TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The University of Arizona goes back into session this Wednesday. Despite the more contagious Omicron strain of COVID, those classes will be in person. But the University will watch for trouble that could drive classes back online.
The University’s already tried to boost protections by banning simple cloth masks and requiring at least disposable surgical masks. Those masks will be available for free at UA buildings.
University President Doctor Robert Robbins says the decision to stay with in-person classes is to give the campus more stability.
“After a while this gets to be incredibly challenging. People want a routine and want to be socializing with other people. And let's be clear about it. Our students are going to socialize, whether they're in class or not. So the biggest risk, of course, is outside the classroom.”
But Doctor Robbins says UA could shift back to on-line classes if the University’s 600 isolation dorm beds fill up or if hospitals become overwhelmed.
The University is still working to make COVID vaccinations easy to get. Students checking into dorms will have to show a negative COVID test no more than 48 hours old.
UA Vice President for Communications Holly Jensen says, “We highly encourage you to get tested in your hometowns so that you can isolate in the comfort of your own home, realizing that those tests may not be available, but you can schedule those tests today so that when you get to campus immediately you can be tested and get your results and again, isolated in the comfort of your own home.”
And while tests are scarce, the University says it still has a good supply.