Masks are still required in all schools; Video: Dr. Christ's news conference today - AZEdNews
Sections    Wednesday March 29th, 2023

Masks are still required in all schools; Video: Dr. Christ’s news conference today

A Peoria Unified Student Returns To In-person Classes On Monday, Sept. 21, 2020. Photo Courtesy Peoria Unified School District.

Click here for updates March 27 and going forward.

Updated March 26: Masks are still required in all Arizona schools according to Supt. of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman and the Arizona Department of Health Services, and many school districts have left parents know that through emails, phone calls and other communication methods.

Banner Health, Arizona’s largest health care provider, had this response to Gov. Ducey’s Executive Order yesterday removing the final COVID-19 regulations on businesses.

Phoenix Sky Harbor reminds travelers that a federal mask mandate applies to airports and related services.

Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ shared an update on COVID-19 in Arizona and vaccine distribution during a news conference today.

AZ Dept. of Health Services: COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Update – March 26, 2021

When asked how she felt about businesses not having to abide by COVID-19 mitigation strategies after Gov . Ducey’s Executive Order yesterday, Dr. Christ said, “We would prefer that they still follow the recommendations put forth by AZDHS and the Centers for Disease Control.”

“We know that masking works. We know that physical distancing works,” Dr. Christ said. “What we would encourage is that everyone assess their risk for severe complications.”

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona rose to 838,558 today from 837,987 yesterday, and 16,898 have died from the virus, said the Arizona Department of Health Services.

In Maricopa County, there are 522,624 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 112,134 in Pima County, 49,136 in Pinal County, 36,703 in Yuma County, 22,041 in Mohave County, 18,289 in Yavapai County, 16,995 in Coconino County, 15,636 in Navajo County, 11,546 in Cochise County, 10,790 in Apache County, 7,780 in Santa Cruz County, 6,521  in Gila County, 5,359 in Graham County, 2,441 in La Paz County and 563 in Greenlee County.

Arizona Dept. of Health Services Interactive Graphic: (Hover over counties and boxes for more info)


Mesa students get your Earth Day project ready and see the details below.

There’s one week left in the AZ FAFSA Challenge, get your application for state and federal financial aid sent in now.

Arizona State University proposes no tuition increase for current or incoming students for the second year.

Students’ assessments of their own well being and work habits provide key insight into their development.

Maricopa Community College lets students know what they need to do next to log in after a cyberattack took down the system for more than a week.

When students practice their social emotional learning skills with family it has bigger impact.

Updated March 25: Gov. Doug Ducey issued an Executive Order today that lifted all remaining COVID-19 restrictions on Arizona businesses and events, just one day after opening up COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to people 16 years old and up in Maricopa, Pima and Yuma counties.

Click here to read the Executive Order.

That means events of more than 50 people will no longer need approval from local government, masking, social distancing and other COVID-19 requirements for businesses will become recommendations instead of requirements, restaurants and bars can resume their regular operations, and local mask mandates will be phased out.

Tucson Mayor Regina Romero says she has no intention of removing local mask requirements.

Gov. Ducey said he lifted the remaining COVID-19 restrictions on businesses, because of declining cases of COVID-19 and increased distribution of vaccine.

The Arizona Dept. of Education said that the Arizona Department of Health Services said today that AZDHS Emergency Measure 2020-04 is still in effect, requiring masks in all K-12 schools.

Masking is one of the top mitigation strategies for safe in-person learning as recommended by the CDC.

Masks must be worn on school campuses, on school buses and during school-associated activities by all students, faculty, staff, contractors, and visitors.

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego said Gov. Ducey’s actions were too much, too soon in a statement released today.

“The governor’s decision directly contradicts the best scientists in the field. The horrible surge last June was only curbed by masking- when the Governor finally allowed cities to do it,” Mayor Gallego said. “To abandon precautions now is like spiking the ball on the 5-yard line.”

