Three institutions that have installed mask requirements are unlikely to go any further when it comes to COVID-19 vaccinations.
Will a court ruling in Arizona that suspended legislation banning masks and vaccines pave the way for higher education institutions to seek new COVID-19 requirements for students, staff and faculty?
This is unlikely, the state board of regents noted, despite Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Katherine Cooper holding back a Republicans’ budget bill that included a multitude of items unrelated to expenditure, including prohibition of vaccination warrants. This Senate bill, if approved, would have come into effect today and would also have placed restrictions on school districts from imposing mask warrants. Republican officials have vowed to appeal.
“We do not believe that yesterday’s decision has an impact on current COVID-related policies at our public universities, and universities have indicated no plans to change them,” the board noted in a statement. To University affairs.
This is in part because Governor Doug Ducey put in place an executive order in June banning institutions from implementing requirements around COVID-19. The Senate bill would have given more weight to these restrictions. From now and without litigation, the decree is in force until “the end of the public health emergency”.
In that order, Ducey wrote: âThe Arizona board of directors, public university or community college cannot require a student to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine or prove that he has received a COVID vaccine. -19 or impose conditions on attendance or participation in courses or academic activities, including mandatory testing or the use of a face covering if the person chooses not to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or to disclose whether the person has been vaccinated against COVID-19, unless the vaccination or other warrant is required by the laws of that state.
More from UB: State-by-state colleges requiring vaccines
Three public universities – the State of Arizona, Northern Arizona and the University of Arizona – have, however, managed to circumvent the restriction on facial coverage by mandating them to all students in indoor public places where distancing cannot be observed, not just those who were not vaccinated or vaccinated. The same has been done with campus testing, despite Ducey’s call to “only require testing due to a significant outbreak of COVID-19 in shared student housing that poses a risk to students. students or staff â. But when it comes to vaccines, there has been hesitation in trying to install requirements, with leaders being forced to strongly encourage them.
Likewise, South Carolina’s public colleges and universities fought to install mask warrants and won support from the state Supreme Court. But none have challenged the vaccine ban. In both states, less than a handful have implemented vaccine requirements – the public tribal institution DinÃ© College and private Prescott College in Arizona, and the private universities of Furman and Wofford College in South Carolina. Over 1,000 institutions have immunization mandates in place, but most are in states that have no restrictions.
A quick glance at the data shows the number of cases at various public universities in Arizona:
- The University of Arizona has recorded 108 positive cases of COVID-19 in the past 10 days and more than 540 since early August. Yet that only represents 1.8% of the total tests performed. The university notes that more than 30,000 people have uploaded proof of vaccination.
- At Arizona State University, there have been 10 positive cases in the past week and around 900 positive tests (faculty and students) since August 1. Regarding the known cases, ASU notes that there are 195 among more than 77,000 students (a rate of 0.25%) and 31 among professors (0.14%). ASU has tested nearly 60% of its campus population since early August.
- Northern Arizona University currently has 107 positive cases among its students on and off campus. In its September 12 weekly report, there were 217 positive tests, or 6.3% of all tests performed.