU President José Luis Cruz Rivera said he hopes all Lumberjacks will be inclined to participate. 

He also implores those who haven’t been vaccinated yet but are considering it to do so.

University of Arizona will also require masks based on current health conditions and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it said in a late Wednesday statement. This comes days after UA President Robert Robbins announced all campus-based courses will be offered in-person this fall semester. UA will require face masks be worn in all indoor spaces where it is not possible to adequately social distance, Robbins said in the statement. 

Ducey is not supportive of mandates or virtue signaling, his spokesman C.J. Karamargin said in a statement in response to ASU’s announcement. 

“Rather than creating new mandates, the focus should be on promoting vaccinations — the vaccine is widely available, and proven effective. We’re not anti-mask; we’re anti-mandate,” Karamargin said. 

→  List: Arizona School Districts Requiring Masks For 2021-2022 School Year

Rocio Hernandez was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2020 to 2022.