“We know new variants are circulating. The risk of another surge is real. The governor clearly cares a lot less about the people of Arizona than his political future,” Mayor Gallego said. 

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona rose to 837,987 today from 837,849 yesterday, and 16,874 have died from the virus, said the Arizona Department of Health Services.

In Maricopa County, there are 522,285 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 112,045 in Pima County, 49,087 in Pinal County, 36,679 in Yuma County, 22,003 in Mohave County, 18,289 in Yavapai County, 16,978 in Coconino County, 15,627 in Navajo County, 11,563 in Cochise County, 10,785 in Apache County, 7,776 in Santa Cruz County, 6,510  in Gila County, 5,355 in Graham County, 2,440 in La Paz County and 563 in Greenlee County.

Arizona Dept of Education has made a $1.5 million investment to support the Final Mile Project bringing high-speed internet to homes in rural and remote areas of Arizona.

Nominate an amazing Tempe student with a disability for this award.

Breaking down what students need to do step by step with a new still they learn by video helps them master it much more quickly.

Cartwright School District teachers, like teachers at many Arizona schools, teach both in-person and online learners at the same time.

Read Better, Be Better celebrated their students who graduated this morning at Cheyenne Elementary.

The college affordability gap makes it difficult for students to pay for school after part-time work, grants and scholarships are accounted for.

Arizona State University honors the accomplishments of women faculty, students and alumni during Women’s History Month.

Do teachers have an obligation to let their employer know they’re vaccinated against COVID-19?

Coconino County reminds residents to drive carefully around schools as students return for in-person learning.

Updated March 24: Arizona families would have to opt-in for their students to take part in discussions of sex ed, gender identity, and HIV at school and schools could not provide any sex education instruction before fifth grade in SB 1456 sponsored by Sen. Nancy Barto, which was approved by the House Judiciary Committee today despite opposition by Democrats and will move on to a full House vote.

Click here for more about the bill.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona rose to 837,849 today from 837,244 yesterday, and 16,842 have died from the virus, said the Arizona Department of Health Services.

In Maricopa County, there are 522,323 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 111,998 in Pima County, 49,004 in Pinal County, 36,680 in Yuma County, 21,989 in Mohave County, 18,309 in Yavapai County, 16,972 in Coconino County, 15,613 in Navajo County, 11,557 in Cochise County, 10,774 in Apache County, 7,770 in Santa Cruz County, 6,504  in Gila County, 5,355 in Graham County, 2,438 in La Paz County and 563 in Greenlee County.

Avondale Elementary School District celebrates a former student who had become a published author.

A bill working it’s way through the Arizona Legislature would allow Arizona’s community colleges offer 4-year degrees.

Tolleson Elementary School DIstrict celebrates an award-winning teacher.

Flagstaff Unified welcomed students back to campus earlier this week.

Bisbee Unified is holding a meeting this evening to get community input into possible athletic and playground upgrades.

Updated March 23: Maricopa Community Colleges notified the FBI of the cyberattack on their system that has kept students and staff from using the network since Tuesday of last week.

The Maricopa County Community College District says it is making progress in recovery efforts and is implementing new security protocols .

Faculty continues to work on adjusting their semester timelines, assignments and exams to ensure these technology disruptions do not negatively impact student grades.

The district says that as systems come online faculty and staff will be prompted to implement additional security controls, including two-factor authentication. and the district will provide free antivirus software that can be installed on all faculty, staff and student personal devices. 

Maricopa Community College’s forensic partners continue to investigate and updates will be provided at

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona rose to 837,244 today from 836,737 yesterday, and 16,798 have died from the virus, said the Arizona Department of Health Services.

In Maricopa County, there are 521,908 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 111,950 in Pima County, 48,935 in Pinal County, 36,684 in Yuma County, 21,968 in Mohave County, 18,302 in Yavapai County, 16,963 in Coconino County, 15,604 in Navajo County, 11,547 in Cochise County, 10,772 in Apache County, 7,763 in Santa Cruz County, 6,499  in Gila County, 5,350 in Graham County, 2,436 in La Paz County and 563 in Greenlee County.

