Gov. Ducey issues executive order to block ASU COVID-19 vaccination policy

A masked ASU mascot Sparky/Facebook

By Kevin Stone | KTAR 

As promised, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on Tuesday issued an executive order to block key elements of Arizona State University’s COVID-19 vaccination policy.

The order says that the state’s public universities and community colleges can’t “mandate that students obtain a COVID-19 vaccine, show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or place any conditions on attendance or participation in classes or academic activities, including but not limited to mandatory testing and mandatory mask usage, if a person choose not to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine or disclose that they have been vaccinated against COVID-19.”

The order singles out ASU and accuses the school of “attempts to usurp the constitutional authority” of the governor and Legislature.

A press release announcing the order said it prevents schools from making COVID-19 testing and mask wearing a requirement for students on campus who aren’t vaccinated or who refuse to submit documentation, all elements of ASU’s vaccination policy for 2021-22.

The order includes an exemption that makes medical students training in hospitals and other health care facilities subject to vaccination and testing requirements. It also allows for required testing in the case of a significant outbreak at a student housing venue if approved by the Arizona Department of Health Services.

“The vaccine works, and we encourage Arizonans to take it,” the Republican governor said in the release. “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.”

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