Southern Arizona School Districts to Keep Requiring Masks
April 23, 2021
A recent KOLD 13 article titled "Almost All Southern Arizona School Districts Will Keep Mask Requirements Despite Ducey's Announcement"
reports that our school leaders are the ones deciding if masks should still be required. Governor Doug Ducey lifted the mandatory mask-wearing mandate for K-12 schools, that was issued July of 2020 and said many teachers and school faculty staff are now fully vaccinated. He added that teachers, families, and students acted responsibly to mitigate the spread of the virus and protect one another.
Nonetheless, public and charter schools are still able to implement COVID-19 mitigation measures, including face masks, if they feel the need to do so, and are encouraged to follow CDC's latest guidelines. As stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, five key prevention strategies are essential to help prevent COVID-19 transmission in schools: universal and correct use of masks, physical distancing, handwashing, and respiratory etiquette, cleaning and maintaining health facilities, and contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine.
Kathy Hoffman, the Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction, said that since the vaccine is not yet available to anyone younger than 16, the governor's decision to rescind mask requirements could put students and their communities at further risk of the virus.
Despite Gov. Ducey's statement, many districts like Sahuarita USD said mask-wearing will continue to be in place and enforced in all SUSD schools for the remainder of the school year, as well as monitoring the situation as it prepares for the 2021-2022 year.
Read the complete article to learn more about which school districts are still requiring a mask mandate here: Almost All Southern Arizona School Districts Will Keep Mask Requirements Despite Ducey's Announcement