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New mask requirements for UArizona students this semester

Face mask sign at UArizona
Posted at 7:30 PM, Jan 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-10 00:34:10-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The University of Arizona's spring semester starts on Wednesday. Students who have already returned to campus may have already noticed new signs that say students are required to wear a surgical or higher-grade mask like a KN95.

The university says that they must be worn at the following times:

  • In all indoor spaces where it is not possible to adequately and continuously maintain social distance.
  • Inside a Cat Tran shuttle or any other public transportation provided by the University.
  • Any building/facility that is operated by or affiliated with the University where patients or human research subjects participating in clinical research are seen in person.
  • In locations where personal protective equipment (including masks) has always been required to maintain safety protocols for situations with high hazards, such as areas where regulated chemicals are used or stored and other laboratory settings.

Some students are in agreement with the new policy.

"I think it's important to keep the students safe and the faculty safe," Sioas Marquez, a sophomore said. "I think it's in everyone's best interest to just really go along with it no matter how annoying it may be. It's really not that big of a deal to prevent the spread of the disease and try to contain it."

"I think it's a bit necessary," Topher Esguerra, a junior, said. "I don't think it's too crazy to ask."

However, Zaira Sweeney, who is also a junior, is not optimistic that people will follow the new rules.

"I don't think people will do it," she said. "There has already been so much unrest about the normal face masks that."

The university said they will be providing the masks at the entrances to buildings on campus. 

An additional COVID-19 preventative measure is testing.

All students who live in campus housing will be required to get a test before the start of the semester. Students can find more details on testing here.

"That's important especially in these closer-knit communities," Sioas Marquez, a junior, said. "There isn't a whole bunch of room for people to not be interacting with each other."