ASU president says mask mandate to remain in place

Crow looks at community spread of coronavirus as leading indicator

Posted 11/8/21

Arizona State University President Michael Crow announced last week that the community spread of COVID-19 needed to decrease before ASU considered removing its mask mandate.

At the Student Forum …

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ASU president says mask mandate to remain in place

Crow looks at community spread of coronavirus as leading indicator

Posted

Arizona State University President Michael Crow announced last week that the community spread of COVID-19 needed to decrease before ASU considered removing its mask mandate.

At the Student Forum with Crow on Tuesday, Nov. 2, the president of Arizona State University answered questions about COVID-19, vaccines, and mask mandates.

“You wear the mask to protect others, you take the vaccine to protect yourself,” Crow said about the required mask mandate. 

He said ASU is not requiring the vaccine but he hopes everyone will make the right choice.

When Crow was asked when the mask mandate will be removed because “ASU cases are low right now” he said, “The number for us that needs to go down is community spread.”

“Random testing tells us that we are managing the virus well. Under 1.5% of the university is testing positive,” he said.

Crow also said the university needs to be concerned when the numbers get up to 3 % to 5% percent.

Haley Wiesenhofer, a junior at ASU and a member of the Spirit Squad, said she thought there are some parts of the mask mandate that could use some revision.

“I understand the need to protect athletic programs from any sort of risk of getting sick because without the players there’s ultimately no team or games," she said. "However, I believe they need to fully mandate it across the board for all activities, or not at all.”

Wiesenhofer said as a Spirit Squad member, she had to wear a mask when cheering at the games, but the football players or band members do not.

Wiesenhofer also said Crow’s statement about the need for community spread to decrease before removing the mask mandate is understandable because most ASU students are around people who are not university students and possibly in places where COVID-19 cases could be higher.

Kaitlyn Davin, a junior at ASU, also said that she thought that it’s a good thing that the mask mandate hasn’t been lifted yet.

“I think it’s the safer way to go. Even though cases are low, removing masks in classes could change that.”

Regarding low amounts of positive COVID cases at ASU, Crow said, “Our own positivity rate is low because what we’re doing is working”

“If it keeps us on campus, I’m willing to do whatever, even if that means a mask for an hour and a half,” said Davin.

 Mark Dawson, a junior studying engineering at ASU, did not agree with the mask mandate. He said he did think the mask mandate “marginally contributes to reducing the number of Covid cases,” but that people should have the freedom to decide for themselves whether they want to wear a mask.

Dawson predicts masks will be required through the spring semester of 2022.

Davin, Wiesenhofer and Dawson all said that they would no longer wear a mask if it wasn’t mandated.

“If it was considered safe enough to remove them, I would want to return back to normalcy,” said Davin.

“Mask mandates are a function of social distancing. I'm hopeful we can get down to a low level of disease spread where masks wouldn't be required. That will require our caseload to go lower than it currently is. We're listening to advisors and the government,” Crow said.

“I'm hopeful we can get there, but we just aren’t there yet,” he said.

Mask mandate or not, students are just happy to be back on campus this semester.

“I am super grateful to be back on campus. I really feel like I am going to college again and am able to take advantage of all the unique things that college life offers,” said Dawson.

“I like being able to have the 'normal' college experience. Being online with COVID made me feel very isolated and like I was paying full price for half an education,” said Davin.

“Being back on campus has allowed me to make new friends, join new clubs, and immerse myself more into my college, which was hindered last year with everything being online,” said Wiesenhofer.

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  • mikemastantuono

    The president is putting out only opinions here and not stating facts. Also a lot of double talk. He doesn't give an actual number that community spread needs to go down to ignore the mask mandate because he knows once ASU gets down whatever number there will be another reason to extend the mask rules. Social distancing is not being forced and so mask mandates make even less sense. If masks protect others, then why are vaccinated people still spreading and also getting Covid?

    Tuesday, November 9 Report this