TUCSON, Ariz. - It’s an unusual move-in day for dorms at the University of Arizona. COVID-19 added a very special requirement before you get your room key.
There have been a lot of high stakes events here at McKale Center, but this one is different. Students are being asked to Bear Down, Mask Up, but move that mask aside to run a swab up your nose for a test that decides whether you can check into your dorm.
There was not a huge surge at the test stations, the university only expected about 315 students to check in on this day a little less than two weeks before classes begin. Results come back in about two hours. Test clear and you move to your dorm. Test positive and head to a different dorm set aside for ten days of isolation.
The University says as of mid-afternoon about 560 students took COVID screening tests Friday. That number is a combination of students headed for dorms and students living off campus who took advantage of the university’s testing program. Of those, one tested positive and was diverted to an isolation dorm.
Domenec Scott and his family were outside his dorm, staying out of the heat, waiting for the text message to clear his way in.
He says, “I guess it is a big suspense but, I mean, I'm okay. I know I’m okay so yeah it is a little bit of suspense where you wait like two hours so…”
But he says he appreciates that the University of Arizona is looking out for his safety. His mother Lisa Loring appreciates that too and says she’s confident he’ll keep up with virus precautions.
“He has a strong head on his shoulder, and we've had many a talk with more to go so I’m believing that his mind is focused and he knows that it's an investment, not just within himself but others have invested in this so I’m believing he’s going to go all the way.”
Parent Bob Henry says he thinks it makes sense to screen and separate any student who tests positive for the virus
“You have to move forward in life and you're young and healthy, 17-18 year old man. You have to decide for yourself if you want to take the risk of being around people, wear a mask and just being sensible about distancing for each of us.“
His son Colin has received his all-clear and is ready to roll into a new life on campus.