Students with disabilities will need strong self-advocacy skills as they transition from high school to college.

Arizona K12 Center honors teachers who earned or renewed their National Board certification.

Learn more about Madison School District‘s Madison Virtual Academy below.

Student are back on campus for their second day of in-person learning at Westview High School in Tolleson Union High School District.

Learn more about a retired art teacher who creates abstract paintings of Tucson nature.

Updated March 22: Gov. Doug Ducey said today that Arizona residents 16 and older will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine starting Wednesday, March 24.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona rose to 836,737 today from 836,253 yesterday, and 16,745 have died from the virus, said the Arizona Department of Health Services.

In Maricopa County, there are 521,585 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 111,912 in Pima County, 48,840 in Pinal County, 36,694 in Yuma County, 21,938 in Mohave County, 18,299 in Yavapai County, 16,956 in Coconino County, 15,599 in Navajo County, 11,543 in Cochise County, 10,772 in Apache County, 7,761 in Santa Cruz County, 6,497  in Gila County, 5,348 in Graham County, 2,430 in La Paz County and 563 in Greenlee County.

Maricopa Community Colleges is investigating the early stages of a cyber attack, but says there is no evidence so far of a breach of financial or personal information.

Yuma Union High School District honors a student for her achievements.

Tucson Unified School District welcomes back students.

The Arizona Association of Gifted and Talented thanked parents and teachers for their support and advocacy for their students.

Tolleson Union High School District celebrates their students selected to take part in West-MEC career and technical education programs.

Arizona Dept. of Education reminds students there’s still time to get in their application to become a student advisor.

Dysart School District celebrates Valley View High School‘s girl’s basketball team.

Arizona State University and its partners celebrate the opening of Phoenix Biomedical Campus next week.

Red Mountain High School honors a teacher for being part of the AP Computer Science Female Diversity Board.

Take a look at how many hours students in each state must work to help pay for higher education.

Take a look at these ways to help promote equity and fairness for students in schools.

Updated March 19: Arizona Department of Health Services Director Cara Christ gave update on COVID-19 today.

AZ Dept. of Health Services: COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Update – March 19, 2021

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona rose to 835,030 today from 834,607 yesterday, and 16,691 have died from the virus, said the Arizona Department of Health Services.

In Maricopa County, there are 520,919 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 111,582 in Pima County, 48,593 in Pinal County, 36,651 in Yuma County, 21,794 in Mohave County, 18,244 in Yavapai County, 16,916 in Coconino County, 15,589 in Navajo County, 11,475 in Cochise County, 10,753 in Apache County, 7,708 in Santa Cruz County, 6,467  in Gila County, 5,350 in Graham County, 2,426 in La Paz County and 563 in Greenlee County.

High school students are you considering a career in sports medicine? Then join in this virtual symposium.

Maricopa Community Colleges honor nurses and nursing students during Certified Nurses Day.

Seeking resources to support your Asian-American and Pacific Islander students? Take a look here.

Learn more about the East Valley Institute of Technology and the careers you can train for there.

Crane School District celebrates community members for their contributions.

Lean more about a University of Arizona plan to safely store seeds in case they’re needed.

Tempe Union High School District honors finalists for the Tempe Diablos Excellence in Education Awards.

Sunnyside Unified School District is offering students and families help filling out the FAFSA next week, find out more below.

Updated March 18: Parents, teachers and other education advocates took part in a motor march at the Capitol to encourage Arizona Legislators to uphold voter approval of Prop. 208 to increase funding for public education.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona rose to 834,607 today from 834,323 yesterday, and 16,645 have died from the virus, said the Arizona Department of Health Services.

