KGUN 9NewsCoronavirus


UArizona mandates weekly testing for returning students

UArizona Old Maine
Posted at 12:54 PM, Dec 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-07 19:11:37-05

TUCSON, Ariz. — New testing rules will begin for University of Arizona students in January as the University of Arizona is ramping up their effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Weekly COVID-19 testing is now mandatory for university of Arizona students and if students don't comply the university said it will block students from using the free campus wifi.

"Network access is generally necessary to participate in the activities that bring students to campus, such as taking classes," explained Dr. Robert Robbins, UArizona's president.

University leadership wants staff, faculty, and even vendors to be tested.

"That is a discussion that's going on-- and even anybody visiting on campus because anybody is a potential vector," explained Dr. Carmona. "We're looking at, even more broadly, making sure that everybody who comes on campus and interacts has an appropriate screening."

This comes just in time for the university's new 'swish and gargle' test is being rolled out. UArizona experts say it's more accurate than nasal swab tests.

[Related: Swish, gargle testing method used to test for COVID-19 at UArizona]

UArizona plans to give 15 thousand of those new tests each week.

University leaders are also looking ahead to the possibility of required vaccinations of students when the vaccine becomes widely available.

“I would very much like to see this be required for everyone who works, and who come to the campuses too,” said Dr. Robbins.

Required COVID-19 vaccines aren't set in stone yet. Dr. Robbins explained university leadership would need to meet with attorneys and create policies to accommodate exceptions for health or religious reasons.