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Ducey renews order banning vaccine mandates for government employees

Gov. Ducey's ban says that no state, county, city or town will be allowed to mandate vaccination.

ARIZONA, USA — Editor's note: The video above is from a newscast on Dec. 16. 

Gov. Doug Ducey signed an executive order to ban vaccine mandates for government employees on Wednesday, which renewed his order that had recently expired. 

The order states that "no person shall be required by this state, or any city, town or county to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine" unless they are employed by a health care institution. 

Ducey's office did not announce the renewal, nor did the governor mention the order at a news conference Thursday morning. 

In September, Ducey pushed back at the White House's plans to require large companies to implement vaccine mandates for their employees, saying he didn't want companies in Arizona to be told what to do by the Biden administration. 

Ducey's order comes just days after the United States recorded 800,000 deaths from the virus. Hospitals statewide have also reported being overwhelmed with critical cases. 

Banner Health said that one-third of its ICU beds are occupied by unvaccinated COVID-19 patients statewide; 88% of those COVID patients were unvaccinated. In some instances, every COVID patient in a Banner ICU was unvaccinated. 

In a conversation with 12 News, Banner representatives said that if the current trend continues, the system will need to start making cuts on care.

According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, 39% of ICU beds across hospitals are being taken by COVID patients as of Dec. 10. 

Read the full executive order here.

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