Doug Ducey 11-18

Gov. Doug Ducey addresses reporters on Nov. 18, 2020.

(The Center Square) - Gov. Doug Ducey responded to the new U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendation that vaccinated individuals continue to wear masks by saying that Arizona law prohibits mask mandates based on vaccination status. 

“Arizona does not allow mask mandates, vaccine mandates, vaccine passports or discrimination in schools based on who is or isn’t vaccinated,” Ducey said in a Tuesday news release. “We’ve passed all of this into law, and it will not change.” 

On Tuesday, the CDC urged vaccinated people in certain areas of the country to resume wearing masks indoors in public areas as concern over the delta variant of COVID-19 grows. This announcement comes two months after they lifted mask guidelines for fully vaccinated individuals. 

Ducey called the new CDC guideline “another example of the Biden-Harris administration’s inability to effectively confront the COVID-19 pandemic.” He said the announcement would raise doubts about the efficacy of the vaccine. 

"Here in Arizona, we’ve been consistent from the beginning: Arizonans should get this vaccine,” Ducey stated. “Over 51 percent of our population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, and over 46 percent are fully vaccinated.” 

He said that he would continue to work to “distribute this vaccine” and “build public confidence in its effectiveness.” 

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman responded to the governor’s statements by calling on him to “follow the guidance of public health experts and give schools back their local decision-making authority to set policies for safe in-person instruction.”

She encouraged teachers, administrators, and Arizona families to choose to wear masks at school. 

 “Students, teachers, and parents are ready to get back to in-person learning, but it takes all of us,” Hoffman said.