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Arizona Law Banning Mask Mandates In Schools To Go Into Effect Next Week

KNAU | Angela Gervasi

An Arizona law banning mask mandates in public and charter schools is set to officially go into effect next Wednesday, Sept. 29.

It comes as the Arizona Department of Health Services continues to document thousands of daily COVID-19 cases. Yesterday, ADHS reported 74 new deaths related to the virus.

The ban on mask mandates was passed this summer within the state’s annual budget, drawing outcry from public health officials and defiance from some school districts. 

At least 29 districts statewide — including the Flagstaff Unified School District — have implemented mask mandates, the Associated Press reports.

Dr. Heather Boyle was one of several who advocated for a mask mandate at an FUSD board meeting last month.

“It’s with a mom’s heart, and a doctor’s mind that I speak to you today,” she told the board at an August meeting. “What will convince you of the moral imperative you are confronted with, to act, to mandate masks?”

FUSD’s governing board issued a mask mandate on Aug. 10, requiring individuals to wear face coverings indoors.

The board stated that “the COVID-19 pandemic has not abated in our community and instead, cases continue to rise.”  The board also acknowledged during the Aug. 10 meeting that that state law was not yet effective. 

Another governing board meeting for FUSD is on tap next Tuesday evening — the night before the new law goes into effect.

Meanwhile, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Katherine Cooper heard arguments for and against the ban earlier this month after a lawsuit was brought against the legislation.

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