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NAU Rolls Out Mask Mandate, Despite Executive Order

Angela Gervasi

Northern Arizona University is rolling out a mask mandate for certain areas of campus this fall semester as COVID-19 cases surge statewide. The move comes despite state legislation and an executive order from Gov. Doug Ducey barring mask mandates in public universities and community colleges. 


In a town hall Wednesday, NAU PresidentJosé Luis Cruz Rivera said face coverings would be mandated within classrooms, research labs, and other spaces that don’t allow for social distancing. 


It marks a shift in university policy. Cruz Rivera said he would lead by example.


“I will wear my mask, and expect that all members of our university community, regardless of their vaccination status, will do the same," he announced.


Cruz Rivera also encouraged vaccination.


“If you are one of those considering it, I implore you, I urge you, I plead with you to be vaccinated sooner rather than later,” he said. 


NAU recently launched Jacks are Vaxed, a vaccine incentive program. It allows students to voluntarily upload their vaccination cards in exchange for possible rewards ranging from Apple Watches to dining vouchers. 


Gov. Ducey’s executive order prohibits universities from requiring students to disclose information about their vaccination status. 


The University of Arizona and Arizona State University have also implemented mask mandates in defiance of the order. 

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