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Face covers no longer required outdoors on campus for vaccinated people

ASU students and staff vaccinated against COVID-19 are still expected to wear a face covering indoors and when in crowded outdoor spaces

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An ASU student wears a face mask around the Tempe campus in Tempe, Arizona, on Monday, Jan. 27, 2020.

ASU will no longer require face coverings in outdoor spaces on campus for students and staff who are vaccinated against COVID-19. 

The updated policy will go into effect Monday, according to an announcement made Friday by University Provost Mark Searle and Chief Financial Officer Morgan Olsen.

The University still recommends students and staff wear masks in crowded outdoor spaces, and everyone must continue to wear face coverings inside ASU buildings, consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines for fully vaccinated individuals. 

When asked how ASU plans to enforce the updated policy, a spokesperson said in an email "the University expects that students and employees will continue to follow our Community of Care guidelines just as we have done over the past year."

In a meeting with The State Press Wednesday, President Michael Crow said thousands of ASU students and 75% of faculty have been vaccinated. The University is not requiring the COVID-19 vaccine at this time, but students are "expected" to be vaccinated, Crow said. 

"We're after as many people getting vaccinated as possible," Crow said. "It is our expectation that people will be vaccinated."

Crow said ASU’s policies will be reflective of the CDC guidelines for the general public, but students who have been vaccinated can expect to have the ability to do more than students who have not been vaccinated. 

"When people think it through and think about wanting to have a new normal, to be on campus, and visit your friends in the dorm, and go to football games and so forth and so on, vaccines are the pathway to that," Crow said. 

The update comes as more than 3 million people in Arizona have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as of Friday, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services. 

Walk-ins and scheduled appointments for vaccinations are available at Desert Financial Arena as well as other state-run vaccine sites for members of the ASU community and the public. The state-run sites are currently offering the Pfizer vaccine, according to ADHS.

Students, faculty and staff can book an appointment to receive a vaccine through ASU Health Services. Students can also walk in to receive a vaccine at all ASU Health Services locations.

Additionally, many local pharmacies, doctor’s offices and clinics are offering vaccinations. As of Monday, registered doctor’s offices and clinics were able to order vaccines from the CDC directly instead of having to go through county health departments. 

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