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Arizona Gov. Ducey rescinds 25 COVID-19 executive orders

Gov. Doug Ducey on Friday rescinded 25 COVID-19 related executive orders, including an executive order that required face masks in schools.

But Ducey did not rescind the emergency declaration he issued in March 2020.

“Working with our Legislature, we’ve enacted these reforms into law,” Ducey said in a press release announcing the repeal of the executive orders. Part of the recently passed budget included measures to ban so-called vaccine passports and face mask enforcement by school districts.

Ducey also rescinded a number of other executive orders that were meant to curb the impact the virus had on long-term care facilities, pharmacies and groceries. One order deferred requirements for any state agency or board license for six months between dates impacted by COVID unless those requirements could be completed online.

Another of the rescinded orders allowed for on-the-job training at long-term care facilities in the state, as was one that allowed restaurants to repackage and sell grocery items they had on hand as a way for struggling restaurants to make money during the pandemic.

Some executive orders will not be fully rescinded until September, when new laws go into effect.

For example, Ducey rescinded an executive order that said K-12 students cannot be forced to take a COVID-19 vaccine and another that banned vaccine passports. Lawmakers codified both executive orders into state law, but those don’t take effect until Sept. 29.

Several other executive orders governing how the Arizona Department of Health Services gathers data on the virus still stand, and the department has the authority to determine when to end those orders.

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As of July 2, there have been 895,873 cases of COVID with 17,961 deaths in Arizona. The state reported 526 new cases Friday and 22 new deaths.

This report was first published by the Arizona Mirror.


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Ross D. Franklin/AP/Pool photo

Gov. Doug Ducey speaks about the latest COVID-19 data at a news conference June 25, 2020, in Phoenix.