In Maricopa County, there are 520,784 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 111,507 in Pima County, 48,468 in Pinal County, 36,643 in Yuma County, 21,777 in Mohave County, 18,235 in Yavapai County, 16,904 in Coconino County, 15,587 in Navajo County, 11,453 in Cochise County, 10,750 in Apache County, 7,702 in Santa Cruz County, 6,465 in Gila County, 5,346 in Graham County, 2,423 in La Paz County and 562 in Greenlee County.

Peoria Unified School District celebrates a student for her artwork that will be part of the Mayor’s Young Artist showcase.

Arizona Interscholasctic Association Executive Director talks about hopes for fall high school sports next school year as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

The U.S. Dept. of Education thanked school band and orchestra leaders for developing students musical and teamwork skills every day.

Take a look at Dysart Unified School District automotive students electric project car/kart event held over spring break.

Desert Star School celebrates winners of their reading challenge.

Learn more about Arizona’s new science standards for students to learn and why they’ve changed here.

Tolleson Elementary School District celebrates Althea Gibson during Women’s History Month.

A U.S. Centers for Disease Control survey of parents indicates students who took part in remote learning spent less time outside, doing physical activities or interacting with their friends than students who attended in-person classes.

Sen. Jamescita Peshlakai‘s bill to name Aug. 14 Code Talker Day passed the House today.

The conversation about annual standardized testing for students has developed over the past year as schools have adapted to remote learning and other models during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Save the date to learn more about opportunities and resources available to students at ASU, NAU and U of A.

Learn strategies you can use in the classroom to inspire students from California Teacher of the Year and Rappin’ Mathematician Alex Kajitani.

Updated March 16: After Chandler Unified School District canceled high school proms due to COVID-19, a group of parents of Perry High School seniors decided to host one for their students, but other parents say it’s not safe for students and risks them not being able to attend a graduation ceremony, ABC 15 Arizona reports.

Meanwhile, students in Phoenix Elementary School District returned to school for the first time in a year per Gov. Doug Ducey’s Executive Order.

See what Supt. of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman has to say about the importance of safety strategies as more students return to in-person instruction.

See how Arizona’s public district schools made sure students still had access to healthy meals during the pandemic.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona rose to 833,878 today from 833,381 yesterday, and 16,574 have died from the virus, said the Arizona Department of Health Services.

In Maricopa County, there are 521, 093 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 111,400 in Pima County, 47,884 in Pinal County, 36,601 in Yuma County, 21,676 in Mohave County, 18,129 in Yavapai County, 16,891 in Coconino County, 15,575 in Navajo County, 11,427 in Cochise County, 10,725 in Apache County, 7,694 in Santa Cruz County, 6,457 in Gila County, 5,343 in Graham County, 2,420 in La Paz County and 562 in Greenlee County.

Avondale Elementary School District reminds you to make time for children and what matters to them.

Instructional coaches are here to help teachers whether it’s a big issue or a small activity so reach out.

Tempe Union High School District congratulates students for their achievements.

See why students turned their 10-minute film into a 45-minute documentary after learning that Black men make up less than 2 percent of U.S. educators.

Littleton Elementary School District reminds parents that with the start of in-person learning on Monday, March 22 there will be limits on the number of people in the office at a time.

See how schools in rural and remote areas are adapting and innovating.

Students started in-person instruction in Santa Cruz County as part of a hybrid-learning model.

Updated March 15: A year after schools closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many Arizona teachers welcomed students back on campus for in-person learning for the first time this week.

Related article:
Schools get ready for students’ return to in-person learning

The U.S. Dept. of Education encourages the entire school community to take actions to create a safe learning environment for students and school staff.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona rose to 833,381 today from 832,743 yesterday, and 16,533 have died from the virus, said the Arizona Department of Health Services.

