Dr. Cara Christ says her children will continue wearing masks at school

Apr 20, 2021, 3:00 PM
(Photo by Lorena Ros/Getty Images)...
(Photo by Lorena Ros/Getty Images)
(Photo by Lorena Ros/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Arizona’s top public health official said she will continue having her children wear masks at school, a day after Gov. Doug Ducey rescinded an order requiring them.

Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, said the school board for her children’s district is planning to meet soon to discuss whether to keep masks mandatory, but it won’t affect her decision.

“I’m still going to have my kids wear masks. That is our recommendation,” Christ told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Tuesday. “Chandler has been pretty good about following the mitigation strategies and doing a really good job of keeping the kids safe while they’re in schools.”

K-12 school districts and charter schools still have the right to institute and enforce policies — such as requiring masks — to stop the spread of COVID-19 as part of Ducey’s rescinded order.

Most Arizona schools have yet to commit to a decision regarding masks as the academic year winds down.

J.O. Combs Unified School District, located in San Tan Valley, announced Monday it would not require face coverings effectively immediately.

Christ said districts would be best off working with public health authorities to make educated decisions following Ducey’s announcement.

The Republican governor cited high vaccine totals among teachers and faculty for his decision.

K-12 school staff were part of Phase 1B of Arizona’s vaccine rollout plan, with eligibility in most counties opening in January.

“That was an important factor as we made this decision,” Christ said. “You know, Arizona prioritized staff very early on in schools and child care to allow them to get vaccinated.”

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Dr. Cara Christ says her children will continue wearing masks at school