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Masks, Daily Health Checks to no longer be required on ASU's campuses

Starting March 14, wearing masks in most places on University campuses will be optional

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An ASU Community of Care kit mask sits on top of Devil's Drop Off saliva testing kits, on Monday, Jan. 24, 2021, in Tempe.

Mask wearing across ASU's campuses and participation in the Daily Health Check will become optional starting Monday after spring break, according to an email sent by University Provost Nancy Gonzales and Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer Morgan Olsen Thursday.

Masks have been required inside all ASU buildings where social distancing is not possible since August 2021.

The email said masks would continue to be required in a few locations, such as areas with "designated courses with select required activities, on intercampus shuttles and in healthcare settings."  

In a meeting with The State Press in late February, ASU President Michael Crow said the University would soon be relaxing COVID-19 regulations. 

"Our local epidemiologists produce a daily report every single day," Crow said at the meeting. "All that data, all those facts, all that analysis leads us to believe that we're in a very good position right now."

The University halted randomized COVID-19 testing in December. Crow confirmed in the meeting the University would no longer randomly notify and require students, faculty and staff to get tested. 

Joan Sherwood, executive director of marketing and communications for Educational Outreach and Student Services, said 95% of ASU faculty and staff members are either vaccinated against COVID-19 or are "meeting a medical or religious exemption," in an email in late February. 

Positive COVID-19 cases at ASU declined for the seventh week in a row to 62 from last week's report of 101, according to the University's weekly COVID-19 Report Monday. 

Of the 52 reported student COVID-19 cases, 50 are residing off-campus. One student is in isolation on the Tempe campus and the other is isolating on the Downtown Phoenix, West or Polytechnic campuses. Faculty and staff cases declined from 13 to 10, a decrease of three from last week's report.

The Arizona Department of Health Services reported 6,549 COVID-19 cases and 382 deaths since last week.

UA still requires face coverings in indoor spaces where social distancing isn't possible, according to its COVID-19 response page. NAU dropped its requirement for its Flagstaff campus on Monday, according to a university webpage.

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Jasmine KabiriAssignment Editor

Jasmine Kabiri is the assignment editor at The State Press, overseeing and editing stories produced by the six digital desks. She has previously worked as a reporter at The Daily Camera and Cronkite News.

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