TUCSON (KVOA) - The Arizona Department of Health Services has issued an emergency measure for schools to have stricter mask mandates.
Schools have had a mask mandate in place for those students attending in person, but as cases continue to rise the state health department felt it was time to strengthen those requirements.
Dr. Cara Christ, the director of the Arizona Department of Health, said, "Each county also has a case rate that exceeds 100 per 100,000 people which also meets the substantial category for that metric."
Coronavirus cases are on the rise in Arizona putting our state more at risk as we enter the holidays. Gov. Doug Ducey has been a defender of in-person learning, but he felt it was time to tighten up the rules for students on campus.
"They are already required to have mask policies, but Dr. Christ will be issuing an emergency measure to make sure schools statewide are implementing those policies on school grounds and on school buses," Ducey said.
During a press conference on Wednesday, Christ talked about new research regarding masks that also lead to this decision.
"We know now that masks provide more protection than previously thought," Christ said. "The new studies recently showed that wearing a mask can also protect you from the infectious droplets of other people."
The new rules put in place by the health department mandate masks be worn at all times on campus. It also expands on the physical distancing requirements, limits group sizes and increases hand hygiene.