Arizona’s Republican governor has signed legislation that will prevent state health officials from ever adding a COVID-19 vaccine to the list of required school inoculations and bar face mask mandates in any buildings operated by state or local governments.
The two coronavirus bills signed by Gov. Doug Ducey on Friday would permanently block disease mitigation measures that health professionals say are critical to reining in the coronavirus pandemic if case counts again surge or the virus mutates and becomes more deadly to children.
The ban on face masks in libraries, courthouses and other public buildings could also affect efforts to stem the spread of a new airborne illness. Ducey’s office released no comment from the governor when it announced late Friday afternoon that he had signed the two bills along with 18 others.