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Phoenix Elementary School District to require masks across campuses

The decision affects more than 5,000 students across the district’s 14 campuses.
Credit: Phoenix Elementary School District

PHOENIX — Phoenix Elementary School District board members voted Monday night to mandate masks across its schools for the upcoming year.

The decision affects more than 5,000 students across the district’s 14 campuses. Starting on Thursday, August 5, a face covering will be mandatory indoors for students, staff and visitors.

Masks have proven to be one of the most effective ways to limit the spread of COVID-19 which is primarily spread through coughs and sneezes.

RELATED: Phoenix Union High School District students return to class with masks

Even so, Gov. Doug Ducey has been adamantly opposed to making it a requirement, and he called mask mandates a form of “discrimination.”

The delta variant of the virus has now become the most common across Arizona, and the state has seen an uptick in deaths and cases – primarily among those who are not vaccinated.

Three vaccines have been approved by the FDA for adults – Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson – but none are available for children younger than 12.

The CDC said children, in general, are less likely to develop severe symptoms from the virus, but they can still spread it to others.

Phoenix Elementary School District joins other districts like Phoenix Union which started the school year with a mask requirement indoors.

RELATED: Arizona inpatient bed use increases 120%; other COVID numbers increase over past month

This is a developing story. Stay with 12 News for the latest updates.

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