PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) – Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman is calling on Governor Doug Ducey to follow the CDC’s new announcement, recommending students and teachers in K-12 schools to continue enforcing mask policies.
Hoffman tweeted Tuesday afternoon, “I am calling on Governor Ducey 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.” Hoffman also stated that teachers, administrators and families are encouraged to listen to the CDC and keep themselves safe by masking up."
Hoffman then followed up on her Tuesday tweet with an open letter to Arizona educators. She reiterated CDC guidelines, encouraging those who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Hoffman expressed concern about younger students who have not received the vaccine yet. "Particularly for our youngest learners who have not yet had an opportunity to get vaccinated, wearing a mask is a simple way to continue to protect the students we work with," she said.
Ducey previously lifted the mask mandate in April that required K-12 schools to wear masks. Shortly after Ducey’s announcement, Hoffman disagreed with Ducey’s decision, stating masks have allowed schools to safely operate during the pandemic.
The CDC announced regardless of vaccination status, students and teachers are still recommended to continue wearing masks in the classroom. CDC officials are also encouraging vaccinated people to resume wearing masks in areas of high COVID-19 cases. Maricopa County is currently at high-risk of community transmission, according to the CDC website.
"Students, teachers, and parents are ready to get back to in-person learning, but it takes all of us," tweeted Hoffman.
Arizona's Family has reached out to Gov. Ducey's office for a comment and his stance on the latest CDC guidance. Instead, Governor Ducey released the following statement on Twitter:
Arizona does not allow mask mandates, vaccine mandates, vaccine passports or discrimination in schools based on who is or isn’t vaccinated. We’ve passed all of this into law, and it will not change. See my statement on the updated CDC guidance: https://t.co/YubNffZpq5— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) July 27, 2021