Phoenix Union High School District to require vaccinations or COVID tests for athletes and coaches

The Phoenix Union High School District announced Thursday that all student athletes, coaches, staff and volunteers must be vaccinated or have weekly COVID-19 tests in order to participate in sports and select after-school activities.

You must have proof of vaccination by November 1st to compete or have a weekly test. It will affect the fall sports that are happening now and will continue when winter sports begin in late fall.

Those who are vaccinated beyond November 1 must undergo the tests until they can provide evidence of vaccination.

“PXU’s promise to prioritize the health and safety of our employees, students and families remains unchanged,” Superintendent Chad Gestson said in a press release. “We remain fully committed to what we call continuous A’s: academics, athletics, arts and activities. Requiring participants to get vaccinated or tested weekly will help avoid seasons shortened by COVID and reduce spread during face-to-face learning when students return from their practices “and competition.”

The district has made masks mandatory for students this school year, despite Governor Doug Ducey signing law preventing districts from imposing such a mandate. This law was due to go into effect on Wednesday, but a judge ruled that the measure was unconstitutional due to the way it was included in a draft state budget.

Phoenix Brophy Prep, a private school, was the first in Arizona to instruct all athletes and coaches to get vaccinated or undergo frequent tests in order to participate in after-school activities.

The district announced that it will shortly be sending out a comprehensive list of affected programs and criteria as well as implementation guidelines.

The district is relying on a “Vax to the Max” campaign to encourage student athletes and staff to get both vaccinations before November 1.

To suggest ideas for stories of human interest and other news, contact Obert at [email protected] or 602-316-8827. Follow him on Twitter @azc_obert.

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