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Arizona State University statement on Gov. Ducey’s executive order regarding COVID-19 vaccines for students

June 15, 2021

Arizona State University will comply with Gov. Ducey’s Executive Order issued today and will communicate changes in protocols to the university community.

Arizona State University has worked closely with federal, state and local officials to align and work together with regard to public health and safety standards involving COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic in January of 2020.  

Along the way, we have rigorously followed the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to manage and minimize the spread of the virus while simultaneously remaining open to our students and the public and conducting as many in-person classes as public health protocols allow.  

We have also been a key partner to the state in inventing and providing mass testing and vaccine operations for the public, providing testing and management strategies to K-12 schools to get teachers and students back in the classroom, conducting scientific testing on the virus itself, and helping the state return to pre-pandemic operations. 

We announced in February that we would return to full in-person operations for the fall semester. Since the vaccine hit the market, we have communicated an expectation that students and employees get the vaccine, but it has never been a requirement. 

As we bring all students and employees back together this fall for full in-person operations, we continued to follow the guidance of the CDC specific to universities and colleges and as it relates to having a campus that is a mix of fully vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. The CDC recognizes the unique environments of Institutions of Higher Learning; the ASU student population includes people from all 50 states and more than 130 countries. 

This week, we informed our student population of what to expect when they return to campus for the fall semester. We did not communicate a vaccine mandate. We reiterated our message that we expect students to get vaccinated given the health benefits, but also offered students a choice in the matter. And, we communicated a continuation of existing health protocols for students who are not yet vaccinated as they are at higher risk for infection and spreading the virus. Per the CDC:

“IHE (Institutions of Higher Education) administrators should create programs and policies that facilitate the adoption and implementation of prevention strategies to slow the spread of COVID-19 at the IHE and in the local community. Evidence-based prevention strategies, including vaccination, should be implemented, and layered in IHE settings. Key prevention strategies include:

·        Offering and promoting vaccination

·        Consistent and correct use of masks

·        Physical distancing

·        Handwashing and respiratory etiquette

·        Contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine

·        Testing for COVID-19 

·        Maintaining healthy environments (increased ventilation and cleaning)

·        Maintaining healthy operations (communicationssupportive policies and health equity)

Our commitment to working closely with the state to combat the spread of COVID-19 is well documented and has been of benefit not only to the ASU Community but to the broader community, as well. 

As noted above, we will comply with the Executive Order.