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COVID-19 cases at ASU continue to decline as Phoenix lifts mask mandate

The University's active coronavirus cases dropped to 31 with no active cases on each of its four campuses

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A masked student walks on Orange Mall on the ASU Tempe campus on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021. ASU's Spring Semester starts as cases in Arizona are at an all time high.

ASU reported 31 active COVID-19 cases Monday, a decrease of 16 from last week's 47 cases. Students make up 24 of the cases, and seven of the cases are among faculty and staff.

All of the 24 active student cases are off campus. There are no active cases on the Tempe, Downtown Phoenix, West or Polytechnic campuses, which currently house 1,059 students.

The University has reported 2,270 positive cases since Jan. 1 out of 94,117 tests administered in that time frame. ASU’s total positivity rate is roughly 2.4%. 

The city of Phoenix joined Tempe in lifting its mask mandate Wednesday, changing its guidelines to allow fully vaccinated people to go without masks indoors and outdoors, with a few exceptions.

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego said in a tweet in reaction to the announcement, "Let’s remain vigilant by getting vaccinated and wearing a mask when recommended." 

Masks are still required at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport and on public transportation, including planes, light rail and buses. Businesses can decide whether or not masks are required for customers to wear inside their buildings.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not updated its COVID-19 guidelines for fully vaccinated individuals since its announcement that those individuals could resume activities as they did prior to the pandemic. 

Specifically, those who are fully vaccinated can resume activities without wearing a mask or social distancing both inside and outside, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.

In the United States, over 286 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered and 39.3% of the population has been fully vaccinated, according to the CDC. 

Despite the CDC’s recommendations for masks for fully vaccinated individuals, as of May 13, the University has not changed its policy for mask wearing while inside ASU buildings. 

The Arizona Department of Health Services reported a total of 450 new COVID-19 cases and no new deaths in the state Monday. Over 3.2 million Arizonans have received at least one dose of the vaccine, which is 45.3% of the state’s population, ADHS reported. 

ASU students, faculty and staff can sign up to make a vaccine appointment through the ASU Health Portal. Students can walk into ASU Health Services to receive a vaccine as well.

There are over 470 sites where people can be vaccinated in Maricopa County, including locations like Walgreens, Fry’s and larger sites like Desert Financial Arena. 

One can also register for a vaccine appointment on the ADHS website, and walk-ins are accepted at any of the State of Arizona POD locations listed on the website.

Appointment availability and COVID-19 vaccination points across the state can be found on the ADHS vaccine patient portal

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Morgan FischerPolitics Editor

Morgan Fischer is the politics editor, she works with her desk to cover topics related to politics in the ASU community. She has previously worked as an intern for RightThisMinute. 

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