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UArizona concerned about spread COVID-19 variants on campus

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Posted at 4:49 PM, Mar 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-29 20:19:37-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The University of Arizona has found four cases of the B.1.1.7 variant (UK Variant) and two cases of the B.1.4.2.9 variant (California Variant) on campus in the past week.

In response, the university is extending the quarantine period for those who test positive for the virus from ten days to 14 days.

"We're dealing with a different beast here and we need to act accordingly," Dr. Michael Worobey, a professor of evolutionary science, said. "This is really a wakeup call that we are not done yet. We still need to not just maintain but, in some degree, redouble our efforts in terms of mitigation measures."

This concern is shared by University of Arizona President Robert Robbins who said that testing compliance has dropped by 12% over the past month.

"If we do not know of new cases on campus, we can't isolate them," Robbins said. That is the key to stopping this; especially asymptomatic individuals."

Another concern for Robbins is off-campus bars. Previously they could monitor parties on campus.

"Remember they were gathering in these parties because there was nowhere for them to party," Robbins said. "Now with the bars open we want them to not go to 4th street and be partying with no face coverings and close together."