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The scientific evidence is clear: Wearing a face covering helps reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Effective immediately at Arizona State University, face coverings will be required for all employees, students and visitors while in buildings. Face coverings will also be required in outdoor community spaces where social distancing isn’t possible. Examples of outdoor community spaces include garages and parking lots, ASU shuttles, bicycle racks and sidewalks.
ASU had already announced this requirement for the start of the fall semester. But, given the current rise in COVID-19 cases we’re seeing in Arizona and a lax attitude toward face coverings and other social distancing measures since Gov. Doug Ducey’s stay-at-home executive order was lifted, we feel it is important to accelerate our policy.
This is also responsive to the request ASU received earlier this week from the business community urging Greater Phoenix Leadership members, including the state’s universities, to encourage wearing masks in public settings because “it is incredibly important that we do our part to slow the transmission of the COVID-19 virus.” GPL supported its request with information from a group of 14 health care and bioscience leaders in the state of Arizona who said:
“As the Arizona economy begins to reopen, our health risk will increase. The sad fact is that nothing has changed regarding COVID-19 since the stay-at-home executive order effective March 31. Since the executive order was lifted, many believe something has changed and it is somehow now safe to resume normal life. Sadly, this is far from the truth. There is no vaccine and no treatment for COVID-19, and it is just as contagious now as it was last month or the month before.”
The group reminded us about the importance of wearing masks in public settings with a goal of saving lives and avoiding a second and even more damaging business shutdown.
ASU is a tight-knit community with a shared sense of purpose, and our success is tied to one another. Accordingly, our mindset is to take whatever precautions related to COVID-19 we must to help protect not only ourselves, but those around us.
Working together, we can better care for one another, and our actions will help to keep our community healthier and stronger.
Michael M. Crow
Posted: June 12, 2020 at 3:49 p.m.