ASU Updates Mask Guidance Due To ‘Delta Variant’

Photo by: ABC15

Arizona State University announced Friday that it “is strongly recommending” the use of face masks on campus as COVID-19 cases continue to rise, citing the ‘delta variant’ as a reason why.

In a release, the university said the decision came as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) updated its recommendations for mask use indoors. The school sent an email touting the announcement as “Face cover policy changes effective immediately,” but did not actually take coercive measures likely due to a ban on public institutions mandating masks in many instances recently signed into law.

“With the start of the fall semester a few weeks away, we must remain vigilant and take modest steps to protect all community members so that we can continue to fulfill our mission,” the university said in a release.

The university added that it will remain consistent with Gov. Doug Ducey’s executive order and the CDC guidelines by not making distinctions between the vaccinated and unvaccinated. The announcement appeared to ignore that the executive order also banned the university from mandating masks in most situations, vaccinated or not.

“This will apply to all individuals regardless of their vaccination status,” the university said.

The release indicated that fall campus operation plans including in-person classes, residence hall occupancy, athletic contests and events, and on-campus dining will remain in place.

A bureaucratic Arizona education official called the new law signed by Governor Doug Ducey that bans school leaders from mandating strict mitigation measures “highly political.”

“It’s very frustrating to have our lawmakers pass laws that are going against the science, and are tying the hands of our school leaders from doing what’s best to protect our kids and our teachers and causing more fear and uncertainty,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman.

Hoffman did not explain how banning the muzzling of university students was “against the science”, nor did she clarify why it would justify violating the bodily autonomy of others through coercive measures like forced masking and vaccination.