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City of Tucson to keep its employee vaccination policy despite Gov. Ducey's executive order

A view of the skyline in Tucson, Arizona.
Posted at 2:38 PM, Dec 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-17 19:42:27-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Tucson Mayor Regina Romero announced Friday the City of Tucson will keep its policy that requires employee vaccinations following Governor Doug Ducey's executive order banning government COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

Gov. Ducey signed an executive order Wednesday that bans local or state government entities in Arizona from mandating the COVID-19 vaccine. Gov. Ducey's order does exempt government-licensed healthcare facilities from this ban.

“Arizona Attorney General Brnovich already told the Governor what he doesn’t want to hear. He has no authority to preempt local actions through executive orders,” said Mayor Romero, in a statement.

In October, Tucson City Council voted 4-3 to push forward with a plan to require city employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Dec. 1 or face termination, which cited high levels of COVID-19 spread persisting throughout Pima County.

In September, Arizona's Attorney General announced that the City of Tucson's recently passed COVID-19 vaccine mandate violates state law, calling for it to be repealed.

Previously in August, Mayor and Council voted 6-1 to pass the ordinance that now requires employees to provide proof of at least one COVID-19 vaccination shot by Aug. 24. The measure included a five-day suspension for city employees who do not comply; however, religious and medical exemptions was included in the ordinance.

Recent City of Tucson employee data shows 99% of city employees have followed with the city's vaccination policy and/or have been granted an exemption, Mayor Romero's office says.

“The Governor needs to focus on the crisis at hand as COVID-19 cases rise. He can’t say that he’s for public health and tie the hands of cities and counties as the pandemic surges to record levels and hospital ICU beds dwindle," Mayor Romero added in a statement.

Click here to read the Tucson's full employee vaccination policy.