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Active COVID-19 cases continue decrease; state lifts restrictions

Gov. Doug Ducey lifted the remaining COVID-19 restrictions in an executive order Thursday, but ASU will not change any of its current coronavirus policies and protocols

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ASU students walk past the COVID testing area by the SDFC Maroon Gym on the Tempe Campus, in Tempe, Arizona on Wednesday, August 26, 2020.

The University reported a total of 42 active cases as of Thursday, a decrease of 16 cases since Monday's total of 58 active cases.

Of the cases, 34 are students and eight are faculty and staff. There are 27 active cases among off-campus students in the metropolitan Phoenix area, with seven students in isolation on the Tempe campus. There are no active cases on the Downtown Phoenix, West or Polytechnic campuses.

Since Jan. 1, the University has reported 1,939 cumulative cases out of the more than 74,286 tests administered in that time frame. ASU has had a positivity rate of roughly 2.6% since Jan. 1.

Of the cases since Jan. 1, students make up 1,619 and employees make up 320. The total number of cumulative cases since Aug. 1 is 6,447 within the ASU community.

In the state, the Arizona Department of Health Services reported 138 new cases and 32 new deaths Thursday.

In the state of Arizona, 3,106,598 COVID-19 vaccines have been distributed according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of those distributed, 1,927,278 doses have been administered.

Gov. Doug Ducey announced COVID-19 restrictions placed on businesses, events and other local ordinances would be lifted through an executive order Thursday . 

Gatherings of over 50 people do not require local government approval, businesses do not have to impose social distancing or mask mandates and bars can resume regular operations. 

The new guidelines from the executive order also impact local mask mandates. Ducey said the local mask mandates will be phased out, and masks are only required to be worn in public transportation or government buildings. Maricopa County Chairman Jack Sellers said in a statement that the county has lifted its face covering regulation in compliance with the order.

The announcement follows after Ducey announced that all adults 16 and over are eligible to book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment at the state-run vaccine sites. 

“In Arizona, we never did a shutdown, so it’s impossible to have a grand reopening. Instead, we are continuing to take reasonable, safe and sensible steps," Ducey said in a statement

ASU will not be changing any of its current COVID-19 policies and protocols in lieu of the executive order, University Provost Mark Searle and Chief Financial Officer Morgan Olsen announced in an email Friday.

Editor's Note: This story was updated at 3 p.m. on March 26, 2021, to include updated information on ASU's response to Gov. Doug Ducey's executive order.

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Anusha NatarajanDiversity Officer

Anusha Natarajan is in her third year at ASU studying sociology, history, and political science. She previously served as a reporter for the community and culture desk for four semester and helps with Spanish translation and oversees diversity efforts in the newsroom. 

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