In Maricopa County, there are 520,861 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 111,344 in Pima County, 47,733 in Pinal County, 36,602 in Yuma County, 21,657 in Mohave County, 18,125 in Yavapai County, 16,885 in Coconino County, 15,567  in Navajo County, 11,418 in Cochise County, 10,724 in Apache County, 7,695 in Santa Cruz County, 6,456 in Gila County, 5,331 in Graham County, 2,421 in La Paz County and 562 in Greenlee County.

Early childhood education leads to higher school graduation rates, First Things First Arizona says.

Looking for ways to improve students’ breakout room experiences? Try these ideas.

Learn more about these history making women during Women’s History Month.

The University of Arizona will allow classes of up to 100 students to meet in person the week of March 29.

Arizona Sen. Jamescita Peshlakai and may others celebrate the confirmation of Deb Haaland as Secretary of the Interior, making her the first Native American in history to lead a U.S. Cabinet agency.

Tempe Union High School District celebrates DECA students who will compete internationally in April.

Tucson Unified School District reminds families of remote learners about weekly meal pick-up options.

Phoenix Public Library encourages you to sign up for an eCard or a Phoenix Public Library card to access online resources.

Washington Elementary School District has instructional coaches at each of its schools to guide and mentor teachers.

Stand for Children invites parents, students and education advocates to take part in a motor march to the Capitol in Phoenix on Wednesday to remind Arizona Legislators to uphold voters’ approval of Prop. 208.

COX helped students turn their cancelled play into an animated film.

See what a mathematics teacher and researcher found about longstanding practices in math education.

Earlier coverage

Feb. 24 to March 11, 2021: COVID-19 aid funds will help AZ students, families & schools

Feb. 11 to Feb. 23U.S. Dept of Ed: Students must take standardized tests, but there’s flexiblity on when & how

Feb. 2 to Feb. 9Video: Supt. Hoffman gives State of Special Education address

Jan. 21 to Feb. 1Black History Mural Month Project to highlight pioneers of the Black community launches in Phoenix

Jan. 10 – Jan 20How students engage with Inauguration Day

Dec. 21, 2020 to Jan 8, 2021Teachers help students deal with attacks on Congress, Capitol

Nov. 30 – Dec. 16Watch it now: Dr. Christ asks people to avoid holiday gatherings with people they do not live with

Nov. 18 – 25COVID-19 cases rise before Thanksgiving adding to school and hospital leaders’ concerns

Nov. 16: More schools return to online learning as COVID-19 cases rise

Nov. 2 – 13: $19 M grant would help schools with teacher development, stipends, reading & math curriculum, summer ed resources and more

Oct. 20 to Oct. 30: AZDHS amends COVID-19 school benchmarks

Oct. 7 – Oct. 19What are teachers doing ahead of elections to support students afterwards

Aug. 25 – Sept. 8: Parents voice concern about online class size; school nurses prepare for students

Aug. 12 – Aug. 24: Students, teachers affected by Zoom outage

July 30 – Aug. 11Parent organizes co-op for learners; group rallies for in-person school days after benchmarks release

July 13- July 30: Teachers prepare for digital learning and back to school

June 29 – July 12Video: Gov. says ‘Goal is to get children back to school when it’s safe;’ Schools lay out learning models

June 29: Video: Gov. delays in-person classes to Aug. 17 due to rise in COVID-19

June 15 – June 29: Video: Gov. pauses re-opening of some businesses as COVID-19 cases rise

June 24: Plan provides more funding, flexible instruction as schools re-open

May 26 – June 12: Increase in COVID-19 cases marks a new daily high

May 20 – 25: AZ Dept. of Ed releases COVID-19 guidance to schools for summer programs, back to school

May 11 – 19: Arizonans consider workplace safety, what back to school will look like amid COVID-19

April 26 – May 10: Stores re-open, COVID-19 testing blitz resumes on Saturday

April 8 – 25You can get tested now if you think you’ve been exposed to COVID-19

March 12 – April 7, 2020Coronavirus response: Cases rise; AZ Day of Giving